Thursday, May 2, 2013

Seduction of the Innocent

After reading this article, we discussed the hypodermic needle model in mass society. It refers to how mass communication injects attitudes, dispositions and ideas to vulnerable individuals. It is also known as the magic bullet-the media is capable of swaying minds. We learned how early effects studies were based on 19th century European sociology, which emphasized the breakdown of interpersonal media due to media interference. The PTC female sexuality study was used as an example. It showed the correlation between depictions vs. how they really act and how TV caused them to act that way. For example, with the MTV show such as Teen Mom, you would point fingers and blame the mother for being a poor parent or judge her when an older generation would criticize the media for making it acceptable. Wertham's article hits on the idea of media being able to sway the minds of kids by reading violent comic books-causing them to be violent themselves. This discussion was followed by the explanation of direct and indirect theories. The proposed to dethrone the hypodermic needle model by focusing on the role of interpersonal relationships and avoiding behaviorists claims. The comic book reading kids would be directly effected while indirect media goes from opinion leader to you. We learned about a horizontal leader, who consists of people close to you such as friends, family co-workers and vertical leaders such as celebrities and politicians. The idea that children with weak social ties prefer more violent media. We questioned what Wertham would say about the study of direct effect? It would make more sense that it was indirect because the social ties would be the children's opinion leaders.

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