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March 1995, Week 5


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Jajasoon Tlitteu <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 30 Mar 1995 20:23:00 CST
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>>I can't but agree. I guess i put forward my opinion a bit harshly. I've been
>>doing research on the research on media violence effects for a couple of years
>>now, and what's irritating me the most with that research is the tendency of
>>viewing media as something completely separated from
>>other forms of everyday experience. Even worse is the supposition that one can
>>on scientific grounds statistically isolate every possible influence on a
>>persons life except the influence from the media. With this reduction of
>>possible influences you're supposed to be able to measure the direct effects
>>media violence on personal aggression. This is not only a positivist,
>>mechanistic view on the homo sapiens, it is also the paradigm of mass
>>communication studies on media effects, which I find quite scary.
>>Even more scary is the fact that there does exist quite a lot of well-put
>>criticism on this kind of studies. Criticism that researchers within the
>>paradigm with very few exceptions completely ignore...
>Get on the next plane for Hollywood, because I know some industry lobbies
>that will throw you a huge research grant and all the publicity you can
>handle. Namely the movie and video games industries, of course; tobacco
>and alcohol distributors; firearms manufacturers (probably); and a big,
>wet kiss from advertising agencies. Er, you're not working for them already,
>are you?
Why is it that so many people seem to equate the questioning of
"scientific" methods and conclusions with being a pawn of the "culture
industries"?  I'm assuming that the first writer is referring to criticism
done in Cultural Studies which suggests that viewers don't simply absorb
material from the media verbatum and spoonfed but rather negotiate and
interact with a text to create their own readings and "effects."  This type
of popular efficacy and agency seems to intimidate many people who are
convinced that the media "affect" people and that they (i.e. academics) are
the only folks who are capable of separate themselves from these effects to
study them objectively.  Why does popular power make the social science
types squirm?  Threaten that grant money much?
jajasoon tlitteu  ([log in to unmask])
"You've probably heard that Microsoft has recently taken over the Catholic
Church. The Vatican was pleased, saying, 'Well, we've been using icons for
over 2000 years, and Microsoft has only been using them for 3, so we figure
we'll be able to help them out a bit.'"