Mental Illness and Movies

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Mental Illness and Movies

The topic I chose to do is Mental Illness and Movies and I chose this topic because generally, society as a whole, is uneducated when it comes to the topic of mental illness. So I chose the topic of Mental Illness in Movies because I knew I could elaborate on this topic and also debunk some of the most common misconceptions associated with Mental Illness. To start off, I will define terms associated with my topic: PsychoMedia - the combined effect of exploitation movies and biased news reports which stereotype mental health recipients leading to the implied conclusion that all people labeled mentally-ill are violent and deranged, widespread belief - the stereotype is argued to be true because it is widely held to be true, prejudicial language - negative value or moral judgement is attached to the stereotype, intentional exclusion - evidence that would or could disprove the stereotype is hidden or concealed, misleading generalization - the evidence is unrepresentative of the population cited as a whole, and emotional appeal - the audience is persuaded to agree through emotion, not through logic or facts. Next, I will discuss theories concerning my topic. Two mass communication theories, cultivation theory and social learning theory, are particularly helpful to understanding how the media act as a socializing agent and thus may influence the construction and perpetuation of mental illness stigma. Cultivation theory suggests that heavy exposure to consistent and recurrent messages on television will "reiterate, confirm, and nourish" values and shape perceptions of social reality to conform to those presented on television (Gerbner et al. 2002, p. 49). According to cultivation theory, Gerbner and his colleagues submit that "those who spend more time 'living' in the world of television are more likely to see the 'real world' in terms of the images, values, portrayals, and ideologies that emerge through the lens of television" (Gerbner et...
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