Violence is the expression of verbal force or physical against another person. This expression may be a result of personal will or external arousal from thing such as pain of being hurt, anger among other. Many people around the world use violence as tool for manipulating other people. Also violence is one of the main concerns of law and justice which try to suppress it and ensure that people are protected from aggression and any injuries that may result form acts of violence. Violence covers a broad spectrum of activities that involving imposing one will in an injurious manner. It can vary from a physical combat between two people and in case where any minimal injury results in war. Violence can also take the form of a genocide resulting to death of millions of people. Violence also takes other forms such as oppression, violence against children, violence against men, violence against men, domestic violence, police violence and general violence by the public. The occurrence of violence is determined by numerous factor which act together to create a suitable ground for the breeding of violent activities by the perpetrator. Such influence may be political, cultural, social, economical or physiological. These categories form broad classes in which the causes of violence fall. This paper aims at discussion how television, music and film influence violence. Television, music and film are more of socio-cultural influencers of violence and they affect violence in various ways as discussed bellow.
There is a positive correlation between television and violence as violence on television tends to influence aggression in people. According to Smith, research over 3000 research studies conducted previously indicate that televisions violence has a great influence on the aggression especially in children. Most scientific evidence suggests that there television violence has direct bearing on aggression in people. Whereas most of the research findings indicate with absolute certainty that television violence and violence as well as aggression in people are closely linked most of the other researches only indicate a possibility of the two having a close association. Certainly, social deviant behavior associated with violence such as criminal behavior and antisocial behavior have been greatly influenced and encouraged by television violence. However, it important to note that television violence works in conjunction with other factors in order to make people violent and aggressive. This issue is aptly denoted by Koyaric and Dorr (1980) when they observed that violence in television may influence a good number of people on various occasions.
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In most cases the effects of television violence is dependant on the characteristic of the viewers. The effects will mostly depend on the age of the viewers, the ammonite of television watching by the viewers, the viewers identification with a television personality or personalities, the perception that the television violence is realistic, the intellectual capacity of the viewers, the state of viewers for instance those who have been in a state of anger even before watching the television whose aggression is influenced by the portrayal of violence. Also, viewers may be under frustrations after watching a violent depiction which may be from an extraneous source or a result of television viewing (Smith).
There I great interconnectedness between age and the influence of television violence. Cases of violence influenced by television have been observed in children at a very tender age such 3. This the relationship becomes even more consistent and the age rises through the middle childhood. Valance on early childhood may also be a direct influence of the children in the middle age who pick up such violence form television and try to practice it before or in full view of their your counterparts. Interestingly, the aggression exhibited adulthood is part of the influence picked up by these adults during their middle childhood from television and other related sources. In many cases such influence is picked up by children at about the age of 8-12 years. It is believed that children between these ages are sensitive and very susceptible to influence of the television. When such children are exposed to violence through the television viewing, there are high chances that they will pick up a practice the violence they have witnessed. In most cases the practice doesn’t end with childhood but rather it is carried to adulthood making adults so aggressive and violent people.
The total amount of television the children of people watch is yet another factor that greatly determines the level of a person’s aggression. As such the total amount of television watched by an individual is likely to influence or have a direct count on the number of the violent programs such a person watches or is exposed to. However, it is not violent movies alone that influence the people aggression aggressive behavior can also be influenced or brought about by hectic, or frenetic programming, in most cases this kind of programming leads to elevated level of provocation more so in children (Smith).
Also, directly linked to the influence of violence from televisions viewing is the identification with a television personality. This is applies more to boy than girls. They identify with various television personalities and try to play the role this characters play. If the character or personalities these children identify with are violent the children are more likely to become violent. This is a product of contentious modeling of the Childs psych in and mannerisms to become similar to that of the personality he identifies with.
Another factor is that some television viewers may perceive what take place in television programs as realistic. This is more common with children. There is a great bearing of television violence on people who perceive it to be realistic. These people are likely to be violent and aggressive depending on the amount of valance they consume form the television.
