Anxiety about media effects began in 19th century about ‘mass media’ and ‘mass audience’ Gustavo El Bon: “the real has about as much influence on them as the real” Dystrophy view: Inspires anxiety about its possible negative effects Utopian View: Inspires hope about its positive role in society People most at risk: children, youth, uneducated, working class, women, ‘not me’ view Shannon and Weaver (1949) Possibilities that could go wrong: Sender encodes message Receiver decodes message
But do they share the same code Or do they have different interpretations of the code Causality: One thing (a media message) causes another thing (a media effect) to occur And so… Television -> makes us fat Case- Alfred Bandeau and The Boob Doll: American psychologist -advocate of ‘social learning theory Based on a ‘behaviorism’ concept of human psychology Conducted a series of ‘laboratory experiments to demonstrate the social learning of aggression – taken by many as ‘proof that watching violence promotes violence
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Media Violence debate: Anxieties about the effects of new mass media on behavior- particularly children. “Cultivation Theory’ Greener Undertook content analysis of television shows in order to prove that exposure to violence is cumulative in its effects That violence on the screens cultivates violence in society Where is the evidence? Jamie Bulgier: ‘In my opinion the home background, upbringing, family circumstances, parental behavior and relationships were needed in the public domain so that worthwhile debate can take place for the public good in the case of grave crimes by hillier.