David Alton’s Literary Criticism of Our Video Culture

David Alton’s Literary Criticism of Our Video Culture

David Alto’s literary criticism, “Our Video Culture,” directly mirrors concepts covered in chapter ;o, specifically the characteristics of culture and the ideas of mass media. Alto’s document discusses the impact of video and television violence on the behavior of children, and the unacceptable shift in what is suitable to be broadcasted on television. Alton focuses on the specific example of the murder of a two-year-old boy, James Bulgier, by two young boys in Liverpool.

The murderers had been conditioned to believe that certain lenient actions were acceptable; they were desensitizing to such gruesome ideas, due to the number of times they had seen these actions displayed on television. The two boys have been exposed to a series of popular violent television films that instilled in them, vicious characteristics of culture that were learned through observation and imitation. When Alton and many others addressed the issue of widespread violence on television, Parliament disregarded it as a matter that should be tended to by the child’s parents.

This hints at the idea that though the values of a society express that murder ND violence are unacceptable, mass media was successfully able to create an ambiguous area of limitations for television broadcasts; it was no longer mass media’s fault, but the parents fault for not monitoring their children more carefully. Mass media has used its power to shape what is now believed as the new norm for television by encouraging a pervasive culture of violence, thus minimizing the concern of what children can observe and learn from watching this violence on television; giving way to situations such as the murder of James Bulgier.

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