This definitive examination of a contemporary social issue asks questions such as: How much media violence is there? What are the meanings conveyed in the way violence is portrayed? What effect does it have on viewers? Divided into four parts, the book reviews research on media violence; re-examines existing theories of media violence; considers methodological tools used to assess media, and introduces the concept of Lineation Theory, a perspective and new theoretical approach explaining media violence.

Levels of Analysis

Levels of analysis

Quantitative and qualitative scholars differ not just in terms of their methods, but also in terms of how they view phenomena. With media violence, social scientists focus on patterns in the aggregate and make claims that all humans are the same—that is, that all our brains are wired in the same way. Thus, when presented with a particular stimulus, we will all behave in the same way.

Qualitative scholars claim that meaning making is an individual enterprise and that although we all learn how to make meaning of symbols through interactions with others, ultimately the meaning is ours to make. Whereas each television program presents a vast array of particular symbols carefully crafted to achieve a certain effect on the desired ...

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