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Films, Representation of Violence and Its Effects in

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

The effect from the representation of violence in films, as in other media, has been an ongoing debate for decades. Violence in films has been a defining characteristic of Hollywood cinema since the silent film era (c. 1894–1929). Since then it has evolved and been reworked into various film genres ranging from action and horror and even to romantic comedies. The prevalence of cinematic violence continues to spark debate among those who believe the representation of film violence has a negative effect on the viewing audience and those who argue that its effect ends at being a form of entertainment. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the one prevailing finding in media effects research has suggested that exposure to media portrayals of violence

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