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Media Violence: Not The Real Culprit For The Problems Of Society

2162 words - 9 pages

Sue WaggonerProfessor KeeneEnglish 13024 December 2003Media Violence: Not the Real Culprit for the Problems of SocietyAlthough the media can influence society in many ways, the media cannot be blamed for the actions of the public or eliminate the public's responsibility for the problems of society. Violence is a major problem in the United States. In any year, there are more murders in one of the major cities in the United States than in all of the British Isles combined. Media violence is a major issue with our lawmakers, especially those who are running for reelection. Violent behavior has always been an issue amongst politicians. Although the cause of violent behavior is a very complex issue, some people have wanted to find a quick fix to the problem. In the 1940s and 50s, comic books were named the number one reason for the rise in juvenile delinquency. Few thought about World War II or the fact that more children were being raised without a father (DotterWeich). In the 1970s, Congress instituted a rating system for movies so that parents could judge the amount of violence in movies before they allowed their children to watch them. Then in the 1990s the invention of the V-chip allowed to block television programs with sexually explicit or violent material (Kirszner and Mandell 564). The American Public has always tried to put the blame for violence on different kinds of media.Many groups use television violence as an excuse to attack the medium. Because almost everyone in America has access to television, the use of it cannot really be regulated, and those who would like to control its use see TV as out-of-control and threatening. Women blame the prevalence of television violence on men, and religious groups claim that liberals foist TV violence on them. Older Americans feel that TV violence is common to younger viewers because it is popular. Television brutality is attacked because it is a medium for larger social issues, not because it is the actual cause of real-life violence (Torr 30).The sinister reputation of television violence lives on even though it has never been proven as the cause of hostile behavior. This is because this issue serves as a mask for other issues. There are several reasons why television violence serves as such an easy target. Television is in almost every household in America, which makes it a large target, and to some, there might be a correlation between real-life violence and the violence depicted on television since they both deal with hostility (Torr 30-31). No one doubts that media has some effect on behavior. Why else would businesses spend billions of dollars each year on advertising to try to get viewers to do things like buy automobiles, drink soft drinks, and eat pizza. But the outcomes of this effort differ tremendously depending on the life experiences, personality traits, and intelligence of the viewers ("Media"). Looking at the number of manufactures who change advertising companies each year reveals...

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