SM  Vol.2 No.2 , April 2012
Violent Crime on American Television: A Critical Interpretation of Empirical Studies
Author(s) Amir Hetsroni*
ABSTRACT
This article reviews six decades of studies regarding the presentation of violent crime on American television, and its impact. We critically discuss the major findings and analyze the political-public discourse regarding the macro-social effects of fictional and non-fictional televised violent crime. The claim made here is that this discourse created “too much fuss over not too much blame” in order to mark television as the agent in responsibility for social atrocities.

Cite this paper
Hetsroni, A. (2012). Violent Crime on American Television: A Critical Interpretation of Empirical Studies. Sociology Mind, 2, 141-147. doi: 10.4236/sm.2012.22018.
References
[1]   Apple, M. (2008). Fictional narratives cultivate just world beliefs. Jour- nal of Communication, 58, 62-83. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.2007.00374.x

[2]   Bandura, A. (1994). Social cognitive theory of mass communication. In J. Bryant, & D. Zillman (Eds.), Media effects: Advances in theory and research (2nd ed., pp. 61-90). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

[3]   Berkowitz, D. (1990). Refining the gatekeeping metaphor for local te- levision news. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 34, 55-68. doi:10.1080/08838159009386725

[4]   Bortner, M. A. (1984). Media images and public attitudes toward crime and justice. In R. Surette (Ed.), Justice and the media (pp. 15-30). Springfield, IL: Thomas.

[5]   Brown, J. D. (2001). A comparison of fictional television crime and crime index statistics. Communication Research Reports, 18, 192-199. doi:10.1080/08824090109384797

[6]   Bushman, B. J., & Anderson, C. A. (2001). Media violence and the American public: Scientific facts versus media misinformation. Ame- rican Psychologist, 56, 477-489. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.56.6-7.477

[7]   Centerwall, B. S. (1989). Exposure to television as a risk factor for violence. American Journal of Epidemiology, 129, 643-652

[8]   Comstock, G. (1983). Media influences on aggresson. In A. Goldstein, & L. Krasner (Eds.), Prevention and control of aggression (pp. 241- 272). Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press.

[9]   Comstock, G., Chaffee, S., Katzman, N., McCombs, M., & Roberts, D. (1978). Television and human behavior. NY: Columbia University Press.

[10]   Comstock, G., & Scharrer, E. (1999). Television: What’s on, who’s watching and what it means. San Diego: Academic Press.

[11]   Diefenbach, D. L., & West, M. D. (2001). Violent crime and Poisson regression: A measure and a method for cultivation analysis. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 45, 432-445. doi:10.1207/s15506878jobem4503_4

[12]   Diener, E., & DuFour, D. (1978). Does television violence enhance program popularity? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36, 333-341. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.36.3.333

[13]   Dominick, J. R. (1973). Crime and law enforcement on prime-time television. Public Opinion Quarterly, 37, 241-250. doi:10.1086/268081

[14]   Donnerstein, E., & & Linz, D. (1995). The media. In J. Q. Wilson, & J. Petersilia (Eds.), Crime (pp. 237-264). San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Press

[15]   Doppelt, J., & Manikas, P. (1990). Mass media and criminal justice decision making. In R. Surette (Ed.), The media and criminal policy (pp. 129-142). Springfield, IL: Thomas.

[16]   Eron, L. D., & Huesmann, L. R. (1980). Adolescent aggression and te- levision. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 347, 319-331. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.1980.tb21281.x

[17]   Fedler, F., & Jordan, D. (1982). How emphasis on people affects coverage of crime. Journalism Quarterly, 17, 474-478. doi:10.1177/107769908205900321

[18]   Gerbner, G., Gross, L., Eleey, M., Jackson-Beeck, M., Jeffries-Fox, S., & Signorielli, N. (1977). TV violence profile, No. 8: The highlights. Journal of Communication, 27, 171-180. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.1977.tb01845.x

[19]   Gerbner, G., Gross, L., Morgan, M., Signorielli, N., & Shanahan, J. (2002). Growing up with television: Cultivation processes. In J. Bryant, & D. Zillman (Eds.), Media effects: Advances in theory and research (2nd edition) (pp. 43-67). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

[20]   Goldstein, M. (1973). Exposure to erotic and violent stimuli and sexual deviance. Journal of Social Issues, 29, 197-219. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.1973.tb00096.x

[21]   Graber, D. (1980). Crime news and the public. NY: Praeger.

