Assess the usefulness of the Hypodermic Syringe model of the mass media Essay Sample

Assess the utility of the Hypodermic Syringe theoretical account of the mass media.

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The subcutaneous Syringe Model ( HSM ) is an early theory theoretical account. which believes that there is a direct correlativity between the force and anti-social behavior portrayed in different media types ( e. g. Television. computing machine games and movies ) . Sociologists found that the most venerable audience to the HSM are kids and adolescents. this is because they are still in the early phases of socialisation so are hence really waxy. A premier illustration to back up this theory is the instance of Jamie Bugler. Jamie was a 2 twelvemonth old male child that was abducted and murdered by two 10 twelvemonth old male childs. The male childs had seemingly watched ‘Childs Play 3’ before they murdered the yearling. and as the slaying was really similar to the decease in the movie newspapers such as ‘The Sun’ created a argument to whether such force in the media should be accepted. However. when the instance was carried out. the constabulary found no existent grounds of Jamie’s slayers watching ‘Childs Play 3’ or that they had been influenced by it. Leading on from this point. ‘Imitation’ or ‘Copycat Violence’ have besides shown a relationship with the media. Early surveies focused on carry oning experiments in laboratory state of affairss to prove if this theory was true. A chief instance survey for this is Bandura. who looked for a direct cause-and-effect relationship between media content and force.

Testing 4 groups of kids. he showed 3 a picture of a adult female crushing up a ‘bobo’ doll and the 4th group no force. Then. when placed in the room with the bobo doll the 3 groups that were shown the force supported Banduras theory by besides moving violently ( e. g. striking and kicking the doll in the same manner the adult female foremost did ) . The 4th group acted less violently. therefore reasoning imitation or imitator force. Support for this theory besides came from other sociologists such as Martin and McCabe. they argued that such media force has a ‘disinhibition effect’ which convinced kids that in some societal state of affairss. the ‘normal’ regulations that govern struggle and difference can be suspended. The job with this experiment are the laboratory issues of it being little graduated table. can non command the variables prior to the experiment and it being low in cogency as it is non in a natural scene. merely to call a few. Desensitisation is another theory connected to the HSM. created by Elizabeth Newson.

She argued that ‘sadistic’ images in movies and on Television excessively easy bucked up viewing audiences to place with violent culprits instead than the victims. She besides concluded that adolescents and kids are exposed to 1000s of violent Acts of the Apostless and violent deaths throughout their childhood. This created a ‘drip-drab’ consequence. from being exposed to force over such a long period of clip adolescents became desensitized. this consequences in accepting violent societal behavior. ensuing in her decision that immature people are more likely to act antisocially than old coevalss. Alternatively. desensitization is contrasted with sensitisation. Media sociologists ( for illustration Jack Young ) argue that seeing the effects of force along with the hurting and agony caused to the victim and their households make us more award of the effects. In some instances. the force portrayed can be so lurid and upseting that the viewing audiences are put off making any force or aggression. This consequences in positions of the aggressive and violent media are really less likely to perpetrate violent Acts of the Apostless.

Along with the research lab jobs. the HSM instead has other unfavorable judgments. Some media sociologists really claim that media force can forestall existent life force. such as Fesbach and Sanger. They found that screen force can supply a ‘safe outlet’ for people aggression. By looking at the effects of violent Television adolescents. they carried out the undermentioned research. A big sample of teenage male childs from private schools and residential places watched Television for 6 hebdomads. Some groups could merely watch aggressive Television. and the other could merely watch non-aggressive Television. The consequences showed that after the 6 hebdomad period. the male childs that had to watch aggressive programmes were found to really be less aggressive in their behavior compared to the others. It was so suggested that by watching an exciting movie aggressive energy is released into safe mercantile establishments as the viewing audiences immerse themselves in the action. This is known as Catharsis. Further jobs have besides been identified with the assorted research conducted above in the methodological analysis of subcutaneous syringe surveies ( e. g. Bandura’s have been questioned ) . The surveies ( noted by Gauntlett ) have frequently been completed in the research lab which. as antecedently mentioned. creates low cogency as they are in an unreal context and are non in a natural scene.

Children particularly do non act of course under these environments and conditions. so this can do the sociologists findings questionable. Small sample sizes are frequently used. which means that the findings can non be generalised. this means that the consequences can non be applied to a greater audience with assurance as some of the consequences may non be the same when the experiment is carried out with more people. Another unfavorable judgment against the HSM is that some surveies are non wholly clear on how force is defined as there are a figure of different types of force that are put into different classs ( for illustration. reliable force from war images compared with featuring force such as packaging ) . This is associated with whether these different types of force have the same of different effects upon their audiences. and if different audiences react otherwise to different degrees and types of force. In the media surveies this is ill-defined. and it is frequently argued that the HSM tends to be selective to one peculiar type of force ; merely concentrating on peculiar types of fictional force. Finally. is it argued that the effects theoretical account fails to set force into context.

