RE: media violence

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Tue Apr 16 2002 - 23:40:03 BST

  • Next message: Grant Callaghan: "RE: Bush's War on Terrorism"

    Received: by id XAA18446 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Tue, 16 Apr 2002 23:46:07 +0100
    X-Originating-IP: []
    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: RE: media violence
    Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 18:40:03 -0400
    Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed
    Message-ID: <>
    X-OriginalArrivalTime: 16 Apr 2002 22:40:03.0611 (UTC) FILETIME=[A64F1EB0:01C1E597]
    Precedence: bulk

    >From: Vincent Campbell <>
    >To: "''" <>
    >Subject: RE: media violence
    >Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 09:00:46 +0100
    > Hi Steve,
    > <Now, how many on this list dispute that ideas and advertising have
    > > effect on people?>
    > >
    > You have to distinguish between kinds of effects- emotional,
    >psychological, attitudinal, behavioural. I would certainly dispute the
    >behavioural impact of advertising on people. It's more complicated than
    >monkey see, monkey do.
    > <How many parents in the West dread the the annual Xmas advertising
    >for kids
    > > toys etc. Never watched a film that doesn't make you laugh or cry? The
    > > saddest film I ever saw was Highlander.
    > >
    > > So we can laugh at the tv, be sad, be disgusted (A porno film on while
    > > your
    > > kids are able to watch?), be happy, be transported to a fantasy dream
    > > world?
    > > All of these can affect your emotional state except violence on tv?>
    > >
    > But the claim is that exposure to media violence makes you behave
    >violently. I don't dispute the emotional impact of the media- we can all
    >laugh, cry and indeed get angry at things we see in the media- the question
    >is about behavioural influence, and the evidence for that is a lot weaker
    >than many claim.
    > <May not be science but as far as I am concerned the boot is on the
    > > foot, unless of course we move to a system of drugs testing that assumes
    > > the
    > > drugs are safe until proven different. Any one want to volunteer on that
    > > basis?>
    > >
    > Well of course for many drugs we do exactly that- when people do bad
    >things under the influence of alcohol (aren't most murder committed with
    >alcohol involved?) we persistently blame the individual not the legal drug.
    >If it's crack or some other illegal drug, then the drug is blamed.
    >drugs have demonstrable detrimental physiological effects on people, apart
    >from eye-strain I'm not sure there's similar evidence of physiological
    >effects of watching TV.
    > <Advertising does influence people, including me. If advertising
    > > others the same way as me then so too should tv in general, and I
    > > that I have built up an immunity to it to some extent.>
    > >
    > It depends on what you mean by influence. I do think media
    >literacy, the ability to recognise efforts at persuasion whether from
    >advertisers, politicians or whoever, is key to undermining the simple
    >effects model.
    > <My thoughts on this are that tv and visual media do have some
    >influence or
    > > would people on the list explain why fans of star trek have constructed
    > > klingon language if the program had no influence. It is no good saying
    > > they
    > > are ill btw, as that is still influence.>
    > >
    > Good example to show the complexity of the problem, as it's possible
    >to view things like this as fans appropriating and using media content
    >actively, able to take what they want from media texts to serve their
    >purposes. This is not the same as the 'monkey see, monkey do' model of the
    >pro-violence effects model.
    > <I think the effects of the media are real, but the level of
    >influence could
    > > be too difficult to measure at the moment, particularly as the effects
    > > going to differ from person to person according to there life history.>
    > >
    > Exactly- a bigger behavioural determinant is not what TV show
    >someone watched that day, but who that individual is, what things have they
    >experienced in their life etc. etc. This not only affects our behaviour,
    >but also our interaction with media content, so it's quite a complex
    My dispute isn't necessarily with whether media can have adverse effects of
    people's behavior, but if so, *what* should be done about it. If media
    violence can lead to actual individual acts of violence does this mean that
    legislation needs to be adopted to rid ourselves of the dangers of media
    violence? I say no. I'm not against rating motion pictures and having
    certain TV shows (like "South Park") aired at times when chances are lowered
    that children will see these types of entertainment. I'm OK with reasonable
    standards. I draw the line somewhere and I'm afraid of the "thought police"
    running rampant and using published studies as a bully pulpit for
    unprecedented legislation impacting the media. I wasn't a big fan of the
    PMRC (Tipper Gore et al) campaign and I was a bit concerned about some of
    the rhetoric coming from the types who are coming after the media, whether
    they be religious conservatives or neo-liberals. I thought the whole 2Live
    Crew debacle a total circus at the time, which ended up acomplishing little
    more than free publicity for Luther Campbell.

    Movies could have deleterious impacts on individuals. Wasn't it the "Taxi
    Driver" that led *inadvertantly* to Reagan getting an assassination attempt
    made upon him? People can get carried away with movies. I like the
    "Terminator" flix, but hope nobody takes them too seriously and develops a
    Sarah or John Connor complex, thinking they've gotta save the world from
    computers before they become self-aware.

    Even sans violence or other bad impacts like that, I've known people who
    have gotten way too wrapped up on big movies like "Star Wars" back when I
    was a kid. Nothing worse than having lunch boxes, T-shirts, action figures
    and all the assorted items associated with the movie and watching it more
    than a dozen times before it finished its first run in the theaters. I've
    known folks that have gotten way into "Star Trek" too. I wonder if anyone
    has tried to pass off Klingon as knowing a second language ;-)

    I do take some offense to the obligatory hybridization of blockbuster films
    and fast food merchandising, but that's just my pet peeve.

    Send and receive Hotmail on your mobile device:

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Apr 16 2002 - 23:57:23 BST