Messenger Fantasy is a genre of literature that tends to polarise people. The assumption is that fantasy is of lesser value than realist writing — which is why it is commonly associated with children and the imagination. But why is this the case? What exactly does fantasy offer to young readers?
This meant that violence on television or in movies could stimulate or influence some children to participate in aggressive or violent behavior. At about the same time my own research at the University of Utah showed that children who had been heavily exposed to violence on TV could also become somewhat desensitized to it compared with children who had seen little or no TV.
This suggests an unfeeling or indifferent response by citizens in the presence of suffering on the part of others. One possible explanation for this apathy, especially in the larger urban areas, is that many individuals have become desensitized to violence witnessed primarily in the media.
And while in the United States available data show an enormous amount of violence on TV and in movies, this is an issue and problem common to many of the culturally advanced nations of the world where a high percentage of Fantasy movies and their impact on teens populace have TV sets.
What children see on the screen is violence as an almost casual commonplace of daily living. Violence becomes the fundamental principle of society, the natural law of humanity. Killing is as common as taking a walk, a gun more natural than an umbrella. Children learn to take pride in force and violence and to feel ashamed of ordinary sympathy.
They are encouraged to forget that people have feelings. In recent years he and a number of associates have amassed a great deal of evidence that has repeatedly and powerfully shown how live models or those on TV and on the theater screen can teach new behavior patterns and influence or even change opinions, attitudes, and values.
Many of the U. This evidence suggests that TV and motion pictures are powerful teaching tools, for good or evil. Advertisers spend two and a half billion dollars a year on TV advertising in the U. Politicians often engage in saturation blitzes on TV, spending large sums of money in an effort to sway voter opinion and behavior in their direction.
This too is done on the assumption, and with some supporting scientific evidence, that the media are powerful determiners of behavior, whether it be in selling a bar of soap or attracting votes to a particular candidate.
There appears to be little doubt that television and motion pictures have significant power to inform, educate, persuade, and sometimes even change behavior. The general notion behind modeling, or imitative learning, is that if you want someone to adopt a new behavior, you show him a live or televised model of someone exhibiting this behavior under glamorous and attractive conditions.
For example, a young man may be afraid of snakes. You show him a cute little girl playing with a harmless snake, first at a distance, then close up. She models for him the handling of a snake, demonstrating how harmless it can be. After a few exposures to this, he touches the snake and soon overcomes his fear and aversion to it.
One can effectively teach golf, the operation of a complex machine, table manners, and other skills primarily by the modeling or imitative learning technique.
In a junior high school recently two boys were found to be drunk in the classroom. An investigation showed that one of the boys had recently watched a thirty-minute TV documentary on the making of whiskey and distilled spirits. On the basis of this single exposure, he built his own still and made his own private alcoholic stock, which he brought to school and shared with his companion.
The educational potential of TV and motion pictures is enormous. Studies in the U. Various surveys have shown that most children watch TV from fourteen to forty-nine hours a week, depending on age and socio-economic level.
In just the preschool years alone, some U. One study notes that the average child in the U.
The notion that parents should or can control the TV-viewing habits of their children turns out to be virtually a myth in most households. Parents, in fact, rarely exercise control over the television habit of their children. Bandura, the Stanford psychologist, has concluded that imitative learning plays a highly influential role in accelerating social changes, in inducing long-lasting attitude changes, and in strengthening or extinguishing emotional responsiveness to various stimuli.
The role of TV and movies in inciting violence, in teaching values, and in modeling a variety of life-styles, some of which may be antisocial and contributory to social breakdown, certainly bears investigation.
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Each week we send a customized newsletter to our parent and teen subscribers. Parents can customize their settings to receive recommendations and parent tips based on their . Best Fantasy Movies Witches, magic, fallen stars, time travel, quests to save the world -- fantasy movies are filled with plots and characters that are bound to spark your kids' imagination.
This list of our editors' favorites is sure to come in handy for your next family movie night. Note: We're trying not to include as many "edge case" movies that don't fit into science fiction, fantasy, horror or comics adaptations this year.