Mass communication has always been a cause for debate. Over the years considerable resources have been used to establish the effects of this communication. Since the rising popularity of television from the 1950s onwards, the concern for the effects of entertainment media on the population has grown in unison. This has often been focused on the effect on teenagers and the young, centralised around violence and more recently on sexualisation and body image. This essay will review the research of Cecilia von Feilitzen’s 1994 chapter Media violence; four research perspectives. Feilitzen aimed to show how the problems with effects research have been redefined over the years and determine the reason that so much importance is given to effects research; “media violence itself, culture, the audience, or the power relations in society.” Feilitzen claimed that since the 1980s it has become unreasonable to talk about there being only one perspective within media violence research and this has been discussed by many scholars and found to be true in most cases, as will be shown throughout this essay.
Firstly, Feilitzen looks at the traditional models of media effects and media violence studies. As Feilitzen states, most traditional media violence research centres around theories that view aggression the result of cultural influence and that studies rarely includes theories of human aggression as “biologically innate or as a psychic internal instinct” (Feilitzen, 1994). However Feilitzen goes on to say that as the studies evolve they develop broader research parameters and often also observe the role of school, family and peers. Some long-term studies reflect the influences of a wider range of factors (e.g., Huesmann and Eron, 1986; Sonesson, 1989) and suggest only 5-10 percent of children’s aggression over time is directly influenced by the viewing of entertainment violence while 90-95