The Mean World Syndrome Analysis

Words: 1124
Pages: 5

Introductory Paragraph The purpose of my essay is to analyze the video, “The Mean World Syndrome: Media Violence and Cultivation of Fear.” This video is about the media’s portrayal of violence in our society and how that portrayal affects us as human beings. According to the creators of the documentary, and based on the work of George Gerbner, the ever increasing depiction of violence by the media has had a negative impact on society by making us more fearful of our surroundings and more tolerant of violence. Cultivation studies show that “heavy viewers of television are more likely than light viewers to perceive the world as a frightening and dangerous place” (Video). Essentially, more frequent viewers of television and other forms of …show more content…
What this means is that every social experience affects us in a small way. Four key agents which influence socialization are family, school, peers and mass media (Lecture notes, Chapter 3). Family limits our choices because the responsibility to teach the child skills, values and beliefs falls mainly on the parents. The values and beliefs of the parents, however expansive or limited, are shared on a continual basis with the children. Children learn from the type of environment adults establish for them (Macionis, p. 94). Parents also give a social identity to their children, this also involves race. Race plays a big role in establishing a child’s personality. Social class is also a big factor in socialization because parents want their children to be successful in the world (Macionis, p. 94).
School is another agent of socialization. School limits our choices because school makes it so a child should be willing to step out of their comfort zone. As they meet people different from themselves, children come to realize that race and social position are important. Schools start to socialize children in gender roles. Studies show that at school, boys are more involved in physical activities and girls like to help teachers out with housekeeping chores (Macionis, p.
…show more content…
The entire media context is what it is comprised of. The mean world syndrome is how one kind of story or program blends into another to create and reinforce a distinct view and sense of the world. To get to the heart of the mean world syndrome, you have to simply pick up the remote and do some channel surfing. As you move from one channel to the next, the world is portrayed as either funny, ridiculous or a place of constant danger, threat, psychotic killers, child abductors, murder, disease, plague, threats of war and visions of the end times. More and more it is the latter that is most prominent. For example, sixty-one percent of all lead stories on local news are dedicated to crime, fires, disasters and accidents. Cultivation is defined as a stable system of messages and images that shapes our conception of the world and of ourselves, life, society and power (Video). This cultivation, over time, ingrains a sense that the world is a dangerous place. It also conditions the viewer to accept that violence is a fact of life and to be more tolerant of