Cultivation Analysis: On Overview
The complete scope of the effects that new media mediums, in particular television, have had on culture and individuals in society are hard to identify. However, it would be hard to argue that television has had no impact on society and how individuals form their values, beliefs, cultural identity and social norms. Cultivation Analysis is a leading theory that explains how television has shaped individual’s and society’s perspective on reality, truths and the world in general. The theory was developed over a number of years by George Gerbner and his colleague Larry Goss at the University of Pennsylvania while they were researching the cultivated impacts that television has on viewers. Gerbner and Goss found that the more time individuals “live” in a televised world the more they perceive the world television portrays as reality. Gerbner states in his more recent research that television is to the modern world what religion was to earlier generations (Gerbner & Goss, 1976). The theory of Cultivation Analysis traces back to the Cultural Indicators Project in 1967 and 1968. The study was for the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence. The study was sponsored by the U.S. Surgeon General’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Television and Social Behavior, the National Institute of Mental Health, The White House Office of Telecommunications Policy, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Administration on Aging, and the National Science Foundation. Gerbner was the lead theorist of the study. Gerbner and his team investigated the extent to which television contributed to viewers’ ideas and perspectives on gender, minority and age-role stereotypes, health, science, the family, education, politics, religion and several other topics. The Cultural Indicators Project involved a three-pronged research strategy. The first prong, called institutional process analysis, was designed to investigate how policies...
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