Semiotic Analysis of Tattoos Essay

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Cultivation Theory
Daniel Chandler
Cultivation theory (sometimes referred to as the cultivation hypothesis or cultivation analysis) was an approach developed by Professor George Gerbner, dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. He began the 'Cultural Indicators' research project in the mid-1960s, to study whether and how watching television may influence viewers' ideas of what the everyday world is like. Cultivation research is in the 'effects' tradition. Cultivation theorists argue that television has long-term effects which are small, gradual, indirect but cumulative and significant.
They emphasize the effects of television viewing on the attitudes rather than the behaviour of viewers. Heavy
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Content analysis by cultivation theorists seeks to characterize ‘the TV world’. Such analysis shows not only that the TV world is far more violent than the everyday world, but also, for instance, that television is dominated by males and over-represents the professions and those involved in law enforcement.
Audience research by cultivation theorists involves asking large-scale public opinion poll organizations to include in their national surveys questions regarding such issues as the amount of violence in everyday life. Answers are interpreted as reflecting either the world of television or that of everyday life. Respondents are asked such questions as: ‘What percentage of all males who have jobs work in law enforcement or crime detection? Is it 1 percent or 10 percent?’. On American TV, about 12 percent of all male characters hold such jobs, and about 1 percent of males are employed in the USA in these jobs, so 10 percent would be the ‘TV answer’ and 1 percent would be the ‘real-world answer’ (Dominick 1990, p. 512).
Answers are then related to the amount of television watched, other media habits and demographic data such as sex, age, income and education. The cultivation hypothesis involves predicting or expecting heavy television viewers to give more TV answers than light viewers. The responses of a large number of heavy viewers are compared with those of light viewers. A tendency of heavy viewers to choose TV answers is interpreted

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