The Inter-relation of Television and Violent Social Changes

Essay by gail_veCollege, UndergraduateA-, March 2007

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The introduction of television in America has forever changed our lives and continues to affect society at the present time. It is now an established part of American culture. Most of us cannot imagine living without a TV in our homes. From TV's beginning there has been controversial concern over its power to impact and influence our daily lives and society as a whole. By now most people are asking the question; does television shape social norms or does it reflect them? Although I believe television has influenced family dynamics and has psychosocial effects, it has also become a convenient scapegoat for many of the violent social problems seen in our society today.

In the 1940's through the late 50's television programming was minimal. Not everyone had access to a TV set and it was considered the greatest invention of all time. Television viewing was a family event that brought family members into the same room together to witness the miracle of black and white imagery.

Everyone shared in the entertainment as a bonding experience and it sparked endless community discussions, as well as family interaction. Entertainment back then was simple and wholesome depicting the ideal nuclear family values of the time. As networks increased to 13 channels, so did the diverse content. Today there is at least one television set in every home and more often than not, several throughout the house. Programming has become unimaginably diverse and the current cable choices are endless, exceeding over 300 channels. Americans' have their sets turned on for an average of nearly 7 hours a day. As this media so thoroughly saturated our lives it changed the dynamic structure of the way the family inter-relates. It is now not unusual to find family members viewing favorite programs separately in their own...