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Cultivating Content and the Social Representation of Violence

  • By: Allison Lazard
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

Media content can influence individuals’ images, thoughts, and mental representations of the world in which they live. Cultivation theory proposes that individuals who spend more time watching television and other professionally produced media are more likely to have a perception of society that closely aligns with the most common media representations of social reality. Cultivation theory, as originally proposed, included only traditional media outlets; however, media consumption today not only includes this traditional mass media delivery of content but also is greatly affected by interactive media and its participatory sharing of information. Media consumers today are actively adding to the social communication of news and entertainment through creating, distributing, and consuming content delivered from media professionals and the general public, referred to as “user-generated ...

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