skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 150861 Find in a Library
Title: Self-Image as a Repository of Human Exploitation
Author(s): R J Hamm
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 30
Type: Conference Material
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The media as mirrors of society is discussed.
Abstract: This author of this paper argues that disintegrating social institutions such as the family and the neighborhood, traditionally serving as cultural vehicles for identity development, have been replaced by less personal forms of social and recreational involvement achieved through technological advances in advertising, communications, transportation, and the entertainment industry. As such, the traditional community is being displaced as a vehicle for self-identification by a community of simulated environments, mobile and transient social patterns, and the increasingly intrusive presentation of imagery, primarily through videotechnology. The media which transmit images, ideas, and information are no longer simply conveying information. The media's success has relied on creating need and insecurity, thereby transforming lifestyles. In turn, the author hypothesizes, the media themselves also are transformed by public demand. If correct, the media are being transformed in terms of the content they present to the public to reflect a society which they have helped to create, i.e., the reason that the media are producing more hedonistic and violent products is because society has created public demand for these kinds of products. The author explores, inter alia, the disposable nature of society, immediate gratification replacing long-term commitment to goals and achievement behavior, the role of image in self and boundary formation including the bounded self, image preservation, image fixation, and character adaptations to image fixation. The author concludes that, in modern society, the bounded self spurred on by unprecedented affluence and technological advances, has become magnified by its exploitative and wasteful regard toward human relations. Because of this philosophical premise by which people regard one another, rather than bringing people closer together, the mass media have contributed to grandiose and exploitative images of self and human relations while simultaneously offering sanctuary from community development. In the realm of mental health, disorders of self reflect a society suffering from alienation and addicted to the immediate gratification our media offer in abundance as a palliative for the failure of the family and community to provide safety and self-pride as they once did. 38 references
Main Term(s): Media violence
Index Term(s): Alienation; Criminology; Media-crime relationships; Self concept
Note: This paper was presented at the International Conference on Violence in the Media: Prospects for Change, held on October 3-4, 1994, in New York City. The conference was sponsored by St. John's University.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.