CHILDREN AND VIOLENCE ON THE SCREEN: AN ANALYSIS OF RAMBO FIRST BLOOD AND COMMANDO; A STUDY OF YOUTHS IN KADUNA METROPOLIS.

CHILDREN AND VIOLENCE ON THE SCREEN: AN ANALYSIS OF RAMBO FIRST BLOOD AND COMMANDO; A STUDY OF YOUTHS IN KADUNA METROPOLIS.

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CHAPTER ONE

BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

1.0   INTRODUCTION

Television plays a very important role in the society; it educates, informs, entertains and enlightens the people. The increase of television station and their numerous programmes and adverts have been the issue of major concern. This primary area of concern has been on the impact of it numerous programs on the populace, especially on the children and the youth’s. Violence in a movie is a behaviour intended to kill or hurt someone. It also refers to an act of aggression and abuse which can cause or is intended to cause criminal activities or harm. Aletha Huston (1992: pg 24).

A film is a series of moving picture recorded with sound that tells a story-shown on the television or at the cinema. As part of mass communication, it is use of vision and sound (audio-visual) in transmitting and disseminating its messages. These messages can be used in educating, informing, entertaining, and socializing its target audience. One of the most debased aspects of films is the extent to which violence of the films influenced social behaviour. Also, there has been scant scientific evidence to prove causal relationship such as one between violence films and increase in crime rate. Murray, P. & Salamon, G. (1984:p33)

However, from the earliest days of medium, adults have expressed concern about the influenced of films on children since at that age, a child’s social adjustment or mental health is affected. The study concentrated on children aged 6-12,this being the age range across, which many parents express least confidence when it comes to regulating their children’s at home viewing instinct. Younger children and older teenagers seem to offer fewer regulatory challenges in homes. UNESCO ( 1999:pg 29).

According to Anderson and Sakamoto (2010: page 24). Researchers monitored brain activity in a group of children while they watched a variety of films scene ranging from a bloody boxing watch in the Sylvester stallion films, rocky TV, to image of baby animals. The brain treats entertainment violence as something real and stores this violence as long term memory. They noted that the brain is treating it as serious stuff and many parents labour under the misapprehension that by accomplishing their children to the cinema or by sitting with them in front of the television, they can counter the effect of violence on them. Others, unrestrained by common sense, argue that by teaching children media literacy in other words explaining their screen violence is real well immunize them from any effect, but new neurological evidence shown that children are unable to distinguish between frictional and actual violence and indicate that parents can do nothing to minimize the long term effects of what their child is seeing just by being parents or discussing it with them comparing the brain activity of more aggressing adolescents with those with those with disrupt-tive behavioral disorders while the watch violence scenes.

National Institute of Mental Health, (1982: page 6). Also noted that while most scientists are convinced that children can learn aggressive behaviour from television screen they also point out that parents have tremendous power to moderate that influence.

Tapscott, (1998:page58). Said children have not been able to distinguish violence in real life and violence on the screen. Children have been seen today to imitate actors and carry around deadly weapons they watch on the screen.

Protest against the portrayal of excessive violence in western television such as crime, and adventure series has led to public inquiry on juvenile delinquency. A number of witnesses alleged that television action programs were contributing factors in the rising juvenile delinquency in the society. Several sociologists have said the behaviour pattern of youngsters was sometimes as a resell of television portrayals of ‘violence.

Thus it is impartial for the media to play a crucial role in changing these ugly situation. This is only attainable if the media is given a free hand to operate because a free press is the corner tone of promoting peace and love but condemning the use of violence in programming for commercial purpose.

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Television production or films on the screen have huge impact on the society especially youths and children. One major area of concern is the negative impact of some of its content such programs includes war film, cartoon and video game so on. The content of these programmes are action packed with violence. Experiment that children tended to model the behaviour they witnessed in the video as a normal way of life. This has been taken to imply that children may imitate aggressive behaviour; witness in the media in other words, the children may have viewed these media content as instruction, rather than incentives to feel more aggressive. It is against this background that this study shall asses’ children and violence on the screen which children and youths may learn. This study would examine different problems affecting children when they watch violence programs or films on the screen.

1.3   RESEARCH QUESTION       

The following research questions were drafted to guide this study.

 1       What impact does violence in the media have on children?                                                                                                                                                                   

2        Are these children affected by the message?   

3        Do all violence acts that children view on screen cause them to commit crime in                                         their later life?

4        Do parents play any role to avoiding the influence of these films on their                 children?

1.4  AIMS AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The aims and objective of this research are to study in detail the mechanism at work when children perform violence, focusing on:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

·              How violence is in their symbolic social (presented in their favourite video film) may contribute to violent acts, how violence is in their real social world (e.g. their experiences as witnesses to violence, as violent offenders, and as victims of violence) may contribute acts.

·              How their experience in the symbolic and real-world contribute to constructions of violence in their individual, subjective world (e.g. concepts and understandings of the phenomenon of violence; interpretation of violent acts; and experience fear of crime).

·              How violence in their re-social world (e.g. their experiences as witnesses violence; as violent offenders; and as victim off violence), my contribution to violent acts.                         

·              This study will also  identify the frequency of children violence with a view to find out, that television and films as a powerful agent of socialization and education, has the tendency of influencing the life of an individual most especially children.

·              It will examine the increase number of violent attitude and hatred due to their exposure to arise violence behaviours. It is also to look at the negative impacts of television violence on the children in Kaduna metropolis.

1.5   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

         This research work will give more insight to those who intent to undertake similar research. It will contribute meaningfully to literature both for students and media practitioners and generally in the field of mass communication. The study will highlight the negative programs especially on children who tend to believe everything they see and hear on television screen. It will also guide parents and other adults on the need to regulate and be concerned about the television programs children watch and to guide them appropriately. This study will also serve as a guide to television producers, their roles and responsibilities to the society.

1.6   SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study is Children and Violence on the Screen. Attention was paid particularly to the negative impact on the mind and actions of the children.                                                                                                                                 

1.7   LIMITATIONS

       The research therefore, limits the scope to Children and Violence on the Screen: An Analysis of Two Films Rambo, First Blood and Commando, A Study of  





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