I don't think that we can generalize about the effects
of movies/tvs on children. Each child is born with a unique
personality that is then shaped by the thousands of
experiences and interactions they have. One child is allowed
to watch an occasional movie, and the rest of his time is
spend with books, different types of children and grown-ups etc.
The effect of tv/any particular film on him or her is probably
minimal. Another child, left in front of the tv most of the
day and then denied other types of enriching activities is
probably going to have his view of the world much more
influenced by what he sees on tv.
On a similar track, I have some in-laws in a rural
area who have expressed some racist semtiments recently. Now
this wasn't the result of having had any sort of bad
experience with a person of a different race - they haven't
had ANY experiences talking to people of different races,
working with them etc. So I do suspect that their incorrect
assessment on the nature of "your typical black person" is
being influenced by what they are seeing on cable tv, although
the news media is probably a bigger cause then any movie.
Does anybody out there feel there is a contradiction
to the following argument that I have heard before? When
Hollywood persents a positive role model, inspiration/
educational topic etc. it is often quick to self-congratulate,
which implies a belief that movies have an impact on how
people think and feel. Yet when it comes to violence or
a negative depiction then all of a sudden movies have no
impact. What do you think?
P.S. Since other in-laws who are probably seeing the
same tv wouldn't dream of saying anything racist, I do
realize that there is more going on then just the
influence of the tv.
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