Download ...And There Was Television by Ellis Cashmore PDF

By Ellis Cashmore

Tv is blamed for an collection of evils, together with violence, shortened cognizance spans, the decline of literacy and political indoctrination. This research weighs up the theories and the proof. the writer argues that a lot of the panic is with no origin, and that the only most vital chance posed via television is that it encourages us to spend an excessive amount of. Cashmore consents with many writers that tv is an elemental strength in present day tradition, yet he offers a totally diverse account of ways and why this has happen. He postulates that tv is the principal gear of client society and its luck is measured no longer when it comes to no matter if we get pleasure from programmes, yet how a lot we spend due to looking at them.

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Sample text

But these are anomalies, as tv aims to achieve applause rather than reflection. And this signifies a profound change in culture: it has been transformed into “one vast arena for show business” (Postman 1985:80). Comparing the nature and type of public discourse television permits with earlier forms, Postman concluded that our culture has become degraded. ” Reading a book, or watching a play, or attending a political assembly to listen to a speaker requires us, at minimum, to remain immobile for a fairly long time.

Miller concurred with all the theorists considered in this chapter when he observed that we have lapsed “into a constant, dull anxiety wherein we can hardly sense the difference between a famine and a case of body odor” (1988:324). sophisticated sponges Todd Gitlin’s feat has been to alchemize some of the assertions, arguments, declarations and possibly plain dogma into empirical questions, which he answered in two related books. The Whole World is Watching, published in 1980, draws its title from the chant of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) when in the presence of US national television cameras.

A strong implication of the views of Adorno, Lazarsfeld and the others is that television has a “deadening” impact and inhibits us from acting in a positive way. Psychologists, studying the desensitizing effects of television, show that this occurs only after repeated viewing of the same presentation. John Condry’s exhaustive survey of the research revealed ambivalence on television’s capacity to arouse or desensitize and only a tenuous grasp of the behavioral mechanisms involved. “It is unclear the extent to which individual’s ‘use’ television, like a drug, to change their affective state,” Condry concluded in The Psychology of Television (1989:114).

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