Does Television Influence Cultivation In Our Society?
An Assessment of Cultivation Analysis and Crime
Jennipher Orebo, Fidencio Cisnero, & Francis Whalen
The University of Houston-Downtown
This is a group paper prepared for Communication 3302, taught by Professor Wawee.
In many studies, Cultivation Analysis has developed a theory that explains the influence of television on its viewers. Television, a system that has become a norm for use in many households, has played a very significant role in how we look at the world around us today. More of our nation has become totally dependent on what we see on television and it has seemingly cultivated a society reliant on the influences, beliefs, attitudes and practices of media programs. Most people are no longer looking at their own experiences or the experiences of others within their circle, but they are now relying on what is viewed on television to cultivate their perceptions about the world we live in. Researchers are proving that by viewing media sources a real sense of reality is being omitted from actualization. This type of observation is being seen more in violence. If heavy media consumption is embraced then the world is viewed as a violent place.
George Gerbner and His Research
George Gerbner was a professor and dean at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. He was famous communication theorist who began his Cultural Indicator’s research in the 1960’s which led to Cultivation Theory; he continued to study, refine and extend his research for the next twenty years.(McDonnel, 2006) He was a strong believer that television is a high favored cause of violence in America. He was one of the researchers who developed the “Mean World Syndrome and also the Mean World Index, a tool for measuring perceptions of the prevalence of violence and danger in the world.(Bryant & Thompson, 2002). He has received much criticism for his beliefs, but not many have been able to conduct a study and prove his theories wrong. Gerbner believed that people no longer learned their culture from school, families or communities and thus developed the Cultural Indicator’s Project research. The Cultural Indicators Project research began in 1967-68 with a study for the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence when concerns of the amount of violence on television surfaced.(Signorielli, Gerbner, Morgan, 1995) They researched and analyzed the amount of violence that is conducted on television shows; mainly prime-time dramatic television shows; Gerbner produced the annual Violence Index, which is a yearly content analysis that shows how much violence is actually on television. Studies have examined the connection between television viewing and audience perceptions and actions to age-role stereotypes, gender-role stereotypes, and many other realms.(Bryant & Thompson, 2002) The Cultural Indicators Project examines both message system analysis and cultural analysis. Research shows that the CIP has provided a consistent in monitoring the amount of violence in television programming. It is clear that George Gerbner’s feelings towards the media and its influence weren’t exactly happy feelings. He received critical comments about the theory, but in return developed new indexes and provided new information to back the theory up. Along with analyzing violence on television he also surveyed the types of characters represented on television. Gerbner believed it is important to highlight how the media industries reflect the needs and perspectives of dominant groups.(West & Turner, 2010) Even with many critics, Gerbner believed that television was the shaping force of our society. Cultivation Analysis and Assessment
Cultivation Analysis provides great details and an excellent theory when examining violence on television programs. The theory also faces much criticism...
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