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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 67576 Find in a Library
Title: VIOLENCE AND AGGRESSION IN PANAMANIAN TELEVISION PROGRAMS
Author(s): L L HYMAN; L A ESCOVER; R RANGER; R RIVERA
Corporate Author: Universidad de Panama
Instituto de Criminologia
Panama

Universidad de Panama Politicas
Facultad de Derecho Y Cienias
Panama
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 71
Sponsoring Agency: Universidad de Panama
Panama City, Panama
Universidad de Panama Politicas
Panama City, Panama
Format: Document
Language: Spanish
Country: Panama
Annotation: THIS SURVEY OF THE EFFECTS OF TELEVISION PROGRAMS PORTRAYING VIOLENCE AND CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR ON PANAMANIAN VIEWERS FOUND NO CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE OF A DIRECT CORRELATION BETWEEN TELEVISION VIOLENCE AND CRIMINALITY.
Abstract: THIS SELF-STYLED 1974 PILOT STUDY WAS BASED ON THE PREMISE THAT PANAMANIAN MASS MEDIA IN GENERAL, AND THE TELEVISION INDUSTRY IN PARTICULAR, ARE CONTROLLED BY FOREIGN INTERESTS AND LOCAL DOMINANT GROUPS WHOSE MAIN GOALS ARE THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF CULTURAL VALUES AND THE PROMOTION OF FALSE CONSUMPTION MODELS. THE RESEARCHERS SURVEYED A CROSS SECTION OF PANAMA CITY'S POPULATION (905 INDIVIDUALS FROM 10 YEARS OLD ON UP). THE STUDY FOCUSED ON THREE VARIABLES: (1) SUBJECTS' PERSONAL DATA (E.G., AGE, SEX, EDUCATION, OCCUPATION); (2) INFORMATION ON TELEVISION CHANNELS HABITUALLY WATCHED AND NUMBER OF HOURS DEVOTED TO TELEVISION, SUBDIVIDED BY TYPE OF PROGRAM (I.E., POLICE STORIES, SOAP OPERAS, SITUATION COMEDIES, CARTOONS, EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS, CULTURAL AND SPORTS EVENTS, NEWSCASTS); AND (3) THE ACTUAL VIOLENCE AND AGGRESSION CONTENTS OF INDIVIDUAL SHOWS, LISTED BY TITLE, AND THE RESPONDENTS' PERCEPTION OF SUCH CONTENT. AMONG THE FINDINGS OF THE SURVEY ARE THAT THE PANAMANIAN TELEVISION INDUSTRY IS DEFINITELY CONTROLLED BY ECONOMIC INTERESTS LINKED TO THE MULTINATIONAL CONGLOMERATES, AND TELEVISION PROGRAMMING IS SLANTED TOWARD PROMOTING THE VALUES AND IDEOLOGY OF CAPITALISM. POLICE STORIES AND SOAP OPERAS HAVE THE LARGEST NUMBERS OF VIEWERS, WHILE MALE VIEWERS IDENTIFY WITH POLICE STORY CHARACTERS, WHOSE VIOLENT BEHAVIOR IS PRESENTED AS JUSTIFIED. IN GENERAL, THE PROGRAMS FAVORED BY THE ENTIRE SAMPLE DEPICT PHYSICAL VIOLENCE, BRUTALITY, SEXUAL GRATIFICATION, OR SIMPLY MELODRAMA. NOT SURPRISINGLY, MEN IDENTIFY WITH VIOLENT/AGGRESSIVE PROGRAMS TO A MUCH HIGHER DEGREE THAN WOMEN. THE MAJORITY OF THE SUBJECTS SURVEYED TURNED OUT TO BE STUDENTS (61.9 PERCENT), BUT THE VIEWERS' EDUCATION DID NOT APPEAR TO PLAY A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN VIEWING HABITS AND PREFERENCES. THE RESEARCHERS FOUND SOME INDICATIONS THAT WATCHING AGGRESSIVE AND VIOLENT BEHAVIOR ON A TELEVISION SCREEN CAN PROVIDE A VICARIOUS AND HARMLESS OUTLET FOR THE AGGRESSIVE INSTINCTS OF SOME VIEWERS (CATHARTIC EFFECT). ON THE OTHER HAND, IT MAY RELEASE AND PRECIPITATE VIOLENT AND CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR IN INDIVIDUALS WITH EXISTING, MARKED PSYCHOPATHIC TENDENCIES. IN SUM, VIOLENCE IN TELEVISION APPEARS TO BE ONLY ONE AMONG MANY POSSIBLE CRIMINOGENIC FACTORS. APPENDIXES GIVE THE THREE TYPES OF QUESTIONNAIRE DISTRIBUTED TO THE SURVEY POPULATION.--IN SPANISH.
Index Term(s): Crime Causes; Panama; Violence on television
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67576

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