According to the A.C. Nielsen Co. the average American watches 3 hours and 46 minutes of TV each day (that's more than 52 days of nonstop TV-watching per year).<br />By the age of 65 the average American will have spent nearly nine years of their life watching television.<br />The average American child sees 200,000 violent acts on television by the time he or she reaches the age of 18.<br />Statistics of television - 2004<br />
How it all began –<br />Invention of the television (1940’s)<br />George Gerbner and Lawrence Gross of University of Pennsylvania (1970’s) began the study of the impact of television<br />Their causal argument (assertion of cause and effect)<br />“Most of what we know, or think we know, we have never personally experienced” (Gerbner, 1999)<br />History <br />
Perspectives of media<br />TransmissionalPerspective – a position depicting the media as senders of messages across space<br />Ritual Perspective – a position depicting the media as representers of shared beliefs<br />In the 1960’s, people became interested in the effects of television<br />Scientific Advisory Committee on Television and Social Behavior<br />National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence<br />Violence Index – a yearly content analysis of prime-time network programming to assess the amount of violence represented<br />History<br />
Television is essentially and fundamentally different from other forms of mass media<br />Televisions are in 98% of American homes<br />Differences from other media:<br />No literacy required, unlike newspapers/magazines<br />Free, unlike movies or magazine subscriptions<br />Combines sound and picture, unlike radio<br />No mobility, unlike movies<br />Ageless, unlike newspapers<br />Assumption 1<br />
Television shapes our society’s way of thinking and relating.<br />Doesn’t just persuade us, it creates an image of the world for us<br />A centralized system of story-telling<br />20% drop in homicide rates in 1993-1996, but a 721% increase in number of murder stories in the news<br />Assumption 2<br />
The influence of television is limited.<br />In other words, the effects are so small, that they are hard to observe.<br />Ice age analogy – a position stating that television doesn’t have to have a single major impact, but influences viewers through steady limited effects<br />Assumption 3<br />
My example is a story from 3rd grade, where my friend Omar transferred into my elementary school. I was the one assigned to show him around the school and basically be his “buddy” until he was comfortable. After a couple of days, he came up to me and talked to me about something that was bothering him. He explained that he transferred from Saudi Arabia and knew nothing of American culture. He watched a lot of television to try and understand it and thought that he would get bullied in school and that everyone was mean. He had a perception of our society of one that was cruel and might be racist towards him. I explained to him that I rarely saw any mean attitudes from students and that he shouldn’t believe everything he saw on television. Television had created an image of our society where people were unfriendly to strangers.<br />Personal Story<br />
Since television is viewed as changing the audience’s perception of reality, do you believe video games also alter our perception of reality, or are they too distanced from reality?<br />Discussion Question<br />
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