Morrison makes a point of it sing all force as incorrect and it fails to see that audiences interpret the force otherwise as they interpret it harmonizing to the narrative context. Morrisons research concludes that the context in which screen force occurs has different effects on the audience. In his survey. he showed adult female. work forces and war veterans assorted cartridge holders but two from ‘Ladybird. Ladybird’ and ‘Pulp Fiction’ . Most audience found the scene from ‘Ladybird. Ladybird’ where the adult male beats up his married woman most distressing as the context is so existent and strong. They were besides concerned for the kid histrions on the scene. and were distressed from the scenes pragmatism. This is contrasted by the ‘Pulp Fiction’ scene where a adult male by chance shoots another adult male mid-conversation by traveling over a bump in the route. Because of the blithe duologue. viewing audiences found the scene humourous and non violent. This grounds supports Morrisons theory. Another chief statement against utilizing the HSM is that kids are more sophisticated media users than the theoretical account makes them out to be. They are non as venerable to the force and can separate between fictional and non-fiction force from a really early age. This theory is supported by two sociologists: Buckingham and Wood.

Buckingham found that kids are sophisticated in their apprehension and are more media literate than expected. Wood. by carry oning a little graduated table survey of a boys usage of picture. concludes that force of horror movies is all portion of turning up. This is from analyzing the boys reactions to watching a horror picture when their parents are off. By being able to curse and act in a butch manner it allows the male childs to arouse their maleness. In comparing to the HSM. active audience attacks see the media as far less influential and people have a pick on how to be influenced and see the media. The ‘Two Step Flow Model’ is the first version of this position. This accounts for a wholly opposite position compared to the HSM theoretical account as that is chiefly based on being influenced. Created by Katz and Lazarsfeld. they argue that an single interprets media in different ways harmonizing to interaction/conversations that they have had with equals. friends and household. This consequences in modifying or rejecting media messages. Another statement of theirs is that societal webs have are dominated by people who have strong thoughts on a scope of affairs. exposing different types of media. As these people are looked up to and listen to by others. they have been named ‘Opinion Leaders’ . From this. an individual’s readings are passed on to their societal circulating and hence start spread outing. However. before the spread of messages. the media messages have to travel through two stairss.

The first is the sentiment leader demands to be exposed to the content. and the 2nd is those who respect the sentiment leader internalise their reading of the content. This procedure will non work without those two stairss ( harmonizing to Katz and Lazarfeld ) . On the other manus. critics of this theoretical account point out that there is no warrant that the sentiment leader has non been subjected to a desensitizing consequence. For illustration. a gang leader may go through on the message that force is all right and acceptable from playing on excessively many violent computing machine games that do non demo the effects of the actions committed. Besides. socially stray persons are most at hazard. non people who look up to ‘Opinion Leaders’ . This is because they are non members of any societal web so do non hold entree to an sentiment leader who might alter the persons mind in a more positive and healthy manner. Another version of active audience attacks is created by Klapper.

It suggests that media messages must go through through three filters to hold any consequence. The first filter is named Selective Exposure. The audience must take to read/view/listen to the content of specific media. but the audience’s pick depends wholly upon their involvements. There is a limitation to this nevertheless as if movies are chosen. there is an age bound put in topographic point by the BBFC certifications system which prevents some audiences from sing a peculiar film/TV show. Selective perceptual experience is the 2nd filter. which is when the audience may non accept the media message at all. They can take notice of the content. but can reject and abandon it. Festinger argues that people will merely seek out information that confirms their existing attitudes and position of the universe. This peculiarly applies to newspapers.

Finally. the 3rd and concluding filter is Selective Retention. most people merely retrieve things that the loosely agree with. but the messages must ‘stick in their mind’ . Postman argues that we live in a ‘three-minute culture’- the attending span of an mean member of society is three proceedingss or less. In decision. Klapper suggests that the three filters involve being actively chosen by the audience. This whole procedure and 2nd version of active audiences attacks is called The Selective Filter Model. In decision. the grounds collected for the HSM theoretical account is weak as most of the surveies that have looked at how kids are affected when Television foremost arrives in a society have found small alteration. Overall. there is no conclusive grounds either manner that force show in the media influences or alterations people’s behavior.


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