A2 SOCIOLOGY MEDIA AND VIOLENCE
So what is violence ? • “ Is a conflict relationship that uses actual physical force to carry out one's own will”
Violence in the media • Includes .... • Pornography, • Internet based violence, • Computer game violence, • TV news and report, • Dramas, • Films, • Video, • DVDs
Facts about violence in the media • Violence is now an essential part of popular culture, • More people are exposed to violence than before, • By the age of 18, American children will have seen on television: • 16000 real and fictional murders, • 200000 acts of violence.
An example of media violence .... • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk0qeqAvdQo&feature=related • What impact might a movie such as Hostel have on its viewers ? • Movie led to a moral panic associated with the town of Bratislava amongst the backpacking community.
A real case study • Columbine Massacres • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Vh_Cq7h_gI&feature=related • Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold are rumoured to have been influenced in their killings by watching Nazi propaganda
What do you think ? Could exposure to the film “Child’s Play” really be to blame for the murder committed by those two 10 years olds ? This view was disputed by the police who said they could find no evidence that videos viewed by the families could have encouraged the boys to batter a toddler to death
Newson (1994) • Asserted that violent videos could lead to violent actions, • Report gained massive media attention and was reported to establish a link between video violence and real world violence, • Findings corroborated by Anderson et al (2003) who claimed that research showed undisputable evidence that media violence increased the likelihood of aggressive and violent behaviour.
Evidence ? • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hyNpDEVrm4 • http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=580_1198126897
Criticism • Cumberbatch (1994) – criticises the Newson report arguing that the speculations within it were only speculated by the press, • Newburn and Hagell (1995) – review of 1000 studies concluded that the link between media violence and violent behaviour was not proven thus violent tendencies displayed by children would have existed prior to viewing of specific material.
Criticism • Broadcasting Standards Commission (2003) – report that children are aware that they are watching a process and not reality, • Cumberbatch and Video Standards Council (2004) – found that the evidence for the view that media violence caused violence on society is rather weak.
Some key terms • Copycatting, • Catharsis, • Desensitisation, • Sensitisation, • Media violence cause psychological disturbance in children, • Media violence causes some people to have exaggerated fears about crime and their communities
Copycatting • Like the hypodermic syringe injecting a drug, exposure to media violence causes children to copy what they see and behave more aggressively in the real world.
Catharsis • Media violence does not make viewers more aggressive, but reduces violence as it allows people to live out their violent tendencies in the fantasy world of the media and not in the real world.
Desensitization • Writers like Himmelweit et al (1958) have suggested that repeated exposure of children to media violence has gradual “drip-drip” long term effects, with increased risk of aggressive behaviour as adults as people tend to become less sensitive and disturbed when they witness real-world violence. • Thus accepting violence as a part of life.
Sensitization • Exposure to violence in the media can make people more sensitive to and less tolerant of real life violence (Belson, 1978).
Individual Task • Read through the article you have been given and jot down your thoughts on it. • Do you think that your personal exposition to violence in the media has made you sensitized or desensitized to violence ?
Media violence causes psychological disturbance in children • Watching media violence frightens young children, causing nightmare, sleeplessness, anxiety and depression. • These effects can be long lasting. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6k461VS6U8
Task • Individually read through the activity and complete the 4 questions.
Methodological Problems of researching • Issues with regards to the research definition for the term violence, • Issues with regards to whether violence can be real, fictional, cartoon like to be deemed as such, • Issues with regards to how the effects are measured, • Most research has been conducted in small scale lab conditions thus bringing to light ethical issues and issues of validity.
What do you think ? What ethical or validity based issues could occur by researching violence in laboratory conditions ?
E and V issues People may not react the same way they do in real life as they do in the artificial conditions of a lab experiment People are aware that they are in an experiment it is almost impossible to avoid the Hawthorne Effect (Gauntlett, 1998) Difficulties in separating the media effect in the experiments from other possible causes of violent reactions to violent media imagery. What else could be the reason behind a violent reaction to violent media imagery ? Experiments tend to be very short and can therefore only measure the immediate effects of media violence. Lab experiments only tend to be on a small scale using a very small sample thus raising questions as to whether those conclusions can be generalised.