How people who consume television violence respond to this consumption is also dependent on their intellectual ability. In many instances, children who have a lower intellectual ability tend to watch more television. The increase in the amount of television watched will automatically impact on the amount of violence programs such a child is exposed and as will increase the amount of violence consumed. More often the children perceive the violence they watch as being a reality or rather the ideal way to live. As such the children will become violent or generally behave violently as it is the ideal way of life, at the way the media portrays it.
There is also a close link between people behaving violently if the were angry or provoked before the portrayal of violence on televisions. Similarly, people in a state of furry or frustration after exposure to portrayal of violence, whether their frustration is brought about by the television or from a different source independent of the television are likely to be to be violent as a consequence of watching violent programs on TV.
Violence in television is due to several other factors attractive to the viewer. It is this factor that work together with the above reason to determine how individual take up the violence. According to Paik and Comstock (1991) these factors include; depiction of violence as acceptable, depiction of violence in a manner that its outcome does not rouse dislike or reservations, lack of punishment for violence and rewarding it instead, depicting the violent characters as similar to the viewers, depicting violent acts that please the viewer, the depiction of violence as genuine acts instead of presenting it as imaginary and fictitious. Also televise programs make violence appear to be a subjected not subjected critical or rather reproachful remarks, depicting violence not be deterred bun violence from a point of humorous vein. The presence of cues in television programs that resemble those that are found in real life also encouraged the adoption of the valance seen on television. For instance, if the violence is directed to a character that the viewers dislike the viewers are like to feel the violence if the best means of settling the scores. Sometimes the violence portrayed in the movies leaves the viewers with unresolved excitement which is likely to encourage the viewer to become aggressive.
Inn addition, Paik and Comstock (1991) asset that contingences such as the ones discussed above are a basic representation of four basic dimensions:
- Efficacy which is characterized by reward of violence or luck of punishment to violence
- Pertinence characterized by commonality of the cues farmiliure to the viewer, and absence of harmony
- Normativeness which is seen through the justification, luck of consequences, physical violence, and intentional hurtfulness
- Susceptibility which seen through anger, pleasure, absence of criticism and frustration. (Pp. 155-256)
Music also plays a great role in influencing violent. While leaning ones culture or how to communicate, music plays a vey important role. Children can sing or listen to song as they and learn many aspects of their culture through songs. Music works together with television to create an influence on people. Conversely people, especially children identify with the musicians or music personalities and would the try to ape them or at least live according to their model. In the present world music has been interwoven with fat paced animations
The influence of music on children is largely ignored by many parents. When children are young, it is common for every parent o be keen on what the children hear and/or see. However, as they grow parents’ stat giving less attention to the music and music videos that capture their children’s interests. There are many teenagers who gent engrossed in listening to destructive music such as rock, hip-hop and heavy metal. In fact, many children access this music easily since it is made available by major recording companies which mount activities to promote the music. Also the music is readily available on various television shows and as a result children or teenagers who watch too much television can still access this music through television at the comforts of their homes (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry).
The music the teenagers listen to can be very troublesome to grownups. For instance, the major themes, which are equally very troublesome include; suicide as a solution, glorification of alcohol abuse and consumption of other drugs, crude sex ideas that focus on sadism, incest, control, masochism, encouraging violence towards women and children devaluing women. Also very common in this music is outright glorification and inclusion of violence.
Clearly all these themes encourage violence in one way or another. Though music may not present a danger to children or teenagers whose life is healthy and balanced, persistent consumption of ideas that advocate for valence is like to instigate aggression in some of the listeners.
Rock music has received a great deal of negative publicity detailing on how it passes across negative messages that lead to or encourage the listener to become violent. Frantic kind of behavior has claimed lives of many rock fans at rock concerts. For instance, in 1991, 1 July, at a rock concert that was hosted by “Guns N Roses” in St Louis, Missouri an infuriated crowd of about 2500 youths became violent and rioted bringing the concert to an end. As a result of the riots sixty of the youths sustained terrible injuries. According to orthodox photos the concert participant turned into an enraged and unmanageable crowd and started hurling bottles, braking and setting fire on musical instruments (Orthodox Photos.com). They also destroyed seats and ripped apart bushes. The rampage continued for almost an hour and calm was only restored by policemen who came an hour later albeit late to prevent damage.
