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TELEVISION AND ITS EFFECT ON SOCIETY OVER THE PAST DECADES

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Introduction

TELEVISION AND ITS EFFECT ON SOCIETY OVER THE PAST DECADES Since its first appearance in the 1950's, television has revealed itself to be one of the world's most influential mediums. Its entrance into the media scene has tossed other mediums, such as the radio and print media, aside. With at least one television per household in Canada and with the average Canadian watching about 22.6 hours of TV per week, families are absorbing a great deal of television content; which includes the good and the bad. However, with the current selection of television programs, they are more likely to be seeing more of the bad than the good. In addition, kids more likely to spend more time in front of the TV because of their need to be entertained and occupied. This increased exposure of children, coupled with their level of intellect, leaves them far more vulnerable to the influences of television. A lot of the television programs that specifically target children are permeated with violence. Moreover, the violence is made to seem natural and acceptable; in other words, it's all in the name of fun and no one will get hurt. Take for example "The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show" with the Roadrunner and the Coyote. The Coyote is forever setting up traps for the Roadrunner which always backfire and send him off a cliff with a boulder close behind or falling victim to his own dynamite traps. Regardless of deadliness of the trick that backfires on the Coyote he still survives to plan yet another attack on the Roadrunner. The contraptions used by the Coyote are endless and so is the violence that results from them. Furthermore, these shows have a tendency to depict the world as being good versus evil. This depiction is not only dangerous because it is unrealistic, but also because it suggests that the only way to resolve differences with others is with the use of force. ...read more.

Middle

* effect of TV violence are still the topic TV shows producers and film-makers out of their greed and crave to make profits will continue to throw at us all sorts of violent acts. * We simply cannot go back to the good old days where it would be scandalous to show a ... the world has gone from bad to worse and will continue to advance in the same direction. * Unlike a mere window that cannot changes the views it present, television is a powerful mean of intense pressure that convinces that convinces the immature mind that violence is an acceptable way of life. * Some may still be in doubt that television violence has harmful effects. However, it cannot be an issue with regard to its presence in children programs. * First and foremost, children see things they should not be seeing. * Rather than having Hollywood judge the content of what is appropriate for children to view, parents should be more aware of the situation and put restrictions on what their youngsters are watching. * The V-chip alone cannot solve the problems. I personally think that it is more insulting than anything. It is like saying to people, hey, we have gone to far to do anything about it. Business is good, we are making tones of profits. We are going to continue in the same line. Just like the tobacco companies are looking for a quick fix by promoting healthy smoking, the TV industry is looking for a quick fix by introducing the V-chip. * What factors determine the moral dev. Of a child who moves into adulthood valuing all human beings as equal, respecting the complexities of humans, loving justice, valuing non-violent conflicts. Well over 3000 scientific studies during decades of research have backed up the conclusion that violent TV has negative effects on children and teenagers. Such reputable organizations as the American academy of Paediatrics', the National Institute of Mental Health all agree that television violence causes aggressive and antisocial Behaviour in children. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is ironic that adult programming is showing promising signs with respect to violence while children's shows continue to have serious problems. The study classifies violence into three categories: Slapstick, Tame Combat Violence and Sinister Combat Violence Slapstick This is the classic approach to cartoons as exemplified by Bugs Bunny and The Roadrunner. The violence is not designed to be taken seriously by viewers. Some examples: 1. Addams Family (ABC) 2. Animaniacs (Fox) 3. Beethoven (CBS) 4. The Bugs and Tweety Show (ABC) Tame Combat Violence The violence here usually stems from a battle between good and evil. While the tame combat violence is sometimes central to the resolution of the story, it is never the focus. Some examples: 1. Alladin (CBS) 2. Dog City (Fox) 3. Free Willy (ABC) 4. Reboot (ABC) Sinister Combat Violence Shows typified by sinister combat violence raise the most concerns because fighting is the main attraction or focus. This is not a new genre, but the dark overtones and unrelenting combat are signs of a growing trend. These shows are mean-spirited and feature violence for the sake of violence. Their message is: fight! The study found eight shows that fell into this category. 1. Batman and Robin (Fox) 2. The X-Men (Fox) 3. Wild C.A.T.S. (CBS) 4. Skeleton Warriors (CBS) 5. Mega Man (Fox) 6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (CBS) 7. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Fox) 8. Super Samurai Syber Squad (ABC) Series with the most frequent violence: 1. Walker, Texas Ranger (CBS) Virtually every episode features Chuck Norris in prolonged, graphic scenes of hand-to-hand combat. Of 15 monitored shows, 12 raised concerns. 2. Mantis (Fox) The intensity of the violence is less than in Walker, but there are far more violent scenes. This is violence for the sake of violence. Mantis raised concerns 12 out of the 17 times it was watched. 3. The X-Files (Fox) The X-Files always includes several disturbing violent scenes. But the violence is portrayed as evil, and the two protagonists have a strong aversion to violence. The show was examined 34 times and raised concerns 12 times. ...read more.

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