Today children are being effected by the media. From so many corners of the mediated world we are thrown prejudice and social stigma’s that we believe should be followed. People have many anxieties that todays media will have a negative effect on the youth. This comes from something known as the ‘Media Effects Model’. The media uses its control over the audience in order to brand and form stereotypes. It is from this specific targeting that anxieties are formed. Are these anxieties really justified? And is the media really at fault?
Media audiences are often portrayed as victims. People who are easily influenced by the likes of mass media. Especially in todays age of technological convergence there are many new forms of media with the power to influence their viewers. Every new media form has the power to inspire anxieties about its possible negative effects (S.Turnbull, 2015).
One common anxiety is the effect of media violence. One of the major effects of media violence is the learning of aggression from products such as films, music and video games. One experiment by American psychologist Alfred Bandura, demonstrated his social learning theory and how this can be relevant to influenced by the media. His experiment demonstrated that children can learn through observation of adult behaviour, whether this be verbal or physical. The experiment allowed children to be violent in behaviour to a bobo doll which they had previously encountered an adult attacking. The children later copied this behaviour that they had observed even when presented with other opportunities. This proved Bandura’s experiment that children are effected by the things that they see and hear.
While the main anxiety of the effect of violence occurs from television and film there is also major exposure from music and music videos. Music is very important to children and adolescents in todays media age. Many believe that music has the power to change the world, it has its own personal effects on the people that listen to it. This could possibly prove that it is the media who is at fault but the people who interpret it.
A recent example of this could be an incident that occurred at the Oklahoma University where an entire fraternity, of young males, were disbanded after a video of them singing a racially fuelled chant was released out to the public. The chant was directed to people identified as Black Americans and used derogatory names and threats. A popular American breakfast show called ‘Morning Joe’ voiced there opinion about the situation and made an interesting comment about the influence of modern day music.
“The kids who are buying hip hop… It’s a white audience and they hear this over and over again. Popular culture becomes a cesspool. A lot of corporations profit off it. And some people are surprised that some drunken 19 year old kids repeat what they’ve been hearing.”
Their comment proves that their is strong belief that pop culture and the music industry is at fault for the anxieties of media effects. The cause of the effect comes from Lyric Interpretation and how this can cause a problem. Douglas A. Gentile makes an extremely good point to consider in his research book ‘Media Violence and Children’, that what young people make of popular songs depends not on what they get from the lyrics but what they bring to the lyric.
I believe this proves a great point to come back to the anxiety and who is to blame. Is it at the fault of the people who create or consume? People can use the media for good and bad, whilst music and other forms of media can inspire and bring hope to our modern world, it also has the ability to cause negative impact.
What are your thoughts on the effect music plays on todays youth?
- Bobo doll experiment. 2015. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 19 April, 2015, from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1567717/Bobo-doll-experiment
- Beresin, Eugene. “The Impact of Media Violence on Children and Adolescents: Opportunities for Clinical Interventions.” The Impact of Media Violence on Children and Adolescents: Opportunities for Clinical Interventions. American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry. Web. 19 Apr. 2015. .
- Gentile, Douglas A., ed. 2003. Media violence and children: A complete guide for parents and professionals. Westport, CT: Praeger.
- Graham, David. “Rap Lyrics and White Racism.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 11 Mar. 2015. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/03/rap-lyrics-and-white-racism/387451/