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Impact Of Media Violence On Society: An Argumentative Speech

2219 words - 9 pages

Television. This box...it's just a piece of plastic...inside there are hundreds of electronic do-dads and thingy-ma-bobs that are all intricately placed, ever so intricately placed, to form this....a box, a large plastic box. But TV is a friend to us all, is it not? It babysat us when we were younger, it brings comfort to our fragile souls when we are down, keeps us up to date with all the latest "goss", it makes us laugh, sits by our sides on those sleepless nights, helps drain the mucus from our nasal passages during the cold winter days when we should be at school but are too "sick" to put on our uniforms. It brings family's together in the evenings, can't you just see that family of ...view middle of the document...

And so comes a time when we must take a step back from this murky lack of consensus and ask - why? Why are there no clear answers on the effect that violence in entertainment has on society?The only valid response to this question is that if, after over 40 years of a considerable amount of research and effort and time and money, direct effects of screen violence on behaviour have not been clearly identified, then we should conclude that they are simply not there to be found. Therefore, the idea that the violence portrayed on TV and in movies is leading to the breakdown of society is unfounded simply because it is based on irrelevant and inconclusive evidence.I would like to illustrate this point further by conducting a little experiment. For this I'm going to need two volunteers.Give each volunteer a gun and have them stand facing each other on either side of the TV. Ask audience to note their reactions as the video clip is played.Well, you just sat through a rather violent scene from Romeo and Juliet and it appears that neither of you even so much as raised the gun in a slightly menacing manner, let alone pointed it with the intent of killing the other. On top of that, you didn't even try to wound the English teacher...Very good, you both get special stars...later.There is one or two more scientific theories that contradict a lot of the so-called findings of those apparent studies. One of these is the "catharsis hypothesis" which was written by S. Feshbach. In an experiment, a sample of boys aged from 8 to 18 was observed over six weeks. They were drawn from three private schools and two boys' homes. During the period of the experiment the boys were assigned to random to groups, some of whom saw only 'aggressive' programs, others only 'non-aggressive' programs.The research showed that those who watched violent TV seemed to come out of the experiment with reduced aggression. This suggests that exposure to television violence will reduce subsequent aggression. What this is saying is that if someone sees a fantasy on TV, that fantasy is fulfilled, which makes them not feel they have to do that in real life.Aristotle was a big supporter of "catharsis." He believed that the audience became psychologically involved with the story on stage, even though they knew it was 100% fiction. He felt when aggression climaxed with the actors, there was a "catharsis" in the audience, which was pleasurable to experience and left the audience feeling cleansed, uplifted, and less likely to act violently among themselves. Sigmund Freud felt similarly by saying, "Unless people were allowed to express themselves aggressively, the aggressive energy would be dammed up, pressure would build, and the aggressive energy would seek an outlet, either exploding into acts of extreme violence or manifesting itself as symptoms of mental illness."Further research by Hennigan, Del Rosario, Heath, Cook, Wharton & Calder looked into the effects of the introduction of TV into...

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