This book brings together a group of scholars to share findings and insights on the effects of media on children and family. Their contributions reflect not only widely divergent political orientations and value systems, but also three distinct domains of inquiry into human motivation and behavior -- social scientific, psychodynamic (or psychoanalytical), and clinical practice. Each of these three domains is privy to important evidence and insights that need to transcend epistemological and methodological boundaries if understanding of the subject is to improve dramatically. In keeping with this notion, the editors asked the authors to go beyond a summary of findings, and lend additional distinction to the book by applying the "binoculars" of their particular perspective and offering suggestions as to the implications of their findings.
One of the goals of the conference that resulted in this book was consensus building in the area of media and family. From examining the findings and insights of a diverse group of scholars, it seems that consensus building in several areas is a distinct possibility. Addressing the concerns of educators about the influence of the mass media of communication -- entertainment programs in particular -- on children and the welfare of the nuclear family, this volume projects directions for superior programming, especially for educational television. The influence of sex and violence on children and adults is given much attention, and the development of moral judgment and sexual expectations, among other things, is explored. The critical analysis of media effects includes examination of positive contributions of the media, such as the search for missing children and exemplary educational programs.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface. Part I: Media and the Family. A.C. Huston, D. Zillmann, J. Bryant, Media Influence, Public Policy, and the Family. M.S. Andreasen, Patterns of Family Life and Television Consumption From 1945 to the 1990s. T. Skill, Family Images and Family Actions as Presented in the Media: Where We've Been and What We've Found. A. Alexander, The Effect of Media on Family Interaction. R. Kubey, Media Implications for the Quality of Family Life. Part II: Developmental and Educational Implications. A.C. Huston, J.C. Wright, Educating Children With Television: The Forms of the Medium. E.E. Allen, Strategies for the 1990s: Using the Media for Good. D.G. Singer, J.L. Singer, Evaluating the Classroom Viewing of a Television Series: "Degrassi Junior High." C. Ashbach, Media Influences and Personality Development: The Inner Image and the Outer World. Part III: Effects of Violence and Horror. A.P. Derdeyn, J.M. Turley, Television, Films, and the Emotional Life of Children. J. Cantor, Confronting Children's Fright Responses to Mass Media. R.G. Geen, Television and Aggression: Recent Developments in Research and Theory. Part IV: Sexual Content and Family Context. B.S. Greenberg, Content Trends in Media Sex. J. Bryant, S.C. Rockwell, Effects of Massive Exposure to Sexually Oriented Prime-Time Television Programming on Adolescents' Moral Judgment. Part V: Effects of Erotica and Pornography. D. Zillmann, Erotica and Family Values. J.B. Weaver, III, Pornography and Sexual Callousness: The Perceptual and Behavioral Consequences of Exposure to Pornography. V.B. Cline, Pornography Effects: Empirical and Clinical Evidence. M.D. Reed, Pornography Addiction and Compulsive Sexual Behavior. J.S. Lyons, R.L. Anderson, D.B. Larson, A Systematic Review of the Effects of Aggressive and Nonaggressive Pornography. Part VI: Social Awareness and Public Policy. J.A. Reisman, Child Pornography in Erotic Magazines, Social Awareness, and Self-Censorship. R. Showers, Research, Public Policy, and Law: Combination for Change.
"Erudite essays by experts -- yet about a subject near and dear to the hearts of youth workers."
"...one of the most extensive and comprehensive overviews of research in this area."
"...innovative, as the editors have gathered authors with contrasting views on the subject....it is these differing viewpoints that provoke a more complex consideration of children and television than other edited volumes provide."
—Harvard Educational Review
"If ever a book demanded a classroom, this one does. A compilation of well-documented studies focuses on mass media's effects on American life and family, the text is filled with facts the public ought to ponder....it's knowledge and retrospective every educator and every individual needs."
—Public Relations Review