Socialization: Media and violence

Recently, media has been to blame about violence, deaths, and murders in youth. Such as if a teenager commits suicide, the police search for answers, and sometimes will blame anything they can find; if they see a video game on the bed, they’ll state that the violent game caused him to take those actions. This isn’t always the case, when people draw accusations or assume so quickly that media is the scapegoat. Other things come into play, maybe his parents were abusive, or he was being bullied at school, and so on. However, for years, there has been on going research about if media is actually to blame.

There has indeed been findings of influence by media to cause some acts of violence. For example, there has been research specifically focusing on children and how they interact with their peers in violent manners. ” Before age 4, children are unable to distinguish between fact and fantasy and may view violence as an ordinary occurrence”, states Eugene V Beresin, M.D. This made me go back and think of “the looking glass self” theory, how children are slowly realizing themselves, and others. So it seems as if the violent shows that the children watch distort this “self concept” as they try to realize the difference between self and other. In You May Ask Yourself the example used for when children begin to move along in social development was when Joey plays a game, and recognizes the other as he makes one person the bad guy, and himself the good cop. Tying this example with media and violence, is a quote from the article,”They become role models for youth. It is ‘cool’ to carry an automatic weapon and use it to knock off the ‘bad guys.’ The typical scenario of using violence for a righteous cause may translate in daily life into a justification for using violence to retaliate against perceived victimizers. Hence, vulnerable youth who have been victimized may be tempted to use violent means to solve problems.” Overtime, children will accept violence as a common thing, as they see it so much in media, and will think of it as a normal way to solve problems 

I think that there is truth to media affecting how children socialize. I see it every time with my two brothers, anytime they watch a movie, show, or even a commercial, they will mimic a line, or action, and replay it exactly repeatedly. If it is a movie, they will memorize lines of it, and walk around the house reenacting parts of the movie. For this reason, and others, my dad tries to make them watch only educational shows, at the most, a silly show like Spongebob. So I do think that media takes its’ toll on children, but I don’t believe it is to blame for every thing violent, because many other factors do tie into violent behavior.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. sociologysong
    Sep 06, 2012 @ 12:28:44

    Excellent job, Miko! This was a terrific discussion and analysis. 5.4/5.4


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