(Q) Assess the usefulness of the Hypodermic Syringe model of the mass media.
The hypodermic Syringe Model (HSM) is an early theory model, which believes that there is a direct correlation between the violence and anti-social behaviour portrayed in different media types (e.g. Television, computer games and films). Sociologists found that the most venerable audience to the HSM are children and teenagers. this is because they are still in the early stages of socialization so are therefore very impressionable. A prime example to support this theory is the case of Jamie Bugler. Jamie was a 2 year old boy that was abducted and murdered by two 10 year old boys. The boys had apparently watched 'Childs Play 3' before they murdered
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In the media studies this is unclear, and it is often argued that the HSM tends to be selective to one particular type of violence; only focusing on particular types of fictional violence. Finally, is it argued that the effects model fails to put violence into context. Morrison makes a point of it viewing all violence as wrong and it fails to see that audiences interpret the violence differently as they interpret it according to the narrative context. Morrisons research concludes that the context in which screen violence occurs has different effects on the audience. In his study, he showed woman, men and war veterans various clips but two from 'Ladybird, Ladybird' and 'Pulp Fiction'. Most audience found the scene from 'Ladybird, Ladybird' where the man beats up his wife most disturbing as the context is so real and strong. They were also concerned for the child actors on the scene, and were distressed from the scenes realism. This is contrasted by the 'Pulp Fiction' scene where a man accidentally shoots another man mid-conversation by going over a bump in the road. Because of the light-hearted dialogue, viewers found the scene humorous and not violent. This evidence supports Morrisons theory.
Another main argument against using the HSM is that children are more sophisticated media users than the model makes them out to be. They are not as venerable to the violence and can distinguish between fictional and non-fiction violence