Evil Influences: Crusades Against the Mass Media

Transaction Publishers, 1. jan. 1989 - 212 sider

Each new development in the mass media has elicited highly charged criticism from alarmed observers. Comics, romance novels, music videos, and even movies, radio, and television have all been denounced as threats to children, teenagers, adults, and even the stability of civilization itself. Organized into community groups, citizens have repeatedly taken militant action against the media, ranging from book burnings to blacklisting and from harassment of individual publishers to attempts to regulate entire industries. Investigative committees and commissions are not uncommon. What is it about the media that generates such attacks?

Evil Influences examines the historical, sociological, and psychological background of current controversies regarding the media. Starker finds that even though it is couched in logic or scientific theory, such hostility is almost always a byproduct of fearâ fear of imagination and fantasy, fear of change, fear of human aggression and sensuality. Successive media developments have challenged traditional perceptions and habits by introducing powerful visual and emotional elements into mass communication. Because they frighten and threaten a part of the audience, new forms of mass media engender public outrage and become easy scapegoats, accused of everything from stimulation of violence to promotion of conformity.

This book is addressed to those who inevitably participate in media debatesâ social scientists, educators, communications professionals, the clergy, and educated parents. Its intention is to prepare us for the arrival of new media forms and their associated threats.


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Threats to Mind Morality and Society
Writing Printing and Thinking
The Response to Innovation
Pressure on the Press Journalism
Fear of Fiction The Novel
Infamous Images The Comics
The Sin in Cinema Movies
Radio Activity and Its Fallout Radio
Invaders of the Eighties Recent Threats
Social and Psychological Perspectives
Masscult Menace Popular Culture
Moral Crusades The Psychology of Fear
Subject Index
Name Index
Media Index

The Vast Wasteland Television

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Om forfatteren (1989)

Steven Starker is chief, psychology service, Portland Veteran’s Medical Center and professor of media sociology at Oregon Health Sciences University. He is the author of numerous works, including Oracle at the Supermarket and The Power of Fantasy in Human Creativity.

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