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Reflection essay topics: Media violence - artistic expression or path to psychological degeneration?
Violent scenes are depicted on TV and in press on the regular basis, which actually has become a dividing public concern. The debate over media violence in America has already been running for three decades, and its main point is determining whether media violence results in real-life violent actions. The opponents of cruelty scenes, broadcasted by media, seek primarily to protect their children from such scenes, whereas the supporters hold that the restriction of media violence automatically abuses the freedom of speech and is therefore unconstitutional.
Major thesis statements:
1) The abolition of media violence is likely to affect artistic expression, especially in films, where many emotions demonstrated are related to violence.
2) Media violence amplifies aggression rates in children and teenagers and therefore has a negative impact on the health of the future generation.
3) Only the violence in video games can be regarded as hazardous for child development, with respect to research findings.
4) 'Acceptable' content is purely subjective consideration, so standardization procedure is not likely to be successful.
5) Citizens, not the government, are to decide on their children's media product consumption, so the problem of media violence should be solved at individual level.
Primary issues to discuss:
1) Why is media violence enjoying enormous popularity in spite of its barely acceptable content?
2) How can you explain the impact of media violence on children's minds? Are violent materials dangerous for adults?
3) Can you distinguish any artistic value in such materials, cruel video games?
4) Would you allow your own children to consume media violence? Why or why not?
Bushman, B. and Anderson, C. media violence and the American public: Scientific facts vs. media misinformation. American Psychologist, 56: pp. 477-489, 2001.
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