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July 1996, Week 5


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Ulf Dalquist <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 30 Jul 1996 09:42:19 +0200
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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 Rick Schott <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>I'm not going to pretend that I've read lots of research on this subject, =
>1)  It sounds like this experiment might only prove that watching violent
>television leads one to engage in violent _play_.  This does not mean that
>those same children would engage in real violent behaviour towards each
>other.  In other word, watching images of violence might just expand their
>ability to make-believe violence, not to really enact it. For adults, an
>analogous example: a person might watch a porno in which depicts somewhat
>violent sex.  That adult might engage in violent sexual fantasies, or even
>make-believe violent SM, but not _actually_ have truly violent, harmful
>(This is just speculation based on how you presented the finding of the
>experiment -- perhaps the children _did_ become more violent towards each
>2)  I have heard that Japan's television has more depictions of violence
>than US televison, and yet the violent crime rate is much lower in Japan.
>Is this an academic version of an "urban myth" or does someone have an
>actual citation for this claim?  If so, how does this impact our current
1. You've just summarized one of the main criticisms against media effects=
research. And, from the research available - which is A LOT - no one has be=
able to answer that question convincingly. Even if some researchers claims =
is an undisputable causal link between media violence and real-life violenc=
e, I=20
find these claims more the result of belief than of hard-core empiric resul=
You want to believe films cause violence? Go ahead, there's loads of studie=
supporting your view.=20
You don't think so? Go ahead, there's loads of studies supporting your view.
2. True. I can't find references right now, but Japanese TV (and comics and=
films) are probably more obsessed with violence than anywhere else around t=
world. And their rime levels are very low. What we mustn't forget is that=20
Japanese culture is a lot more hierarchic and puts more emphasis on self-co=
than western societies. What can we learn from this? That cultural factors=
influence the levels of violence in a society a lot more than media images.=
then again, there could be even lover levels of violence in Japan if the me=
weren't so violent... we'll never know.
Ulf Dalquist                Phone:  +46 46 2224266
Dept. of Sociology          Fax:    +46 46 2224794
Box 114 221 00 Lund SWEDEN  E-mail: [log in to unmask]        =20
"You hear about 'constitutional rights', 'free speech', and the 'free press=
'. Every time I hear these words I say to myself, 'That man is a Red!!...' =
You never hear a real American talk like that!"
                                                                                                                                                                               Mayor Frank Hague, Jersey City
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