Archive for the “Annotated Bibliography” Category

Annotated Bibiolography


Brause, Rita S. “School Days: Then and Now.” Anthropology & Education Quarterly 18.1 (1987): 53-5. JSTOR. Web. 25 Apr 2013.

Brause’s article is a short paper that muses on the changes of the educational system, and in it she recounts her trip to PS 86 after graduating 30 years earlier. She notices a large difference in how students and teachers interact synergistically, which was very different than the authoritarian methods of the past. She attributes these changes to three major reasons.

Page 55 states, “The school is focusing on children’s potential instead of their limitations. The negotiation process, which is characteristic of all human transactions, is evident. Control is shared rather than being viewed as in the exclusive domain of adults.” On the same page, the article also states, “The validity of the more traditional, authoritarian approach is suspect.” Brause also “acknowledge[s] an individual’s need to collaborate and dialogue in the learning process. Silence is no longer considered ‘golden’ in the learning environment.” These three quotes from the article all focus on the changes in the climate of educational institutions. And even though the article is more than 20 years old it gives a good perspective of how educational systems have changed to give more freedom to students, and in turn give more freedom in how students educate themselves.

This is paramount in helping my research paper prove its point because many school curriculums do not include film studies at the secondary level; this is more frequent in the curriculums of college level institutions. But at the same time, secondary education (even in the late 80’s) has started to focus on giving more freedom to students inside and outside the classroom. This leads to students being more open to the idea of accepting media and the violence it portrays as a form of education.

Carnagey, Nicholas L., Craig A. Anderson, and Bruce D. Bartholow. “Media Violence and Social Neuroscience: New Questions and New Opportunities.” Current Directions in Psychological Science 16.4 (2007): 178-82. JSTOR. Web. 25 Apr 2013.

Carnagey’s article provides the other perspective to what most of my research so far has shown: that violence in media has a negative effect on human development and student performance. Using the psychological General Aggression Model (GAM), and combining it with modern neuroscience and the technology it affords, the article shows scientific data that violent media increases aggressive and violent behavior in subjects. The article concludes by questioning whether violent video games or violent movies have a larger effect on producing violent behavior.

Page 179 of the article outlines the “numbing effect” that repeated depictions of violence has, stating “Recent research has demonstrated that violent video games can temporarily increase aggressive thoughts, aggressive affect… and can reduce arousal to subsequent depictions of violence.” This concept is revisited on page 180: “[Researchers] demonstrated that individuals with a history of high exposure to violent video games have different physiological reactions to scenes of real violence than do individuals with a low exposure history.” The article also states that violent images cause physical arousal inside the brain, and that physiological arousal is linked to human aggression. The article concludes that this is what causes violent behavior, saying “For example, excitation transfer theory states that arousal elicited by external sources (e.g., exercise) may be misattributed as anger in situations involving provocation and may thereby increase the chances of producing anger-motivated aggressive behavior” (Carnagey 179).

As with any thesis paper, differing opinions are essential in compiling a complete argument, and Carnagey’s research provides my project with just that. It is important because although the data says some very notable things, it is faulty because it places assumptions on several concepts. The first assumption that it makes is that human beings are “better off” never having experienced violence, or the world is capable of eliminating violence altogether. Sadly, this is not the case, as violence occurs frequently whether or not the media delivers it. Being “numb” to violence could be seen as an advantage that people have over others: if they are used to violence, they would then be better suited to process it. Another assumption the research places is the link between physiological arousal to human aggression. No matter how advanced neuroscience may have gotten in so far, the field is still very far off from making these kinds of assumptions; and let’s not forget, every human reacts differently.

The biggest concern about the validity of this article is that it is merely a compilation of other studies. It does not give the exact size of the patients studied, and only alludes to the convenient parts of pre-selected studies. It just makes one question the objectivity of the article.


Duncum, Paul. “Attractions to Violence and the Limits of Education.” Journal of Aesthetic Education 40.4 (2006): 21-38. Project Muse. Web. 25 Apr 2013.

Duncum’s article muses on why modern audiences are so attracted to violence depicted in the media. After categorizing several types of violence Duncum notes the increase in violence in modern media, stating that it is a paradoxically a reflection of society’s desire for security. The article concludes with a partial embrace with violent media.

