Books and Movies Reviews

TV Violence

As soon as viewers turn on the television news, they are bound to hear about incidents taking place that include some form of violence. "So long as death sells, we can expect to see more of the same," states Sheryl Grana, associate professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota (Torr, 2006, p. 26). For example, the event could be a plane crash, a suicide bombing, a murder in a local community or an assassination. Very few if any positive items are reported. In addition, a large number of the weekly programs and movies involve some form of violent content. Many of these shows are scheduled during "family hours," or when most children are still awake and watching TV. Controversy exists regarding the impact of such violence, especially on youth. Based on research conducted on the effects of media violence, it is still inconclusive whether seeing such programming on a regular basis causes greater youth aggression. Regardless if this cause-and-effect question still remains open to discussion, it does not mean that status quo should be accepted. Both the networks and parents have responsibilities to minimize the amount of television violence and encourage nonviolent behavior and caring.
Felson (1996) notes that "Watching violence is a popular form of entertainment." It is not unusual, for example, to see cars slowing down on the highway to look at an accident or a group of people watching a street fight as if it were the latest TV reality show.World Wrestling Entertainment is one of the most popular spectator sports in the U.S. as well as other countries worldwide. In other nations, people participate in fights between such animals as dogs or roosters or enjoy watching bullfighters. A great deal of literature, even fairy tales, is violent. It is no wonder that TV producers offer programming with extensive violence-it will increase their ratings.
A U.S. National Television Violence Study analyzed the…

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