Violent Films May Lead a Violent Life

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CORE100 Communication Skills Essay
(Due: 4 March 2011)

Tutor
Jan Evans

Violent films may lead a violent life
(1173 words)

by
Yuan

Tutorial group
Friday 10-12.

Abstract
The paper on the influence of exposure to violent movie on teenagers’ cognitive structure is debated. Three viewpoints of how violent movie influence young people’s values and ideas are discussed: 1 Violent movie content causes teenagers to produce wrong values.2 Film violence improves teenagers’ threshold for violent behaviours.3 Movie violence leads teenagers to confuse the distinction between objective reality and artistic expression. In addition, a counter-argument is illustrated for some scholars claim the relationship between teenagers’ aggressive behaviour and violent film has not been confirmed. It is concluded that children are keen on novel forms of violent movie and exposure to this kind of content has a strong influence on teenagers’ cognitive structure.

List of topic keywords: movie violence film teenager

Introduction
Film, as a kind of mass media, with its intuitive, clear and vivid features, improves the efficiency of people receiving the information. It has become a common way for people to understand and learn new things. However, there is a large amount of violent content in some of these films. In addition, the application of technology can make movie violence ultra-realistic and deeply influence the ideas and behaviour of the young. Violent films not only make teenagers lose their values but also feel confused between reality and unreality, then results in the increasing of teenagers’ sensory threshold. On the basis of these arguments, there is no denying that violent content in films negatively influences the cognitive structure of teens.

Loss of values
Violent movies often affect teens’ thoughts in some unaware way. Since they lack the ability of judging whether it right or wrong, they usually imitate what act in films. In some video games and films, illegal violence often wins favour. “Boys may be particularly vulnerable to violent media images because film characters use violence both to solve problems and to reinforce their masculinity.”( Eschholz, & Bufkin, 2001, p.656). There is a great deal of illegal and violent behaviour in this kind of films. And these forms of breaking out of social order and the pursuit of personal interest easily win teenagers’ sense of identity and worship. Obviously, it is very easy for teenagers to go astray, such as kidnapping, rape, burglary. Moreover, violent behaviour is not punished in some films. For example, in the film Sin City, the legitimacy of violence is not used for the pursuit of justice, but just as a weight to obtain the respect from other juveniles. Therefore, teenagers might regard violence as an effective approach to fulfil their personal values and to solve some conflicts. As a result, teenagers can not realize the destructive aspect of the violence.

Confusion between reality and artistic expression
Movie violence leads teenagers to confuse the distinction between objective reality and artistic expression. Violence in movies aims to express some social significance and attracts audience to think over the modern world. Its purpose is to teach people how to live better in their real life. The images in films and real life have the characteristic of one-to-one correspondence. Compared with language and pictures, this feature makes the image closer to objective things when human beings learn to understand the objective world. “Repeated exposure to violent and pornographic videos was an important factor in violent and sex crimes including, in some cases, actual imitation of the screen image.” (Browne & Hamilton-Gachritsis, 2005, p.706).The discrimination ability of teenagers is still relatively weak, and it is hard for them to distinguish real and imaginary images. Because they are so inexperienced that think about the...
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