Synopses & Reviews
Are school shootings the result of violent video games? Do sex-laden movies lead to promiscuity? Can Goth music create alienation? Repeatedly we are told the answer to these and similar questions is a resounding yes. But is this the right answer? It's Not the Media considers why media culture is a perennial target of both fascination and concern, and why we are so often encouraged to believe it is the root of many social problems. A look beyond the attention-grabbing headlines and political stumping reveals that fearing media feels right because media represents what we fear. And changes in media culture are easier to see than the complex economic, social, and political changes we have experienced over the past few decades. Digging deeper into the historical and societal trends of the past century and drawing from the most current social science research on the effects of media on children, Sternheimer presents a compelling argument that fear of social change, and what it means to be a kid in a today's media-saturated climate, lies at the heart of our media-bashing culture.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 251-256) and index.
Challenges the conventional wisdom that media creates a toxic environment for America's youth, diverting us from the real origins of problems affecting children today
About the Author
Karen Sternheimer teaches in the sociology department at the University of Southern California. Her commentary has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and other major newspapers. She also serves as a research consultant for the Center for Media Literacy. She lives in Los Angeles.
Table of Contents
Who's afraid of the the big bad wolf? ; The flawed logic of media phobia, past and present -- Why Americans choose to fear media ; It's not the media: what really changed childhood -- Why Americans choose to fear youth ; The politics of youth-bashing -- Fear of media violence ; Four fallacies of media-violence effects -- Fear of cartoons ; Role models for bad behavior? -- Fear of video games ; The blamed games -- Fear of music ; Musical murder and misogyny -- Fear of advertising and the young consumer ; How much is that psyche in the window? -- Fear of sex ; Do the media make them do it? -- Fear of the Internet ; Information regulation -- Rethinking fears of media and children ; Media: a sheep in wolf's clothing.