Assignment 4 – Media Violence geared toward a youthful audiance

Cartoon – Dragon Ball Z Episode 64 – 22 minutes

 

In this photo, the antagonist gores one of the human heroes

 

Physical violence – 12+ counts, a few of these acts are fatal, one attack alone destroys a planet, killing a whole race of people

 

Verbal violence  – 22 counts Including intimidation, insults, putdowns, threats, and humiliation.

Perpetrator – Almost all of the violence in the cartoon was male-on-male even though the perpetrator is an alien creatures.  It is assumed that the alien is a male by references made by other characters.  Although he initially talks with a feminine sounding voice, he transforms to a much more intimidating state and then talks with a much deeper voice, in these ways he is almost reminiscent of a transexual.

 

Victim – The heroes are humans (or humanoids anyways, since some of them originate from a planet besides earth).  In battle they consist of 3 males.  Other protagonists shown include a woman, one of the hero’s father (who is traveling to the planet to aid their quest), and a green male alien who is trying to defend his home-planet.  Through flashbacks the alien is shown killing a group of people and then destroying their planet, killing the rest of the race.  In a more graphic act of violence, the alien stabs a human through the chest with his horn, killing him.

 

Rewarded or punished – Violence, being the premise of the cartoon, is constantly rewarded.  It does portray an unrealistic world in which people travel between planets with no hesitations of killing others.  In one instance, violence (including murder and, in one case, genocide) ends a revolution and in another, it instills fear on the alien’s opponents.  The only punishment for the alien in this particular episode was causing others to dislike him, vowing revenge.  This however did not seem to cause any remorse for the villain.

 

Target age group Males 7-14

 

As a cartoon targeted to very young kids, it is surprising to find that it contains so much violence, especially lethal violence.  The violence is almost never in a comical context, but rather to progress the storyline.  Important things to note however are that this violence is never portrayed as realistic and many of the characters are aliens that do not resemble humans except for in body shape (2 arms, 2 legs, etc..).  The means to an end in almost all confrontations is violence, which is rarely if ever punished.  Although it is portrayed as fantasy-type violence this could (through modeling theory) teach young children that the best way to deal with confrontations is through physical violence.  Often violence can lead to positive results (ex. justice) which can make already-violent children believe (through reinforcement theory) that violence is excusable if the motivation is righteous.

 

 

Wrestling – WWE Monday Night RAW 10/4/2010 30 minutes

 

Hero John Cena prepares to slam an opponent

 

Physical violence – 23+ counts of physical violence including 5 cheap shots and 3 displays of poor sportsmanship.

 

Verbal violence – 16 including insults, putdowns, intimidation, threats, sarcasm, and humiliation.  Most of these are due to wrestler’s personal grudges against each other which go in accordance to their story-lines.  For example one wrestler (John Cena) who’s very popular with kids was forced to join a group which were responsible for his last defeat.  Wrestlers do not like to be lose and to establish their role as bad guys or “heels” the group humiliated and ridiculed Cena in the ring.  He later tried to get even by walking out on one of his new partners during a match.

 

Perpetrators and Victims- All of the violence that took place in the opening 30 minutes that I analyzed was man against man.  No women were involved.  Throughout a whole episode of wrestling, however, there is often women involved in women-on-women matches.  Also, women who have the roles of wrestler’s girlfriends or managers often interfere in matches by committing acts of violence against men.  Very rarely are there acts of violence committed by men against women, but such acts are not unheard of.  e

 

 

Rewarded or punished – Wrestling is not a real sport, but it tries to make itself look like a legitimate competitive sport, that’s the basis of its existence.  Most violence takes place inside the ring during a “legitimate match.”  During a match of course lots of violence takes place however rules are often broken due to negligent referees and cheap shots often go unpunished.  All in all, violence is rewarded in wrestling either because a certain wrestler is getting revenge on another or because they are perusing a World Title shot (which is rewarded to wrestlers who win a good amount of their matches and are also popular with the audience).

Wrestling is different from any sport in the sense that all matches are pre-determined.  Who gets title opportunities is dependent on the reaction a performer gets from the crowd.  The good guys (also called heroes or faces) try to get the crowd to like them, they generally play fairly and have a positive attitude, putting value on sportsmanship and justice.  The bad guys (called heels) have the opposite job.  They are supposed to do whatever they can to get a negative reaction from the crowd (dubbed heat).  Their tactics include using foul language, insulting face characters, using cheap shots, cheating, and taking advantage of situations to get an advantage.

 

Target age group- Although the rating suggests the program is intended for people over the age of 14, the target age group ranges from as young as 6 years old to around 25.

 

The problem with children watching to wrestling is that many are below the suggested age of 14.  There are many instances of children under the age of 14 (copycat-effect) re-enacting acts of violence, copying language or gestures, and trying to attempt wrestling moves (which are staged by professionals.)  Another result is attitudinal effects  which often have children role-playing as their wrestling hero which involve cocky, rebellious attitudes and perceptions of superhuman abilities.

 

 

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