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Mean World Syndrome - Essay Example

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Name Professor Subject/course Date Mean World Syndrome The “Mean World Syndrome” is a theory that was propagated for by George Gerbner who is an expert in matters that relate to the effects of mass media on viewers. The syndrome describes the impacts and/ or the effects that mass media content projects to the viewer - where the viewer and/ or the audience may view the world as a very cruel and/ or mean place to live in while in actual fact it is not…
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Mean World Syndrome
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Mean World Syndrome

..It used to be the parent, the school, the church, the community. Now it's a handful of global conglomerates that have nothing to tell, but a great deal to sell.” It is without doubt that back in the days when the media was not as full blown as it is now, meaningful stories used to be told by individuals such as: parents; guardians; teachers at school; church leaders; community members. However, that changed since the inception and the optimization of the media. As of now, the media can be in a position to tell stories in the manner that they would like to tell it regardless of the impact that the story will have on the viewers and/ or the audience. In addition to that, the media has the capability to manipulate stories and events in the manner which in most occurrences it will always be to their gain; that is to have a “great deal to sell” (“George Gerbner Leaves the Mean World Syndrome”) As cited from Murrey (2008), Warr, a professor of sociology, mentioned that the media has taken the centrefold to showcase that the world we live in is indeed very dangerous with regard to violence and crimes. Warr added that, "What makes fear of crime so important as a social problem is its consequences for our society. When people take precautions based on fear that restrict their life and their children’s lives, we restrict our freedom and we do so unnecessarily. Fear also undermines the civility and trust in our communities that make civic life possible, and that’s a terrible consequence for a democratic society”. When this scenario is applied in real life, a parent may think and conceptualize in their mind that the world is indeed very cruel for their child. As a result, they may end up being very over protective to their child such that they cannot engage in social activities such as shopping, going to the movies, going to visit friends and so on. As such, the parent unknowingly ends up withdrawing their child from the world in a bid to “protect” them while in actual sense they are causing harming to the child – that is, the child cannot engage in social activities and this may lead to depression and other forms of seclusion. However, this scenario is different for those individuals and/ or children who do not watch much of television. They tend to not be affected by the mean world syndrome. This is because instead of getting advice from the media, they get it through their elders by communicating to them what challenges they are facing. As such, they get a review and a reality of the world from a personal level. There are countless channels through which mass media content can be viewed from. Movies can now be viewed either at the cinemas, at home through kits such as Cable TV, Pay TV, Blue Ray, VCR and DVD. As such, this increases the audience reach that is going to gain access to such entertainment forums. For example, if an individual prefers to view media content through Blue Ray, then they will watch what they prefer through Blue Ray; the same goes for those who have VCR’s and DVD’s – they can be in a position to choose what media form suites them best. Through that, the media has managed to cultivate fear to their audiences through a variety of horrific films as well as films that project ethnic ... Read More
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