Television and The Society From a Theoretical Perspective

Essay by ReggaeyouthA, January 2012

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Television became a true mass medium in 1960 reaching into 90% of the homes in the United States of America. At that time the United States was characterized by social and racial unrest. The youth revolution of "sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll" took hold on that decade as did economic growth accompanied by rampant commercialism and consumerism. There were dramatic rises in violence of all kinds, especially teen violence and juvenile delinquency. Television was smack in the middle of this social and cultural sea of change (Baran, 2004). Baron continues to say that television influences our culture in innumerable ways. One of its effects was that it has encouraged violence in our society. For example, American television viewers overwhelmingly say there is too much violence on television. Yet almost without exception, the local television news programmes that had the largest proportion of violence in its nightly newscast was the ratings leader.

Children are introduced to television at an age when they do not have the ability to deal appropriately with the contents of some shows, and viewing can have significant effect on them. Television can provide educational enrichment by introducing children to new information and concepts by teaching them problem solving skills. One the other hand, Santrock (2004) states that television viewing usually has a negative influence on children by reducing the time spent on homework, by fostering passive learning skills, by presenting unrealistic views of the world and by providing role models who are violent. Baron & Bryne (2004) differ by stating that children/people aggress because it is part of their essential human nature to do so.

Many behavioural patterns are learned by watching the actions of others and observing what their consequences are. According to Liebert & Sprafkin...