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Effects of Television Violence on Adults

Effects of Television Violence on Adults (A Case Study of Aguata Local Government Area)

What Is Television Violence

This chapter attempt to link the study with the existing works field of study. The researcher reviewed a myriad of related terms and literatures having direct relevance to the topic.

Television violence is notoriously hard to define and measure. Some experts who track violence in television programming such as the late George Gerbner, defined violence as the act (or threat) of injuring or killing someone, independent of the method used or the surrounding context.

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Franklin Fearino in his book media (1984) observed how people behave in a wide variety  of situation how they are provided with a pattern of behavior which he may reject or accept. One is free to make a choice on media contents and pattern of behavior on the effect of television he says

“The experiences which the individual obtains through the media of drama presentation in his various  forms provide him with interpretative frame of reference. These either re-affirms the norms of his culture or group of reveal previously unsuspected and possibly contracting alternative of these norms”

In addition, Himmelweit and Vince, the effect of mass communication, (1960) in the course of their elaborate study of Britain youths and Britain television found out in reference to related topic that adults who had no  other sources of information about a matter in hand and did not have previous knowledge on the subject can be influenced. Thus television apparently influence the adult except on how wealthy people lived”.

Schramm, Lyle and Paker, Television in the times of our children (1961) stated that; “For some children under some conditions, television programmes that are harmful, for other adult under some condition, it may be beneficial but for. Most conditions, most television programmes is probably neither harmful nor particularly beneficial.

It is not surprising therefore that much attention is given to the possible negative effectives of media should center on television.

In the same vein, Lince and Brown, the effect of mass communication, 1960 reported that the family context called  influence whether adult selected aggressive or non-aggressive concept to conflict situation arising from a violent television programmes.

This submission is premised on two distraction perspective. One is that there is likely to be aggressive or non-aggressive behavior toward a situation of adult which they must have imbibed via television programme.

The other submission is hanged on the family, the parents precisely, who may or may not allows their wards to watch violent television programme or get engrossed with it.

Available literature on the effect of violent television programme on adults is scanty. However, those one that have direct television were reviewed. Lipman on the paper presented on the media and society suggested that the pictures in our heads are mainly constructed from the pictures in our heads are mainly constructed from the pictures we get from the mass media.

Also, in trying to investigate how specific media content can lead to the realities. Lipman often referred to the media as “enculturation instrument”. This submission is typically based on how television programmes can influence our perception on norms and values through selective presentation and emphasizing certain themes.

Stroman Carolyn in similar study examined televisions’ role in the social development of children. He concluded that television is a significant player in the socialization (cognitive and social learning) of children with positive and negative aspect. He opined that television as a medium of communication has a remarkably influence over children behavior. He explained that there abounds relationship between television viewing and academic achievement. While on the other hand, television has been found to be destroying children’s developing symbolic processes and in habiting their creativity and play. Moreover, it is possible to hypothesis linkage between television viewing and numerous social problems involving children and adults.

A study of Rhimer Pauline in 1983 on similar topic showed that watching violent films on television is likely to increase stress on children. It showed that it increased anger and aggression on children as well as their intensity to violent responses.

A study report published by the National Institute of mental Health (NIMH) showed that many viewers, especially the children are influenced towards fear and apprehension. However, it is believed that every child who behaves violently has observed and internalized unbelievable questions of violent. By means of television, children see the entire plane. They are influenced by violent programmes that glorify killing and other violent acts.

Barrister Oduah F.M a mass communication lecturer of Federal Polytechnic Oko, opined that an individual childhood experienced determines to a great extent, his adult personality and as much is accountable for his behavioural patterns and action in this adult life.

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Tony Olukoya in this study on “Effect of television on Nigeria kid’s (1982) traced violent traits on children on expose to violent films. According to him, these children often pose on how to throw punches, upper handle guns, make love, practice marital art stance. These traits are manifested on children at the least act of provocation in real life, after having been exposed television violence.

HISTORY OF TELEVISION VIOLENCE

One of the earliest pieces of literature is the Epic of Gilgamesh, early Sumerian versions of which date back as far as 2000BCE or so (Hallo and Simpson, 1971). This tale follows the legend of the Sumerian king Gilgamesh who, like the king Arthur legends later, appears to have been based loosely on a historical figure. Gilgamesh, according to the tale, is a powerful and harsh ruler who, among other things, forces new brides to have sex with him on their wedding night. The gods send a wild-man, Enkidu, to pester Gilgamesh in punishment, and ultimately the two fight violently, ending in something of a draw. The two men become friends and Enkidu acts as a positive influence on Gilgamesh, softening his more vicious instincts. They proceed a battle demons, tangle with Ishtar, the cruel goddess of love and war whose sexual advances Gilgamesh declines, and search for the secrets of immortality. The story is life with unapologetic violence and sexual themes. Gilgamesh is perhaps the best known of the early Sumerian legends that have survived, but themes of heroic adventure, violence, sex, rape, and cruelty are not uncommon among other Sumerian stories (Hallo and Simpson, 1971). Exactly what the Sumerian people thought of these violent stories is not well known, but their survival alone gives testament to their popularity. Things, for the media, have arguably not changed very much since the time of Gilgamesh.

