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>Laura Ciampa wrote:
>08/11/97 09:43 AM
>Although I don't necessarily believe that television/film violence makes
>people more violent or inspires specific violent acts, I give a lot of
>credence to the theory that the high volume of violence in our
>entertainment media desensitizes us to real violence.  I also believe it
>promotes the ideology of violence as a means of "solving" problems.  We
>learn from television about events and situations which we do not
>necessarily experience firsthand.  In that way, it promotes certain
>ideologies and affects our perception of the world.
 
The desensitizationn hypothesis seems to be the media violence "effect"
people are most prone to believe in. This is a bit strange, since this
hypothesis has *no empirical support whatsoever*. That is, studies have
shown that fictitious violence desensitize us when it comes to fictitious
violence - if I watch a lot of gory horror films, I tend to find them less
revolting than those who do not watch such films. When it comes to
desensitization effects on real violence, there isn't a single study that
has proved such effects.
 
>Regarding the comments on "NYPD Blue," I also believe there is a big
>difference between "cartoonish" violence and realistic violence, in which
>the consequences are shown to the viewer.  I find it extremely disturbing
>to be in a movie theater and have people laugh when someone is killed
>(especially when there are children present and doing the laughing).
>
>Does anyone have an opinion on the studies which show that people who watch
>a lot of violent television believe that the crime rate is higher (and the
>world, in general, is a more dangerous place) than those who don't?
>
Aah, George Gerbner's cultivation theory. Check out the writings of Barrie
Gunter & Mallory Wober. It seems like the 'effect' mentioned above
disappears when you
 
a) use better psychological background variables than Gerbner did, and
b) check out where the respondents live. People living in 'bad'
neighborhoods tend to watch violent (=low-brow) television than people
living in better 'hoods. People living in such areas are also at greater
risk of getting victimized. Therefore, their fear of crime is more likely a
result of reality than of television.
 
Cheers,
 
 
Ulf
 
Ulf Dalquist                  Phone:  +46 46 2229572
Dept. of Sociology              Fax:    +46 46 2224794
Box 114 221 00 Lund SWEDEN      E-mail: [log in to unmask]
             http://www.soc.lu.se/~socuda/
"Only sick music makes money today." - Friedrich Nietzsche, 1888
 
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