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The Influence of Popular Culture on Violence - Essay Example

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Wesleyan University
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Popular culture is a compelling method of communicating concepts to a generation that is focused on entertainment. Several music and movies, including Rihannas song We Found Love in a Hopeless Place, have been put in the limelight for portraying rough sex, drugs, and violence. Some people believe that these kinds of songs are for entertainment and do not in any way promote abuse. Others think that the songs encourage a particular type of deviance behavior where young women and men are taught that being caught in a spiral of alcohol, sex, drug use and violence is acceptable. It is said that these forms of popular culture create an atmosphere where the youths believe that they can behave like the characters in the videos. As stated by Cawelti (16), most urban films and movies teach young men and women that it is acceptable to rough up your partner, force them into sex and beat them up. However, the most significant concern is when do the youths get a different picture of how they should behave towards women and other people in the society? Violence is inherent to entertainment, and it has been seen in films since the release of Charlie Chaplain. Hence, popular culture promotes violence and emotional abuse that is far-reaching, and this creates the need for limiting the kind of music and videos that should be made available to youths and the general public.

Violence and Emotional Abuse from Popular Culture

Societies are founded on the traditions and a set of acceptable moral values. These customs are paramount since they set the behavior of the future generation. In the United States, violence has become widely accepted as a lifestyle due to the influence brought about by pop-culture. From recent gay bashing to video games, rape, killings and explosive weapons, violence scenes has created a culture that has overtaken the traditional moral principles. A study was conducted in the United States by Bandura to determine the effects of exposure to violence in entertainment and the impact it can have on people over an extended period (Cawelti 70). The longitudinal study demonstrated that exposure to violent imagery for over five years resulted in individuals between twelve and twenty-five years acquiring aggressive behaviors. By analyzing the effects of film, music and video games on people and the way in which these individuals can be influenced by controlling energies, there was a definite correlation of defiance and dissidence (Cawelti 70). Bandura in his investigation illustrated the possibility and the relationship between popular culture and aggressive behavior among youths. There is a substantial impact of pop culture on traditional practices. The American judicial system agrees with the link given the 1999 shooting at a school in Kentucky, which was attributed to several video games firm (Cawelti 89).

There is need to increase funding for public broadcasting to reduce the number of violent films viewed by youths. Bandura among other scholars have previously focused on the existence of violence in pop culture, but have failed to address how it can be limited. To limit the number of non-violent television being broadcasted, it is more sensible to treat the matter as an emerging product like solar energy which requires being treated as a subsidy until it can create a market which allows it to be self-sustaining. Regulation of movies that are termed inappropriate such as The Game of Thrones has proven to be difficult due to the existence of black markets in the entertainment industry (Demarty 190). The quickest way to create a non-violent popular culture is making it competitive in the general market. Some strategies that can be used to achieve this is increasing funding levels that would allow PBS to start a movie channel, buying rights of different forms of pop culture and producing some of these movies. Public broadcasting channels have the capability of building audiences that have some moral standards. Therefore, developing a credible market alternative to videos that have violent scenes reduces the impact of the films on individual behaviors.

Changing the incentives in the narrative of telling a story is also a strategy of creating change in pop-culture. One thing that has been constant in losing meaning in mainstream discussions is violent video games. It is impossible to win in these games without killing an opponent or causing other physical harm. Players often get genuinely happy about games that offer a variety of machinery that could destroy the enemy. The excitement rises even more with the availability of orgies of blood. Movie directors can choose to restrict the conscious choice of characters to limit violent scenes. In recent movies like Skyfall which features James Bond, his fights have been prioritized into fists, and the final killing is made by a knife rather than the usual guns (Demarty 191). This feature makes the violence personal. If the entertainment chooses to have an internal conversation with itself, coming up with more violent moments can be agreed upon but not chosen to be part of gaming or videos. They can instead mark the scenes with heroism or make the violence steeper and impossible. They can also decide to illustrate the cost of violence by personalizing it, and this will change the incentive structure.

Youths can be taught to interpret violence differently. One thing that marks the current generation of popular culture is the obsession of exemplified movie scenes that are featured with anti-hero storylines. Movie directors achieve this aspect by deploying abuse. Characters who schooled in the field of aggressiveness and violence are admirable. However, this tendency can be minimized by retraining viewers on how they can interpret violence, so they can be able to differentiate the intentional deployment of violence for a gleeful sadistic end and when the abuse is a sign that an actor of an actress has become depraved.

The challenge of culture, economy and politics that support pop-culture violence can be uncovered. It can be noted that sexually violent materials has been on the rise in recent past. Most of such movies portray the relationship between pop-culture and violence (Markey et al. 169). These materials arouse violent non-sexual characteristics that escalate to domestic violence and in extreme cases, results in rape. The transformations seen in governance in the United States have somehow contributed to the rise of violent games, films, and music. The sovereignty of politics has been replaced by the independence of economics, as the power exercised by corporates reigns over the government. Money has been the most considerable influence on politics and resulted in a political culture where corruption s normalized. Under these circumstances, individuals who currently hold offices in different ministries have acquired their posts due to the amount of capital at their disposal. Therefore, it is critical for the society to shun cultural, economic and political ideologies that support popular culture full of violence.

Besides, imperial policies that punish aggression across the United States need to be matched with the current trends of popular culture that promotes violent behavior. The increased levels of lawlessness in the entertainment industry can be repressed by state laws, which mutually reprimands violent sense and hold directors and produces responsible. Civil societies have for the past years been generating the militarys sanity and mitigate war-like practices, explicitly organized to produce violent scenes. Other than social control undertaken by civil societies, State needs to outlaw violence in films and music (Markey et al. 173).

ConclusionScholars have often addressed the influence of pop-culture on violence but ignored the fact that the issue has been eating the society and require urgent attention. The relationship between violence and popular culture cannot be ignored. A study by Bandura reveals that there is a high correlation between long-term exposure to violent imagery and aggressive behavior. These have prompted the need to develop w culture where violence in films is mitigated through a variety of strategies. These strategies include increasing funding of public broadcasting of violent movies and education of viewers on its impact, changing the narrative of storytelling altogether, uncovering the challenge of culture, economy, and politics that support pop-culture violence as well as developing laws that would curb violence film and video game production. These strategies have the capability of reducing acquisition on of aggressive behaviors among individuals, especially the youths.


Works Cited

Cawelti, John G. Mystery, violence, and popular culture: essays. Popular Press, 2004.Demarty, Claire-Helene. "Multimodal violence detection in Hollywood movies: State-of-the-art and Benchmarking." Fusion in Computer Vision. Springer International Publishing, 2014. 185-208.

Markey, Patrick M., Juliana E. French, and Charlotte N. Markey. "Violent movies and severe acts of violence: Sensationalism versus science." Human communication research 41.2 (2015): 155-173.


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