It clear that the massage that rock music passes to it fans is dangerous and violence packed. For instance, in a small town in New Jersey called Jefferson, a young man who goes by the name Thomas Sullivan stubbed and killed his mother at their home in the basement. He then set their house on fire with aiming to have his father and brother to be killed. Later he killed himself by slitting his waist. Later, it was determined that for a whole week prior to the incident, the young man had been humming a song about blood and killing your mother. Letter, through investigations, the police management to establish that the Thomas had been a highly talented student who switched to hard metal tock and before long he confined in his friends that Lucifer had appeared to him and ordered him to terminate his family.
There are various kinds of violence that are advocate for by rock basically visible through he words used in the songs. For instance, Dead Kennedy’s song a kill the children say;
“I kill children, I love to see them die. I kill children to make their mother cry. I crush them under my car I love to hear them scream. I feed them poison candy and spoil their Halloween. I kill children I bang their heads in doors. I kill children I can hardly wait for yours.” (Orthodox Photos.com)
Many people have been influenced by the rock song to commit violent crimes. For instance Richard Ramairez a brutal murderer and Satanists committed any murders. He claims that it was the song Night Prowler by AC/DC that motivate him to become a nigh t stalker and a murderer. He was especially motivated by the stanza “No one’s gonna warn you, no one is gonna yell ‘attack’ and you can t feel the steel until it is hanging out your back, I’m the night prowler.”
It is proven through research through that heavy metal encourages murder, Satanism and suicide. Another research indicated that rap music also breeds violence though not as much as rock metal does. Rap in man instance encourages materialism and acquisition of wealth through violence or violent activities such as robbery. Such information also ascribes negative perception to success through academic excellence.
Also rap has a great influence on how the listeners perceive women and violence towards women. Rap music ha a great influence on how people treat women. There is high chance of rap listener conducting violence against women. The likelihood a parson of conducting violent actions, especially towards women, increases with any increase in the watching of violent rap music videos. Also rap with misogynistic themes encourages the violence against women. The adolescent females who watch rap videos and listen to rap music portraying female in sexual suborning role to men also easily accept or condone violence against them. This is very common in dating scene where girl condone valance conducted against them by their boyfriend or spouses (Copley).
Just like the listener of hard metal rock, listeners of rap music also develop suicidal tendencies. The music brings about anxiety and adverse affect the listeners self esteem among the youth. Also notable is the rap is more likely to bring about aggression that heavy metal rock does to its listeners.
The emergence of gangs within music circles also tends to propagate violence resulting form this music. Such gangs are common synonymous with rap music with the famous gangs being the east coast rap gang and west cost rap gang that encourage a lot of hatred and violence between musicians from the American east cost and the west cost (Morales). The violence resulted in death of some rapers during the 1990s. such scene are common in rap arena where by a musician sing a song discrediting and abusing another musician who also answers back with equally violent words which in most cases influence the listener and encourage the listener to identify with specific musicians. What the listener may never know is the musicians may not practice what they sing. They simply sing what people want to hear in order to make money through music sales at the expense who consume what is said as the ideal way of life.
It is however worth noting that al kinds of music have a potential to turn people violent given the wording the prevailing circumstances. Certainly heavy metal music and any other music with provocative wording is poison to the minds of disturbed children and adolescents. To abusers music serves to encourage them to propagate their violence behavior further. Actually violent music to an abuser is like pouring gasoline on fire. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable as they listen to this music write cram sing the words alongside the artists
Film and violence
Films are produced to entertain and pass a certain message to the people. The violent films in particular have grown to inflict fear and violence to the society. The writers, directors and producers mostly include violent and graphic scenes in their work of arts. This is usually meant to promote the films sale or incorporate the use of a certain technology. Films have become more violent over time which is due to the availability of new technology, intelligence among people and various issues surrounding the society. Comparing the violence impacts between 1960 and 2010, we can say that the violence depicted in modern films is quite fierce than what we can see in 1960s films.
