Stromae’s video “Carmen”

Doing research for design projects and research in design in general also means understanding the culture for which the design is created. Most of my work is within the American culture. It is important to understand the affects of all forms of media within the American culture. Below is a snippet from a handout I created for a speech on this topic. From print ads to television and from digital ads to radio and everything in between, the American culture is inundated with images and messages. Does this affect the culture? How does it affect the culture?

As designers of these messages, how is the violence in these messages affecting us? Are we perpetuating the violence, or is the violence perpetuating us?

Which Came First–The Angry Chicken or the Broken Egg?

Does Television Violence Reflect a Violent American Culture, or Does the American Culture Reflect What Television Shows?

Stromae’s video “Carmen”

What makes American more violent than many similar countries?

“If so many commercial interests invest so much money in advertising, it would seem absurd to believe that the media have no effect on our behavior.”

—James Q. Wilson, Crime and Human Nature

Television Effects on Viewers

3 types of harmful effects can occur from watching violence on television. A viewer can:

  • Learn aggressive attitudes and behaviors,
  • Become desensitized to the seriousness of violence, and
  • Feel frightened of becoming a victim of real life violence

Increasing harmful effects:

  • Attractive perpetrator
  • Justification for violence
  • Violence that goes unpunished

Violence on Television

Summary of Findings From the National Television Violence Study

  • 57% of all programming is violent.
  • Most television violence goes unpunished. Perpetrators go unpunished in 73% of all violent scenes.
  • 47% of all violent interactions show no harm to victims.
  • 58% of all violent interactions show no pain.
  • 25% of all violent interactions involve handguns.
  • Only 16% of all violent interactions portray the long-term negative effects of violence (psychological, financial, or emotional harm).
  • Only 4% of all violent programs emphasize an anti-violence theme.

Violence on Television

Summary of Findings From the National Television Violence Study, Volume 3

57%

All programming

73%

Perpetrators unpunished in violent scenes

47%

No harm to victims

58%

No pain

25%

Involve handguns

16%

Portray the long-term negative effects of violence (psychological, financial, or emotional harm)

4%

Emphasize an anti-violence theme

Summary of Findings From the National Television Violence Study. Volume 3.

Historical Violent Crime Data

By Volume and Rate per 100,000 Inhabitants, 1990-2009

Year

Population

Violent crime

Violent Crime Rate

1990

249,464,396

1,820,127

729.6

1991

252,153,092

1,911,767

758.2

1995

262,803,276

1,798,792

684.5

2000

281,421,906

1,425,486

506.5

2005

296,507,061

1,390,745

469.0

2009

307,006,550

1,318,398

429.4

Federal Bureau of Investigations. Uniform Crime Reports.

Have social media affected Americans the same way?

Stromea presents this compelling cartoon illustrating a strong dependence and emotional gap among users. (The video is in French but contains subtitles.)

See this article also on LinkedIn.