Violence in the media and Its Effect on Society

Violence in the media and Its Effect on Society
It was a scene straight out of Oscar-winningAmerican Beauty? This quote sums up my view on the media. It?s a quote out of a magazine article about Kristin Rossum and the murder of her husband. The media is a source of communication. It includes television, cinema, video, radio, newspapers e.t.c. It is inescapable. The media plays a large role in society; it defines your life and the way you think. I will be proving this by analysing case studies I have done on films and magazine articles. The aspects I will be discussing to represent the role that the media plays in promoting violence within society are how the media presents the violence, how the audience responds to the violence, other factors which contribute to violence in society, my case studies and what they proved and finally how the media protects society. The media presents the violence in many ways.
I will be explaining these ways by analysing two of my contrasting case studies as examples. There are many different narrative contexts that the media have to take into consideration. They are the fictional setting, the character involvement, the form of violence and the physical setting. The fictional setting is the type of programme or film. My case study examples are Beauty and the Beast, which is a cartoon, and Enemy at the Gates, which is a historical film. There are many other fictional settings, for example, British crime drama, western film/TV series, science fiction, comedy, romance, and thriller. The character involvement is who is committing the crime and who is receiving the violence for example the character involvement in one of the scenes in Beauty and the Beast is a beast and a male (Gaston). The character involvement in Enemy at the Gates is German soldiers and the Soviet Union. The form of violence is the type of violence being used. Some examples of types of violence are shooting, stabbing, an explosion, a fight and physical. In Beauty and the Beast the violence is mainly physical where as in Enemy at the Gates the violence is either bombing or shooting. The physical setting is where the violence takes place. Most violence takes place outside in the dark as this creates the illusion of being more violent for example in Beauty and the Beast, most of the violence takes place in the evening when it?s dark and raining although in Enemy at the Gates, the violence took place in the daytime. The atmosphere was filled with fire and smoke, and there were many corpses covering the land in sight. This made the scenes seem more violent. In this section I will be writing about how the audience respond to violence. All audiences respond to violence in different ways. There are lots of different types of audiences. They are the passive audience, which are the less-educated and the people who are more likely to believe the media that is portrayed. The active audience who are the type of people who know what they are doing and what they want, they are the more-educated people. The diverse audience which is what we are. It?s a varied audience made up of many different religions, nationalities and tastes. The audience also has different responses depending on the degree of harm. The degree of harm is how badly hurt the victim is. The audience?s response is obviously going to be greater if the degree of harm is a fatal injury. The response will decrease slightly if the degree of harm is either a non-fatal injury or if there?s no observable harm. There are 5 sociological theories based on the ways that people are affected by violence in the media. The Desensitisation theory is when people get affected by watching too much violence. The ?Hypodermic? model is when the media injects things into our minds and it becomes addictive. The Cultivation theory is when people slowly develop certain ideas. The Uses and Gratifications theory is when we will watch what we want to and not just what?s on TV. The Modelling or Copycat theory is when people start to copy what they see on screen or have read about. The frequency of media violence differs depending on the type of media. In cartoons, violence occurs quite often as it does in many historical films but in comedies and dramas there is not as much. In magazines and newspapers you will also find lots of violence. I will be discussing the other factors which contribute to violence in society, in this section. There are many social factors which contribute to violence in society. Some of them are a bad childhood, unemployment, family and relationship problems, peer pressure and mental illnesses. This therefore proves that the media are not souly to blame. I will now be talking about all the case studies I have done and what they proved. There are many other sources of media including the internet, music, computer games and books. I did not only do case studies on films but also on magazine and newspaper articles. The magazine articles I studied were an article entitled "Follow me and do exactly what the song says" which are lyrics from one of Eminem?s songs. These lyrics and others like them drove a young girl of 13, to suicide. The other article was entitled "The movie scene murder". This was about an American woman who had an affair whilst married. During the affair she murdered her husband and sprinkled rose petals around his dead body. In court she pleaded not guilty, and she probably would have got away with it if they had not have found out that her favourite movie was American Beauty. In this film there is a man lying down with rose petals all around him. That was the giveaway that the wife was the murderer. Both of these articles prove that the media can cause violence and even death. The newspaper articles were about "parents of gunned-downed teens go after Internet porn, video games and DiCaprio film" and "TV violence on the increase". The article on the upset parents is about a 14 year old child who shot pupils at his school. The parents of the victims claimed that a scene in The Basketball Diaries, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, where a boy fantasizes about shooting his teacher and classmates. The article ?TV violence on the increase? contains many facts to prove that violence shown on the TV has increased rapidly over the last few years. Both of these case studies also prove that the media can cause violence. Now I will discuss how the media protects society. There are a few things the media can do to protect society. There?s the watershed which is at 9pm. This is the time when it?s advisable that children don?t watch anything from then on. There are also film ratings that mean only certain people can watch certain films. The different ratings are U, PG, 12A, 12, 15 and 18. During the day different types of programmes are put on at different times. For example during 9am until 3.30pm programmes suitable for older people, who have nothing else to do, are put on and at 3.30pm children?s programmes are put on because this is around about the time that they come home from school. The target audience which is who a particular programme is aimed at for example the different age groups, different classes/jobs or the different sexes. The quote I used at the beginning of my essay proves exactly my point which is that the media is to blame foe promoting violence within society, but not souly to blame. My answer to the question "Does the level of violence in the media promote violence within society or merely reflect it?" is that the level of violence in the media does promote violence within society. I believe this because I felt strongly whilst reading the magazine and newspaper articles. I think if there was no violence or less violence in the media there will be less violence in society also.

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