Media & Its Impact on American Society

Topics: Motion Picture Association of America, Motion Picture Association of America film rating system, Film Pages: 3 (1014 words) Published: September 30, 2012
Visual Entertainment Media and Its Impact on American Culture Tristen P. Harris
University of Phoenix

In recent years, visual entertainment media has sparked a debate as to whether the content has the potential to affect the behavior and attitudes of America’s society. While many will argue that each person is responsible for his or her own actions, there are others who believe visual media outlets like television and films are the reasons for the changes. This paper will explore how visual entertainment media has changed the values and shaped American culture. It will also compare the positive and negative social influences of film and television over the past few decades and demonstrate the changes that came about because of them.

Visual Entertainment Media and Its Impact on American Culture
It’s almost hard to believe that there was a time when profanity and sexually explicit content were not the norm in television and film. Some would find it difficult to imagine that these behaviors were actually frowned upon by early American society. The very thought of including this kind of content would be considered too risqué and immediately censored. Nowadays it has pretty much become an expected, normal occurrence for film and television to contain adult content to some degree. This says a lot about the change in the way society views these acts and the level of tolerance that has developed because of it.

Thomas Patrick Doherty, author of Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema 1930-1934, concludes that the economic disaster brought on by the Stock Market crash of 1929, changed the beliefs and values of Americans in different ways. American exceptionalism and traditional concepts of personal achievement, self-reliance, and the overcoming of odds lost great currency (Doherty, p.16).” Due to the constant empty economic reassurances from politicians in the early years of the depression, the American...
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