Theories Of Media Violence

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Media violence, more precisely what can be considered excessive media violence is socially constructed. The extent of the effects of media violence can be interpreted differently depending on the person and the time period. Narrow definitions of media violence can include school shootings, recorded decapitations to violence shown in children’s movies. The concerns towards possible effects of media violence have changed throughout time. Currently, it is important to understand that media can be considered a risk factor more than a cause of violence. The following will analyze different theories of reception studies in the context of media violence. Both psychology and sociology have studied reception studies and the media, however the way …show more content…
Moral entrepreneurs were concerned with the effects of watching cartoons and other forms of media on young children. They believed that the media provided an arena to misbehave and in turn creating a moral panic (Butsch, 2014). They assumed that individuals were independent and did not socialized with others when they interacted with certain forms of media. The dangers of propaganda and other media messages causing people to act and think in certain ways came to light in this era (Butsch, 2014). The Hypodermic Needle Theory neglects to mention the impact of human agency on the views and effects of the media. The individuals are perceived to be passive because they do not question or oppose the messages and opinions that are presented through the media. If theorists were to study media violence, they would presume that the violent content would be directly translated into the individual’s actions. An example would be the current debate about violent videogames and aggressive behaviour (Ferguson, 2008). The media, politicians and lawmakers have often correlated violent videogames to current violent actions. As opposed, to identifying current aggressive behaviors in the context in which they take place. These claims are fitting with the Hypodermic Needle Theory since they neglect human agency and correlate the direct relationship between …show more content…
Other institutions such as the family, education and religion have a greater influence on an individual’s daily life. Unlike the Hypodermic Needle theory, individuals are influenced by a number of different aspects of life. The only instance were an individual can be influenced by the media is if they introduce new ideas (Trepanier-Jobin, 2016). If researchers were to study media violence using this theory, they would utilize that although individuals are exposed to violent images in all aspects of the media that it does not have a direct influence on their behaviours and values nor does it desensitize them. However, violent media can reinforce preexisting beliefs, which may reduce anxieties by punishing those who do not respect the social contract in society (Staiger, 2005). In other words, the exposure to media violence can influence the individual by reaffirming their beliefs but least powerful when it seeks to change

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