THE “MAINSTREAMING” OFAMERICA: VIOLENCE PROFILE NO.11 ~GEORGE GERBNER ET AL
GEORGE GERBNER He was born in Budapest in 1919, Mr. Gerbner intended to study folklore at the University of Budapest but was forced to flee fascist Hungary in 1939. Mr. Gerbner worked as a professor and researcher at the Institute for Communications Research at the University of Illinois from 1956 until 1964, when he accepted a position at Penn. After leaving Penn in 1990, he founded the Cultural Environment Movement, an advocacy group working for greater diversity in media. He was dean emeritus of the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Pennsylvania and studied television for more than three decades.
GEORGE GERBNER He founded the Cultural Indicators Research Project in 1968 to track changes in television content and how those changes affect viewers perceptions of the world. Its database has information on more than 3,000 television programs and 35,000 characters. Mr. Gerbner also worked with Larry Gross, Michael Morgan, and Nancy Signorielli. Gross and Signorielli were both professors of communication. He coined the phrase "mean world syndrome," a phenomenon in which people who watch large amounts of television are more likely to believe that the world is an unforgiving and frightening place. He focused on the effects of mass media on everyday life.
THE TWO ARGUMENTS OF GERBNER AND HIS ASSOCIATES : Traditional Media Effects researchers err by focusing solely on the immediate “before and after” effects of exposure to media messages on people’s behavior and attitudes. - symbolic environment Television provides a concentrated system of storytelling that rivals religion un its power to shape people’s social perceptions.
OVERVIEW: CULTURAL INDICATORS PROJECT Is a “longitudinal” or long-term study of media effects involving a three-pronged research effort: - institutional analysis (structures of decision making that are involved in the production of media messages) - message system analysis - cultivation analysis
WHAT IS CULTIVATION THEORY? States that television brings about a shared way of viewing the world. Hypothesizes that perceptions of the social world on the part of heavy viewers will very closely resemble the structure of the “world of TV” content.
CULTURAL INDICATORS PROJECT (1968) Television makes specific and measurable contributions to viewers’ conceptions of reality. These contributions relate both to the synthetic world television presents and to viewers’ real life circumstances. In cultivation analysis, it is the periodic examinations of television programming and conceptions of social reality cultivated by viewing. The two interrelated parts of the Project are: message system analysis and cultivation analysis
MESSAGE SYSTEM ANALYSIS It is the annual monitoring of samples of prime time and weekend daytime network dramatic programming (including series, other plays, comedies, movies, and cartoons). It involves in-depth, quantitative content analysis aimed at discovering basic, social building blocks of TV content.
CULTIVATION ANALYSIS It is the investigation of viewer conceptions of social reality associated with the most recurrent features of the world of television. It focuses on TV viewers , correlating attitudes about the social world with the amount of TV viewing and content of TV.
VIOLENCE Violence is the overt expression of physical force with or without a weapon, against self or others) compelling action against one’s will on pain of being hurt or killed or threatened to be so victimized as part of the plot. Violence Index is the annual content analysis of a sample week of network television prime time fare demonstrating how much violence is present
ICE-AGE ANALOGY In cultivation analysis, it is the idea that the size of television’s influence is less critical than the direction of its steady contribution.
VIOLENCE INDEX IN CHILDREN’S AND PRIME- TIME PROGRAMMING, 1967-1979700600500400 8-9 p.m. EST300 9-11 p.m. EST200 weekend daytime100 childrens programs 0
SOURCES:•http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/03/obituaries/03gerbner.html• Hanson, Jarice and David J. Maxcy, eds. (1996). Sources:Notable Selections in Mass Media. Guilford, Conn.: DushkinPublishing Group.• Littlejohn, Stephen & Foss, K.A. (2007). Theories on HumanCommunication. Cengage Learning.