The effect of media content on audiences and society | a2-level-level-revision, sociology, mass-media-0, effect-media-content-audiences-and-society | …
The effect of media content on audiences and society
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the evidence relating to the relationship between screen violence and violence in real life active audience approaches the process of moral panics
Mass media effects: the relationship between screen violence and real-life violence
Influential psychologists, pressure groups, religious leaders and politicians have suggested that there is a direct causal link between violence in films, television programmes and computer games and violent real-life crime. It is argued that such media content exerts an overwhelmingly negative effect on impressionable young audiences. These beliefs have led to increased state control over and censorship of the media in Britain.
KEY POINT - Sociologists have argued that media content can have a direct effect upon their audiences and trigger particular social responses in terms of behaviour and attitudes.
Gerbner (2002) sees a cause-effect relationship between screen violence and real-life violence.
Some feminist sociologists, e.g. Dworkin (1988) and Morgan (1980) have suggested that there is a strong relationship between the consumption of pornography and sexual crime.
Orbach (1991) and Wolf (1990) argue that there is a causal link between representation of (US) size zero models in magazines and eating disorders.
Norris (1996), claims that media coverage of political issues can influence voting behaviour.
Some early Marxist commentators, particularly those belonging to the Frankfurt School, such asMarcuse (1964), believed that the media transmitted a mass culture which was directly injected into the hearts and minds of the population making them more