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Violence in the Media. Braunwarth Politics in Film. How Much Violence?. How much violence have we seen in our films so far? Incredible amount of gratuitous violence Directed toward whom? Mainly toward dark-skinned “other” How is it treated toward us? Sad and Painful.

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Violence in the Media

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violence in the media

Violence in the Media


Politics in Film

how much violence
How Much Violence?
  • How much violence have we seen in our films so far?
  • Incredible amount of gratuitous violence
  • Directed toward whom?
  • Mainly toward dark-skinned “other”
  • How is it treated toward us?
  • Sad and Painful
violence toward others
Violence Toward Others
  • How are the “other” depicted?
  • Enemies are depicted as dehumanized, not treated as complex individuals with individual lives, loves, and families
  • Stereotypically and one-dimensionally bad
  • Why?
  • Much harder to kill a neighbor than some dehumanized other.
  • What does Parenti have to say about this?
is violence celebrated
Is Violence Celebrated?
  • How do the films we have seen treat violence?
  • Celebrates violence as an honorable means of settling disputes
  • Do we do this as a nation?
  • When we’re fed up with enemies, we are quick to assume that guns and bombs are the answer.
  • Killing is an exalted tool for punishment and control
effects on children society
Effects on Children/Society
  • Children model the behavior of adults
  • Inundated with messages that violence is an honorable expression of disapproval
  • People who won’t support killing are ridiculed, shamed, and even threatened
  • But, don’t our films stress the message that some violence (ours) is justified and other violence (theirs) is not?
  • Yes, but children see through these subtleties
  • Even (especially) children in the suburbs
  • We live in a culture where the most important an influential individuals solve problems by killing people
  • When violence is depicted as quick and sure and manly
  • Utterly predictable that boys (and men) who are desperate for admiration and attention will reach for guns and bombs
  • Will be more handgun deaths in the U.S. this month than in the entire world last year
  • School violence is not senseless
collateral damage
Collateral Damage
  • Most Americans believe bloodshed is necessary to preserve our way of life
  • Even if innocents are unfortunately also killed
  • In a society that embraces violence, innocents will get killed…even here
  • “Bad” is defined by the aggressor
  • Any of our children may someday be defined as the bad guy.
  • The emphasis on violence in the media creates a sense of fear as well as aggression
  • Those who consume more electronic media are more likely to view the world as a more dangerous place than it actually is
  • More likely to overestimate number of homicides, child abductions, police misconduct, criminal assaults, etc.
political effects
Political Effects
  • Given the level of fear engendered by the electronic media, what kind of political effects would you expect?
  • Greater demand for authoritarian “crack down” on crime
  • Emphasis on retribution>rehabilitation
  • Is the death penalty justice or vengeance?
  • It would seem that life imitates art
  • Exacerbated by our individualistic culture