[22]   Greenberg, B. S., & Collette, L. (1997). The changing faces on TV: A demographic analysis of network television’s new seasons, 1966- 1992. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 41, 1-13. doi:10.1080/08838159709364386

[23]   Greenberg, B. S., Simmons, K. W., Hogan, L., & Atkin, C. K. (1980). The demography of fictional TV characters. In B. S. Greenberg (Ed.), Life on television: Content analyses of U.S. TV drama (pp. 99-128). Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.

[24]   Grimes, T., Anderson, J., & Bergen, L. (2008). Media violence and ag- gression: Science and ideology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

[25]   Head, S. W. (1954). Content analysis of television drama programs. Quarterly of Film, Radio and Television, 9, 175-194. doi:10.1525/fq.1954.9.2.04a00080

[26]   Heath L., & Gilbert, F. (1996). Mass media and fear of crime. American Behavioral Scientist, 39, 379-386. doi:10.1177/0002764296039004003

[27]   Hennigan, K., Heath, L., Wharton, J. D., Del-Rosario, M. L., Cook, T. D., & Calder, B. J. (1982). Impact of the introduction of television on crime in the United States: Empirical findings and theoretical implications. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 42, 461-477. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.42.3.461

[28]   Hetsroni, A. (2007). Forty years of violent content on prime-time network programming: A longitudinal meta-analytic review. Journal of Communication, 57, 759-784. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.2007.00367.x

[29]   Hetsroni, A., & Tukachinsky, R. H. (2006). TV world estimates and real world estimates: A new scheme for cultivation. Journal of Com- munication, 56, 133-156. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.2006.00007.x

[30]   Jermyn, D. (2006). Crimewatching: Investigating real crime TV. London: IB Tauris.

[31]   Lasswell, H. D. (1935). World politics and personal insecurity: A contribution to political psychiatry. NY: McGraw-Hill.

[32]   Lichter, L. S., & Lichter, S. R. (1983). Prime time crime. Washington, DC: Media Institute.

[33]   Lichter, S. R., Lichter, L. S., & Rothman, S. (1994). Prime time: How TV portrays American culture. Washington, DC: Regnery.

[34]   Lowery, S. A. & DeFleur, M. L. (1995). Milestones in mass communication research: Media effects (3rd ed.). White Plains, NY: Longman.

[35]   Maguire, B. (1988). Image vs. reality: An analysis of prime-time television crime and police programs. Crime and Justice, 11, 165-188. doi:10.1080/0735648X.1988.9721362

[36]   Meyers, M. (1994). News of battering. Journal of Communication, 44, 47-63. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.1994.tb00676.x

[37]   Paik, H., & Comstock, G. (1994). The effects of television violence on antisocial behavior: A meta-analysis. Communication Research, 21, 516-546. doi:10.1177/009365094021004004

[38]   Pease, S., & Love, C. (1984). The copycat crime phenomenon. In R. Surette (Ed.), Justice and the media (pp. 199-211). Springfield, IL: Thomas.

[39]   Philips, D., & & Hensley, J. (1984). When violence is rewarded or pun- ished: The impact of mass media stories on homicide. Journal of Communication, 34, 101-116. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.1984.tb02178.x

[40]   Potter, W. J. (2003). The 11 myths of media violence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

[41]   Roman, J. (2005). From daytime to primetime: The history of American television programs. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

[42]   Saad, L. (2007. Perceptions of crime problem remain curiously negative. URL (last checked 22 October 2007). http://www.gallup.com/poll/102262/Perceptions-Crime-Problem-Remain-Curiously-Negative.aspx

[43]   Scheingold, S. (1984). The politics of law and order. White Plains, NY: Longman.

[44]   Sheley, J., & Ashkins, C. (1981). Crime, crime news and crime views. Public Opinion Quarterly, 45, 492-506. doi:10.1086/268683

[45]   Signorielli, N. (2005). Violence in the media: A reference handbook. Santa-Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

[46]   Smythe, D. W. (1954). Reality as presented by television. Public Opinion Quarterly, 18, 143-156. doi:10.1086/266500

[47]   Stark, S. (1987). Perry Mason meets Sonny Crocket: The history of lawyers and the police as television heroes. University of Miami Law Review, 42, 229-283.

[48]   Surette, R. (1998). Media, crime, and criminal justice: Images and realities (2nd ed.). New York: Wadsworth Publishing.

[49]   Terry, W. (1984). Crime and the news: Gatekeeping and beyond. In R. Surette (Ed.), Justice and the media (pp. 31-50). Springfield, IL: Thomas.

[50]   TV Guide (2006). Guide to TV. New York: Barnes & Noble Publishing.

[51]   Weimann, G. (2000). Communicating unreality: Modern media and the reconstruction of reality. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

 
 
Top