Entertainment Violence Term Paper

Entertainment Violence

In recent years, politicians and citizen groups have criticized the entertainment industry for its violent content, claiming that it is responsible for violence in society. However, many claim that this consensus is overblown and unfounded by substantial research.

There is considerable sociological and statistical data that suggests that violence begets violence and the root factor in the United States has been war, a continuous experience in one zone or another and one that has become "embedded in daily life through a highly militarized culture" (Cockburn 27). Japan, for example, has extreme violence on its TV and mobile screens, yet has a very low level of social violence (Cockburn 27).

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, statistics show that school violence is at its lowest level in years despite the increase in violent video game sales, therefore, how can there be a correlation between violence in media and youth crime (ACLU pg). A two-year study by the government funded National Research Council cited in its 400-page report that the determining factors for violence in society were "poverty, access to weapons, communications skills and drug use," exposure to violent entertainment media was not even listed (ACLU pg).

According to Henry Jenkins of MIT, criminologists rarely consider media violence to be a serious contribution to crime, rather they consider "access to weapons, mental health and poverty...media consumption ranks very low on the list" (Newit pg). Yet, while crime and violence has actually been decreasing, the news coverage of it has doubled in recent years with stations routinely reporting of incidents outside their area (Cockburn 27).

The entertainment industry appears to be simply a scapegoat for more serious issues facing society, such as poverty, healthcare, access to weapons, and education incentives.

Works Cited

ACLU Sees Political Opportunism, Not Science, In Report Linking Pop Culture and Youth Violence." American Civil Liberties Union Freedom Network. http://archive.aclu.org/features/f091300a.html.(accessed 06-28-2003).

Cockburn, Alexander, When U.S. politicians get fired up about screen violence, it has to be election year: real causes of social crime in the United States." New Statesman & Society. Volume 9. May 17, 1996; pp 27.

Newit, Annalee. "Blame Game: Gamers say social problems, not video games cause violence" San Francisco Chronicle. January 14, 2002 http://www.sfgate.com/cgibin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2002/01/14/gameviol.DTL.(accessed 06-28-2003).

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