Cultivation Analysis: Research and Practice
Nancy Signorielli University of Delaware
Michael Morgan University of Massachusetts
People around the world have been fascinated by television but concerned about its effects almost since the first show was broadcast. In this country, the popular press and the government keep asking "What is television doing to us? "Is television somehow responsible for all the violence in our society?" Parents and teachers wonder whether television makes children more aggressive, or whether television helps or hinders learning. Critics of all political stripes complain about television's images of men and women, of the family, of politics, war, minorities, and a host of other issues. Students in both high school and college want to study the effects of the mass media but often look for simple, straightforward answers to their questions. Yet, as is true in so many areas of life and social research, the questions are complex and the answers are neither simple nor straightforward.
The Cultural Indicators project, founded by George Gerbner, provides a broad- based, empirical approach to answering some of these questions and to understanding the social consequences of growing up and living with television. The Cultural