There seem to be an urge towards violence within the human consciousness, an urge that is controlled by learned behavior patterns. People learn the controlled behaviors differently, some take days while others just need a few minutes and they grasp everything. However this might not stay for long as some people forget the learned behavior patterns as their natural impulses towards violence are triggered by a personal confrontation or an encounter with violence. Regular watching of violent films creates some permanent motion pictures in the mind which might tempt someone to apply them in real life.
Violence in these films has adversely affected teenagers in the society in that most of them wish to act like the characters they see in the cinemas to either entertain each other or hurt their friends. This being the most common effects, it affects the society in a negative manner forcing people to stay hostile and treat each other with less love. It’s a scary world and minors are presently exposed to more violence than any other past generation. This is also experienced in horror movies which are based on murder, physical abuse, sadism and ruthlessness. Gangster movies mostly have horror movie themes and explicit virtuoso scenes of violence and stabbing.
Beginning in the 1970s with “Bonnie and Clyde”, gangster movies started incorporating visual techniques and styles more associated with horror films and characters. This was later adopted by various directors and writers in their production.
The psychological effects of watching a lot of violence may mean children and adults demonstrating more aggressive behavior themselves, or have more approving attitude towards the use of violence to resolve conflicts. Desensitization which means children become less sensitive to violence occurring around them and less sensitive to the pain and suffering that violence causes to others. Another major effect is the mean world syndrome which means watching a lot of violent films may lead to minors and adults believing that the world really contains a lot of pain and violence, therefore they begin to view their environment as a mean and dangerous place.
These films promote copycat violence where children and teenagers use what they have observed to commit violent crimes. These are the most vulnerable groups to the adverse influence of violent films because they have not yet acquired the complex set of morals and social values which restrict adults from behaving in violent and abusive ways towards each other. In some situations teenagers exist in their own fantasy world where they create images, sounds and ideas related to their surroundings. They select events that appeal to their take on the world, whether bored, lonely or depressed then identify them with images and songs about isolation and misery.
Violence has always been a part of the human condition because of our sinful nature but modern families are exposed to more violence than previous generations because of the current films facilitated by improved technology. Weekly an average viewer can watch a lot of violence. Since The Bible teaches that “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he”, what we watch and what we think about affects our actions and decisions. Violence being a usual part in film production since “James Bond” action films cannot be wiped off. It is a unique and interesting way of producing films which has now gone main stream and minors should be strongly advised to watch movies rated their natural age and not to practice in any way what they see in violent film. Adults on the other side show act right and set proper moral values to their young ones.
In sum, television, music and film work together to create a suitable environment for violence. Music mainly leads to valance through playing around with the listener’s feelings and emotions while imparting negative idea in their mind. This is however dependent on various factor such as the age of the listener, the type of music and the videos accompanying the music. Violence shown through movies affects society and may cause escalation in criminal activity, deaths and severe accidents. Movie writers are becoming more innovative in sadistic ideas on how to portray death more brutally every year and how to incorporate them effectively in a film. Improved latest technology such as better cameras, computer editing, fast posh cars and other items can create horrific and real scenes that depict violence. The film is then released to the public and despite the age ratings, somehow the under age group also ends up watching them. The violent scenes are then engraved into that particular person’s mind which might later facilitate violent acts. The level of exposure to bad music also counts as to whether an individual will be violent or not. The factors also play a great role as to whether television and films will lead to violence from the viewer. Despite television being very influential on their own, they also serve to influence the effect of music and film since people can watch films and music vides through television. The influence of all this is however great on children and adolescents who have no idea of what is good for them and require consistent guidance in odder to be helped to adopt proper mannerisms. Therefore, if violence in films, television and music can hike and cause new crimes then the general question: How can we reduce violence in movies and its negative effects on children and teenagers?