Studying this will allow sociologists to determine he factors that perpetuate the cycle of violence in mankind that continues to this day. Through this research, we will be able to make a valuable first step in the path of world peace. By analyzing the way violence is presented in the media versus the mindset of the general population, using history as a background for the study and the present as a meaner of validating theories through scientific applications, the paper attempts to conclusively determine a relationship between the way violence is shown in the media and society’s outlook on real-life violence.
This research sheds eight on a possible factor in people’s perceptions on real-life violence and provides a valuable clue in solving the puzzle that is world peace. 3 Violence is Cool Or So the Media Tells Us: An Exploration of the Correlation Between the Media’s Presentation of Violence and Society’s Views On Real-Life Violence In the various newspapers, paperback books, movie theaters, video game screens and computer monitors) across the world, we have seen violence glorified. Even genres like their works, include it for the sake of drawing more audiences.
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Because of this tendency, many people have developed a callous and distorted view regarding real- fife violence. They have become comfortable with the idea and use of violence. Not to mention, they have developed a mentality that regards violence as the norm. The growing epidemic of real-life violence all over the world is treated like a spectator sport. Instead of viewing it as something wrong, they sensationalist the stories until it becomes Just another piece of entertainment which they regard with the same detached curiosity they would the newest gossip story.
The influence the media has on people’s opinion regarding real-life violence is an unsettling phenomenon that has been VIOLENCE IS COOLвЂ”OR SO THE MEDIA TELLS US observed throughout history up until present day, and its role is most significant in its effects on the youth. The youth are most significantly affected by the media, because of its impact on their still developing minds. Various scientific studies have made observations regarding this effect.
This includes over a 1000 studies done by various institutions such as the Surgeon General’s office and the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as leading figures within the medical and public health organizations. All of this research points to a causal connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in some children. According to the Joint Summit in 2000, after considering 30 years of research, the public health community came to a conclusion that watching violent entertainment can lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values and behavior, particularly in children.
Being exposed to violence often results in young people being deadened to violent acts in society. These children became so familiar with violence that it becomes a part of life (Conrad, 2008). It warps their perceptions regarding real-life violence in later life. They grow up with the mentality of violence as something that is not only socially acceptable to engage in but something that is encouraged. The violence presented in the media transforms in their mind as society’s approval for violence.
One of the more troubling effects of the media’s coverage of violence is the rise of copycat crimes. Examples of this phenomenon include the Ethylene tampering incidents of 1982, the assassination attempt depicted in the 1976 film Taxi Driver, and the availability of the Terrorist Handbook on the Internet both prior to and after the Oklahoma City federal building bombing in 1995. The ingestion of violent or antisocial conduct through the media impacts the viewer’s psyches, thus leading to repeating the behavior, much like a drug injection (Greek, 1997).
The youth culture is brimming with violence, as shown through the increase of teen gangs and their near worship of the gangster culture which promotes popular music that include lyrics that not only glorify violence but are also misogynistic and homophobic. According to a study that investigates how the rap music genre influences the youth’s emotional and physical health, teenagers who spend a lot of time watching the sex and violence depicted in the “reel” life of “gangs” rap music 6 videos have been But though the youth are the most affected by the media but this doesn’t 2003). Mean that adults are not susceptible to the media’s influence, particularly in times of great stress such as war. The use of the media as propaganda, particularly war propaganda, is not a new one. Since the very birth of the media, those in power have found ways to use the media to their advantage. In World War l, the British newspapers printed headlines that were designed to stir up the emotions of the British readers and were written without regard to facts. The most infamous headlines included violent acts such as “Belgium Child’s Hands Cut Off by Germans” ND “Germans Crucify Canadian Officer” (Propaganda and, n. . ). This trend continued onto World War Two. The Nazis in Germany controlled what was seen in the cinemas. “Hitler]Eng Queue” was made in 1933. This film told the story of a boy brought up in a communist family in Germany who broke away from this background, 7 joined the Hitler Youth and was murdered by the Communists in Germany for doing so (Propaganda In, n. D. ). During the years of war, the media was bombarded with acts of violence that were meant to stir the public with patriotic war frenzy. But in the years immediately after, laws regarding the amount of violence shown in the Edie were enacted.
It was an attempt at erasing from the minds of the people the excessive violence displayed previously. One of these laws was known as the Comic Book Code of 1954. Comic books had always been influential on the youth. Generations of children had grown up on the drawings featured in the pages of the Sunday papers and later in magazine forms on newspaper stands. However, anxiety over comic books grew as the pulp fiction crime and horror genre developed at the end of World War II. People believed that the comic book industry was becoming too graphic and violent.
