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Boundary Testing

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

Boundary testing refers to the power that media users have to explore the limits of social acceptability. Media forms that are based in representation can provide opportunities for the transgression of sociocultural boundaries in a controlled manner, which advocates see as a healthy form of release. Critics of media violence interpret these interactions as harmful to the media user, particularly if the user is a young person. This entry provides a brief overview of boundary testing as related to historical and contemporary media forms, summarizing positions related to liberatory media practices and media violence.

Moral Panic and Boundary Testing

Boundary testing has its historical roots in the various familial and social structures that are found across culture and geographic location. To better understand how boundary testing relates ...

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