Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Criminology

Media, Violence and the Culture of Victimization: A Sociological Analysis of the Socio-Cultural and Psychological Impacts of Media on Youth

Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Criminology

Media, Violence and the Culture of Victimization: A Sociological Analysis of the Socio-Cultural and Psychological Impacts of Media on Youth

Article excerpt

Background of the Study

Worldwide, violence is used as a tool for exploitation and victimization of people and is an area of concern for law makers, social scientists and culture experts who attempt to suppress and stop its consequences. Literary debate over the issue of violence and victimization cover a broad spectrum varying from physical altercation among persons, indulging in war and genocide, where millions may die as a result (WHO, 2010). Violence and victimization has many consequences i.e. it may include psychological harms, deprivation and mal-development, which reflects a growing recognition of the need to include violence that does not necessarily result in injury or death, but that, nonetheless, poses a substantial burden on individuals, families, communities and health care systems worldwide (Steve, 2005). Many forms of violence against women, children and the elderly, for instance, can result in physical, psychological and social problems that do not necessarily lead to injury, disability or death. These consequences can be immediate as well as latent and can last for years after the initial abuse. Defining outcomes solely in terms of injury or death thus limits the understanding of the full impacts of violence on individuals, communities and society at large (Krause et al, 2008). Violence and victimization is thus an extreme form of aggression such as assault, rape or murder and has many causes, including frustration, exposure to violent media, violence at home or neighborhood and a tendency to see other people's actions as hostile even when they are not (Cantor & Nathanson 1997).

Similarly, violence in media and its victimization is universal and is prevalent in all its forms throughout the globe and is primarily presented in a rewarding context (Groebel, 1999) thus has always been part of human life and spend time through watching TV, movies and videos (Ferraro & Kenneth, 1995;Comstock & Scharrer, 1990). Today, more than 600 million people use internet and have access to media (both print and electronic) where the number of surfers is exceeding alarmingly. Statistics show that about 97% of homes with children have CD players, and 89% have either a personal computer or other video-game equipment (Federal Trade Commission, 2000) which create a variety of physical and mental health problems in shape of aggression, violence, fear and depression (Wilson & Jordan, 2009; Huesmannet al, 1997). Studies indicate that children between the age of08 to 18 years spend an average of 6 hours and 21 minutes each day using entertainment media (television, commercial or self-recorded video, movies, video games, print, radio, recorded music, computers, and the Internet)(Roberts et. al, 2005) while between the age of 03 and 06 years spend an average of almost 2 hours each day using screen media (television, movies and computers). Televisions are also commonly available in bedrooms, with 19% of infants, 29% of 2- to 3-year-olds, 43% of 4- to 6-year-olds, and 68% of children o8 years and older having a television in their bedrooms (Rideout & Hamel, 2006). Resultantly, multifarious risks increase with the presence of television in children's bedroom that include the risk of obesity by 31 % and that of smoking tends to double (Dennison et. al 2002) whereby parents fail implement rules and monitor the children's use of media (Borzekowski & Robinson 2005; Edison & Porter 1903).

Violence dominates the big screen as well as the small screen where the percentage of PG (Parental Guidance) films produced has steadily dropped over the years (Auletta, 1993). Prevalence of fear in media is proving a new risk to communication and management systems proliferate (Erickson & Haggerty, 1997). Further, children who received the preventive intervention were also more inclined to view television violence as harmful and not reflecting true life (Anderson, Lepper, & Ross, 1980; Anderson & Sechler, 1986; Slusher & Anderson, 1996). …

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