SCREEN-L Archives

March 1995, Week 5


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Ulf Dalquist <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 28 Mar 1995 16:12:19 CST
text/plain (61 lines)
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Leo Bankersen wrote:
>I hesitate to reply on this subject, because I doubt I can add
>more than the very obvious, but nevertheless...
>In general, I would agree with the view that fiction mirrors
>reality, though I am also aware that someone who wants to counter
>this statement would probably have no great difficulty finding
>examples that 'prove' the opposite. To (partly) avoid this kind
>of controversy and/or polarization, it could be useful to
>recognize that fiction (or film, or media) and reality (or
>society) are not isolated entities, with only a one way traffic
>between them.
>In the first place, fiction is a part of that reality, and
>second, influences can always go both ways simultaneously. The
>result is a dynamic equilibrium, the net result depending on very
>many circumstances.
>In the study of this very broad and complex issue, it seems
>useful though not to direct the attention to the whole, but to
>concentrate on specific aspects. Therefore, we can examine the
>influence of film (or film-violence) on the behavior of people
>*and* study the parallel process of society influencing certain
>topics of fiction. It's not a matter of choosing between them,
>but rather to see how these processes can contribute to the
>overall picture. Everything, of course IMHO.
>By the way, wouldn't it be interesting to cast a glance at the
>Japanese situation? As far as I understand (but my information
>is very secondhand), this is a case where a popular cinema with a
>high level of violence exists in a society with a relatively low
>crime rate.
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 of
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...
Japan IS interesting. I remember reading somewhere that back in '78 or '79, when
Star Wars was popular around the world, it only came in second on the Japanese
cinema top ten. Second to Faces of Death.
Ulf Dalquist                Phone:  +46 46 104266
Dept. of Sociology          Fax:    +46 46 104794
Box 114 221 00 Lund SWEDEN  E-mail: [log in to unmask]