The twentieth century saw an unprecedented explosion of mass media. Prior to the late 1800s, the only form of mass media was literature. Before 1439 with the invention of the printing press, even literature was expensive and difficult to come by. The “average” person through most of history largely had to get by with music and oral storytelling or live action media such as plays or even gladiatorial combats. One might argue that “mass media” at times experienced a little flourish, such as during the proliferation of theaters in Greek civilization, or Coliseum games in Rome. Yet it is safe to say that mass media, in the sense that we have come to know it today, is comparatively modern phenomenon.

Nonetheless, modern mass media differ from its historical antecedents more with regard to technology than in content. Across history and across cultures, the stories which people have used to entertain one another, whether written or oral were saturated with violent and sexual themes, sometimes unapologetically cover­ing topics such as rape or incest that might seem taboo in modern Western society (Trend, 2007). This chapter concerns itself with the history of violent media. It is sometimes insinuated that modern culture is unusually awash with violent entertainment. In evaluating the modem sociology of media violence and societal reactions to it, it is helpful to understand the history of such phenomena. This chapter is designed to help the reader understand trends in media and mass media consumption through human history.

THE EFFECT OF TELEVISION VIOLENCE ON CHILDREN

Violence is defined in English Oxford dictionary as a violent behavior that is intended to hurt or kill somebody.

Judging from the above definition of violence:

  • Does T.V violence affect children?
  • To what extent does it affect them?
  • How can children know that they are watching a violent T.V programme?
  • How can the negative effect of T.V violence be curbed?

Children learn a lot from what they see especially what they see on television and in real life, they cannot say what is right or wrong, they do all the see.

Some studies have shown that T.v programme location and other children T.v programmes contain violence more than adult programmes. As they watch violent shows, children learn to internalize scripts that use violence as an appropriate method of problem solving.

Some researcher argue that it is the physiological effects of media violence that cause aggressive behavior. Exposure to violent imagery is linked to increased heart rate, faster respiration and higher blood pressure. Some think that this simulated “fight or flight” response predisposes children to act aggressively in the real world.

Still others focus on the ways in which primes or cues-existing aggressive thoughts and feelings. They argue that an individuals desire to strike out is justified by media images in which both the hero and the villain use violence to seek revenge, often without consequences.

The children act what they see “superman” and “Superman” do in T.v, in a bid to show that they (the children) can also fight for justice not minding who they are hurting physically, mentally and emotionally.

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Despite the emphasis placed on the possibility of violent media as a risk factor for children violence, there are a number of far more relevant risk factors that are less frequently discussed. These include poverty, education, discrimination and home life.

Many sources of violent media are satirical and are not intended to be taken literally or as a valorization of violence. The problem is that many of these media products are also intended for adults or older audience. Children do not generally develop to ability to recognize satire until around age 12.

Some movies even cartoons are rated 18 (meant for 18yrs and above audience) 16 (for 16yrs and above) 13 (for 13yrs and above) PG (parental guardian) G (General).

We need to keep in mind that all children are not the same and what may disturb one child may have no effect at all on another. Moreover, development issues, emotional maturity and relationships with peers and family seem to play a much more significant role in determining if a child is at risk for violent behavior.

THE EFFECT OF TELEVISION VIOLENCE ON YOUTHS

Unlike children, youth know and can differentiate violence from aggression. Over the past 30yrs there has been extensive research on the relationship between televised violence and violent behavior among youth.

While violence is not new to the human race, it is an increasing problem in modern society.

The causes of youth violence are multi factorial and include such variables as poverty, family psychopathology, child abuse, exposure to domestic violence, substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders, the research literature is quite compelling that youths exposure to violence plays an important role in the etiology of violence behavior.

How does televised violence result in aggressive behavior? Violence on T.v and in movies often conveys a model of conflict resolution. It is efficient frequent and inconsequential. Heroes are violent, and as such are rewarded for their behavior. 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 of using violence to retaliate against perceived victimizers. Hence, vulnerable, youth who have been victimized may be tempted to use violent means to solve problems. Unfortunately, there are few, if any models of nonviolent conflict resolution in the media. Additionally, youth who watch televised violent are desensitized to it. They may come to see violence as a fact of life and, over time, lose their ability to empathize with both the victim and the victimizer.

