Nocturnal Beings: Media Habits and Social Support System of Night Workers
This study explores the media habits and social support system of night workers through the use of focus interviews and surveys. Respondents and informants came from the following sectors of the labor force: Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO), Health, Security, Transportation, Retail and Service. Guided by the Social Support Theory, Symbolic Interactionism Theory and Jurgen Habermas’ concepts of external social systems, institutional spheres and life-world, the paper aimed to gauge the perceived social support system of the night workers and to explore how night work affects their lifestyle, media habits, and interaction with their significant and generalized others.
Overall, night workers have a good perception on all aspects of social support: appraisal, informational, sense of belonging/emotional, instrumental and assurance of self worth. Having a high perception of social support, which was mostly received from significant others, enabled the Nocturnal Beings to look and cope with their stressful situation in a more positive way. However, a high perceived support did not make the work completely comforting to the worker. It only buffered the effects of night work. Nocturnal beings faced the dilemmas of an altered lifestyle, safety and security issues and significantly, limited and shallow social interaction since time was allotted more for rest and sleep.
On the other hand, media served essentially as an instrumental and informational support to them. The use of media at work depended on its availability and the company’s policies. Radio and cellular phones were the most available and most utilized media. It was evident that external support systems had discretion over the institutional spheres and most notably, over the night worker’s life-world.
Lapuz, K. and Villanueva, L. (2010). Nocturnal Beings: Media Habits and Social Support System of Night Workers. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis. University of the Philippines, College of Mass Communication.