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What Aret Wo Theoreticaal Pproachews Hich Canb E Appliedt O The Discussiono N Television Violence And Children?

1231 words - 5 pages


The issueof violencein mediahaving an effect on childrenand the extentto whicb.{
,/ affects them and/or alters their behaviour has been and continuesto be a long debatedo.r5Th... have beenthousands reportspresented of on.jhe.ilsuesincethe 1950s,none of which hasproven i{ rl,{ ..l,nli.rt' (Gurevitch, conclusive. M., Bennet, Curran,J. & Wooltacott, T., J,2005,p.233) i.,' Article 1 of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child defines 'children' as persons up to the age of 18. This definition has shortcomingsat it pertainsmedia effects discussions-however, it was probably not coined specifically with Media Studiesin as

{k"' / .,mindl The UN definition ...view middle of the document...

It will seek to present the strengthsand weaknesses each of approachas applied to the ongoing discussionon television violence and children. t/


GRATIFICATION THEORY Ly' Coinedin the latter half of the 20thcenturyby Blumler & Katz (1974),the Usesand GratificationTheory was "a tuming point in the history of effect studiesbecause its basic of assumptionthat audiencemembersare active)dinvolved in selecting messages gratify to

(Fouriqr$,2004,p. ZqqffineUses Gratification individual needs." Theory anaudienceis and
./ centred approachwhich posits that instead of the media affecting the child, the child affects the media by seeking programming that will satisff a particular need he/she has. Unlike earlier

theoriessuch as the HypodermicNeedleTheory which sawpffidren as passiveconsumers of television programming (Kirsh, $J. 2009, p. 27),-the Uses and Gratification Theory acknowledges not all childrenare affectedsimilarly by violent programming television, that on asthoughbeinginjectedwith messages content and with a needle. As it relatesto violenceon television,the Usesand GratificlWn Theory suggests that
children with a penchantfor aggressionwould actively seekout vidlent programming as a means of achieving self satisfaction. It explains why, for example, a bully seeking personal identification may find comfort in classingthemselvesin similar rank with that boy on television






/ who harassesother children and takes their lunch moneylThe Uses and Gratification Theory also supports the notion that a child with a lower self-esteem who may often be a victim of violence may also seek out violent shows as a means of diversion and for the duration of the program put

himself in the situationof power,imagininghimself asthe one in charge. ' The Uses and Gratification Theory is not without shortcomingshowever. While the


Theory seeks to explain why children consumeviolent media it ignores the way children intemalizethe violencetbpv seeon televisionand givesno consideration the possibilitythat to
reciprocation may occ'iir.Not only may aggressivechildren chooseto watch violent programs on television, bu! the violence that they consume may increase their desire to see violence and./orto


performviolentactstowardotherstriggeringa.vicious cycleof aggression.W

Unlike the Usesand GratificationTheory,the Reception Theory,wtncfo&iginated from

theworkof Hans-Roberr in thelatete60s Jauss f*,roplr!$l



the way readersinterpretmediatexts. Children "bring their own backgrounds the experiences to andconstruct their own valuesandbeliefsin activenegotiation." (Mittal, S. 2005,p.257). br Fourie(2004,p.2a\ supports view, positingthat factorssuchas-specific this socialandcultural

contextsafflectthewayachildinterpretsviolenceontelevision.0PPofifun nAtrtW Jh,S 6 An fi,,i

smvrqw:^:,4%fbsHyS*mo W Socialization,whichdesc,ibeffii"fi*;"rhasbeenconditionedtoaccept

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