In fact, in 1948, psychologist Frederic Whereat advocated the arbitration of comic books to children under the age of 16, claiming that all of the delinquent children he studied had read them (Good Shall, n. D. ). In 1954, the comic book code authority was formed in order to control what could and could not be presented in cornet books. VIOLENCE IS COOLвЂ”OR SO THE MEDIA TELLS US 8 In doing so, it was meant to make comic books appropriate for the consumption of the youth. Some of the restrictions included the misrepresentation of the police, judges and governmental representatives.
Also, the drawings of supernatural creatures such as vampires and werewolves were prohibited. Comic book titles could not use terminology like “horror” or “terror”. As the years went by, however, the Code started to shift and change. Revisions were made, including the 1989 revision that allowed drug use to be featured. Slowly, in accordance with the social climate at the time, the Code loosened its restrictions and along with it, its initial purpose. By the 21st century, comic books were Just at full of violence as the other forms of media.
In 2001, Marvel and DC Comics, two of the biggest comic book publishing powerhouses, stopped submitting their works to the Code. Not long after, Archie Comics, which was the last remaining publisher still working with the Code, pulled out as well and placed the final nail in the coffin of the Comic Book Code (Wool, 2011). As demonstrated by the Comic Book Codes eventual fall, censorship of the violence shown in the media is a losing battle of the highest ratings and largest audiences are achieved with media that is full of violence. Hollywood blockbusters are some of the biggest audience drawers.
They are also almost always action films, and even if they are of a different genre, will still almost always have scenes with gratuitous violence. The third Transformer’s film: Dark of the Moon, for example, had a box office gross of $302,878,797 in the United States alone. Despite scathing reviews by critics, the film was given high marks by the general public. But the publics fascination with violence does not stop with fiction. The attraction to violence seeps into real-life violence as well. News programs are one of the areas in television with the most amount of violence.
Brutal and horrific events like beatings, car chases, accidents, etc. That are captured on film are often broadcast without consideration of young viewers who might be tuning into that channel (Conrad, 2008). The viewing publics fascinations are not contained to the television screens. Many of the publics interests have bled into real life. Hours before sunrise, hundreds of people from 10 all walks of life line up in front of the Orange County Court House hoping for a chance to watch the blockbuster-like murder trial of Casey Anthony.
The story of the young mother who stands accused of suffocating her daughter, Cackle Marie, with duct tape before stuffing her body in her car trunk has evolved into a soap opera under the watchful eye of the viewing public as in Orlando alone, more people watched the trial on here local stations combined than one of the Miami Heat/Dallas Mavericks NAB playoff games during prime time last week (Burch, 2011). At one point during the trial, police had to break up an early-morning scuffle that had broken out between some of the nearly 200 people lined up for entry tickets.
One woman was even taken to the hospital by ambulance when she had tripped and the crowd of seat-seekers raced past and trampled over her body in their haste. 11 Discussion Unfortunately, the various studies conducted regarding the physiological responses of man in the face of violent media are not conclusive. Though there is a link present between the violent media exposure and brain function differences, researchers say more study is needed before they know if the violent media exposure caused these differences (Mathis, 2005).
Over the years, laboratory experiments such as these have consistently shown that exposure to violence is associated with increased heartbeat, blood pressure and respiration rate, and a greater willingness to administer electric shocks to inflict pain or punishment on others. However, this line of enquiry has been criticized because of its focus on short term results and the artificial nature of the viewing environment (Research On, n. D. ).
Dung a 2001 violence as a major causal factor in youth violence because it was reportedly nearly impossible for researchers to determine whether a given individual was violent because of media violence or because of VIOLENCE IS COOLвЂ”OR SO THE MEDIA TELLS US 12 other factors, such as substance abuse, childhood trauma, or having violent and/or antisocial parent’s. For example, a Norwegian study that included 20 at-risk teenage boys found that the lack of parental rules regulating what the boys watched was a more significant predictor of aggressive behavior than the mount of media violence they watched.
It also indicated that exposure to real world violence, together with exposure to media violence, created an “overload” of violent events. Boys who experienced this overload were more likely to use violent media images to create and consolidate their identities as members of an anti-social and normalized group (Freedman, n. D. ). Recommendations 13 Conclusion and The prevalence and globalization of violence in the media has warped many viewers’ perceptions regarding real-life violence by making them desensitizing to it. Complete censorship of violence is not a true solution to the problem.
The act of banning violence only increases its appeal to viewers as a “forbidden fruit”. It is only through changing the way violence is presented that a true solution may be found. The media is only a tool, and it can be used for both bad and good. Through the way violence is portrayed, the media’s influence on public opinion can be turned from a bad one to a good one. By having the media show the more negative sides of violence, viewers would be able to better understand the consequences of violence in real life. Information is the key to understanding, and having knowledge of both sides f an argument would make a decision more viable.