Violence on Television: An Analysis of Amount, Nature, Location, and Origin of Violence in British Programmes

Violence on Television: An Analysis of Amount, Nature, Location, and Origin of Violence in British Programmes

Violence on Television: An Analysis of Amount, Nature, Location, and Origin of Violence in British Programmes

Violence on Television: An Analysis of Amount, Nature, Location, and Origin of Violence in British Programmes

Synopsis

Violence on Television presents a quantitative analysis of the amount of violence on British television, placing great emphasis on investigating the character of violent portrayals and the contexts in which they occur. The authors explain the research methodology and look at the problems of measuring and quantifying violence on television.

Excerpt

Concern about violence on television can be traced back to the earliest days of the medium. In fact, this concern has its roots in the unease that is expressed about any new entertainment medium which appeals to the masses. Such reactions were reported with the appearance of popular romantic and adventure novels in the nineteenth century and were present again in response to the growing popularity of motion pictures in the early part of the twentieth century.

In tracing the history of research into questions about violence in the media, a number of historical milestones can be identified over a period spanning more than sixty years. These were related to concerns about violence in the cinema, violence or horror on the radio, violence in comics and finally, violence on television. Much of the early research was conducted in the United States where particular theoretical approaches within the social sciences have dominated the major mass media research initiatives and traditions.

With the arrival of motion pictures in the United States in the 1920s as the first of the mass popular media, there began an almost ritual-like invoking of experimental, quantitative social science to investigate what powers such mass entertainment forms held over the public at large, which was to be repeated in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. This pattern of concern, with special interest groups representing parents, educators and the church at the forefront of highly public debates lobbying their governments and political representatives about media influences, emerged during this period in other countries, the United Kingdom included. At different times, public anxieties centred on the potentially harmful effects of a particular mass medium, with television being the focal point of the public’s attention since the 1950s. The most frequent source of concern was the portrayal of violence in programmes which, according to television’s critics, could undermine the moral values of young people, teach lessons which encouraged delinquent behaviour, and play a significant part in contributing towards rising levels of crime in society. Meanwhile, those involved with the media, together with more liberal minded members of the public, countered that television could enhance a young viewer’s life in so many ways, provide a source of education

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.