cultivation theory ideologies. people people interaction politics relationships US behavoural trend US citizens US crime statistics US culture US government US violent crime statistics violent crime violent crime levels what causes violent crime?

Violent Crime and the Cultivation Theory

Of all the criminal activity that causes concern amongst society, it is undoubtedly violent crime that remains the most pertinent. The statistics for violent crime in the US have fluctuated over the previous 20 years, rising, falling and then rising again since the turn of the century. There were an estimated 1.8 million instances of violent crime reported in 1995, which reduced to 1.3 million in 2003. This approximate figure has risen again to more than 1.4 million in 2009, prompting concerns of a further increase and gradual decline of social conditions.

There have been several theories forwarded for increased violence amongst society’s members, some of which have been developed since an initial explosion of violent felonies in the 1960’s. The most forward thinking and relevant today is George Gerner’s renowned cultivation theory, which emerged from his experiments and research conducted over a 20 year period. His project involved looking at the effects of television and social media has on impressionable young minds, and their reaction and understanding of concepts such as politics, ideology and violence.

A Relevant and Innovative Study

The reason that Gerbner’s work remains so relevant is the focus from contemporary society on the frequency with which young children play video games. The development of games consoles and games with violent tendencies began to peak in the early 1990’s, coinciding with the sudden increase in instances of violent crime. Gerbner’s studies examined television and media outlets in how they influenced people’s thoughts and actions, and although violence and the effects of violence were a portion of his work, his findings were significant none the less.

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