In spite of the accumulated evidence broadcasters and scientists continue to debate the link between the viewing T.V violence and children’s aggressive behavior. Some broadcasters believe that there is not enough evidence to prove that T.V violence is harmful. But scientists who have studied this issue say that there is a limit between T.v violence and aggression, and in 1992, the American psychological association’s task force on Television and society published a report that confirms this view. The report, entitled “Big world”, small screen. The role of Television in American society, shows the harmful effects of Tv violence do exist.

THE EFFECTS OF TELEVISION VIOLENCE ON ADULTS

Many research works have been carried out, many on effect of television violence on adults. This has necessitated the study on the influence of television on the adults. It is quite untrue to believe that it is youth alone that get influence easily as a result of watching the violent acts, do we have to believe that the youths who are affected negatively at several times dose television violence do have influence on adulthood?.

There are areas of special interest in this project. The more one watch violent television the more one estimate the amount of violent in real world. The television violence resulted to increase incidents of crime and other violent acts. Not minding the various negative effects of television violence in our society.

In general, this is evidence that violent films on television viewing related to feeling of danger which is practicalized in real life.

There is no mean of any kind is determined to the youth, there is no means of inculcating on the youth the negative effect that through television exhibition.

REMEDY OF TELEVISION VIOLENCE

How can the negative effects of Tv violence be curbed?

While most scientists are convinced that children can learn aggressive behavior from television, they also point out that parents/guardian have tremendous power to moderate that influence.

  • Children should be encouraged to watch programmes that demonstrate helping, caring and cooperation. Studies show these type of programme can influence children to become more kind and considerate.
  • Parents/guardian can limit the amount of time children spend watching television and encourage children to spend their time on sports, hobbies, or with friends, parents and kids can even draw up a list of other enjoyable activities to do instead of watching Tv.
  • Parents/guardian can outright ban any programme that they find too offensive. They can also restrict their children’s viewing to shows that they feel are more beneficial, such as documentaries, educational shows and so on.
  • Parents/guardian should watch at least one episode of the programmes their children watch. That way they will know what their children are watching and be able to talk about it with them.
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In addition, the following strategies can lesson or prevent violent behavior.

  • Prevention of child abuse of any kind.
  • Sex education and parenting programmes for adolescents.
  • Early intervention programmes for violent youngsters.
  • Monitoring child’s viewing of violence on Tv/Video/Movies.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

One wonders why children behave in a violent way, and what their parents says or does about the behavior of the said children. Children are known to be fast learners; they put into practice what ever they have learnt. Children learn from people they see, from what they hear, from what they were taught either by their parents or some other people. They cannot differentiate between good and bad actions, so they do everything.

Some parents do not allow their children to watch adults movies/films or television programmes because they believe that it contains bad/corrupt scene that may affect the children negatively, so they buy children programmes and cartoons which also but unknown to the parents may contain violent scenes more deadly than adults programmes.

The youths on the other hand believe that they are answerable to their actions, so they tend to behave in such a way that is questionable to the society. The so called role model of a youth may be an actor or actress who may in one way or the other be seen acting a violent part in a film or television programme in other to restore peace. The motive of such act may not impress the youth but the action will have a great influence on the youth and they will be enticed to do the same violent act just for the fun of it. To prove to people, most especially their peer group that they can act like a particular actor or actress.

What a child grows with will be very difficult if not impossible, to stop, whether good or bad behave tend to be developed along the way. So children that grow with violent attitude, low self image, criticizism from peers, lack or low standard of education, poverty, broken homes, anger etc tends to develop violent attitude towards the environment, and the society at large. When they grow into adulthood, they consciously or unconsciously will be displaying one attitude especially a violent one to attracts people attention to themselves. They in turn will want to develop their self image but due to lack of formal knowledge they do so in a very negative (violent) way. Some adult watch WWE (American wrestling programme), they watch people compete against other and have some of the wrestlers as their role model. Those adults believe that the display of their power is one of the best things they could ever do. Since some of these wrestling competition has been documented (save on plates, e films and posted on the internet) for the publics, it is not against the society. So an adult when confronted or spoken to against his/her taste could just hit you on the head or any other part of the body, all thanks to the wrestling match which was not banned by the government and was on display in almost every television station on one time or the other.

This research work is set to find out the effect of television violence on children, youth and adults and the possible solution to it in a bid to ensure a violent free society in future.

The Effects of Television Violence on Adults (A Case Study of Aguata Local Government Area)

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