Page 32 elaborates on the paradoxical nature of society in desiring security by accepting violence, stating:
“Paradoxically, the desire to live in a safe world, especially when feeling threatened, influences the acceptance of violence to secure safety. Antagonists invariably threaten the status quo while protagonists reestablish the status quo, and for people who are anxious, the desire for a stable, predictable world sanctions the use of violence.”

Duncum also states that the desire for violence is a reaction to the extreme degree to which the world is structured today, stating on page 31 “A highly structured, rationally ordered society makes people vulnerable to the appeal of the unstructured, irrationality of bodily excess.” In the article’s conclusion, Duncum states “Banning violent media, or even toning it down, however, appears not to be an adequate response because it is not the violent images alone that are the root problem…. No one wants the fear currently feeding media entertainment to be redirected into real world violence” (Duncum 34). The article seems to accept media violence as a part of human nature, substituting it for the much more harmful and dangerous “actual violence.” Duncum treats media violence as a sort of outlet for people, or better yet as a form of stress relief therapy.

This type of argument greatly contributes to my thesis paper, since it sheds a very positive light on media violence. More than being a factor in modern education, it goes beyond that and states that media violence may be even necessary in curbing human urges; urges that could bubble up in destructive forms, violent or another. Duncum’s essay helps my thesis because it focuses on the effects of violence on humanity on the whole rather than just seeing violence as a pedagogical tool, and this argument helps to bring violence as a necessary evil for human development (which is essentially what education is).

Ratner, Hilary H., Lisa Chiodo, Chandice Covington, and Robert J. Sokol. “Violence Exposure, IQ, Academic Performance, and Children’s Perception of Safety: Evidence of Protective Effects.” Merrill-Palmer Quarterly 52.2 (2006): 264-87. Project Muse. Web. 25 Apr   2013.

Ratner’s article focuses on violence, but not media violence: community violence. The paper focuses on the negative effect that community violence has on student performance. Ratner’s study concludes that children who feel “safer” produce significantly higher test scores and perform better at school.

Page 266 notes, “In our own studies of 6- and 7-year-old urban children, we… have found a significant negative association between community violence exposure and academic performance.” The essay elaborates on that point, stating on page 267, “…these findings suggest that children exposed to community violence who feel safe may have higher levels of academic performance.” The study attributes this to phenomenon to neurological reflexes, stating “Exposure to CVE may also trigger children’s ‘fight or flight’ responses, which could inhibit normal cognitive processing.” These quotes all say things that may seem irrelevant to my thesis, but it is precisely what is missing that helps fill in the gaps. In other words, it attributes community violence as harmful to education, not media/depicted violence. By not mentioning media violence in the paper, it indirectly differentiates actual violence to the idealized portrayal of violence in media, whether Ratner meant to do this or not.

This is another important aspect of my final paper, as separating media violence from experienced violence is a crucial part of the project; there has always been much discussion on whether or not violence in media directly relates to violent/criminal behaviors, but the debate has not reached a concrete answer. There is a distinct difference between idealizing and romanticizing violence in media, and actually experiencing it first-hand. My paper argues that the idealized packaging of violence contributes to the modern education of youths today, and that it is far different than community violence; this paper helps me differentiate between the two types of violence.

Stack, Michelle, and Deirdre M. Kelly. “Popular Media, Education, and Resistance.” Canadian Journal of Education 29.1 (2006): 5-26. JSTOR. Web. 25 Apr 2013.

Stack’s article focuses on the role of media as an educational resource in modern society. As such, the article looks at children and young adults in particular since they are the major targets of media. The article further explores how the target audiences can then in turn “resist” or manipulates what the media corporations produce.

On page 6, Stack asserts, “The media are a central, if not primary, pedagogue. Children and youth spend more time with media than any other institution, including schools.” On page 7, the article continues with:
“Advertisers have taken a keen interest in the child and youth market. In the United States, advertising aimed at children has gone from $100 million in 1983 to 1997, when the total spent on advertising and marketing towards children topped at $12.7 billion. Advertisers have increasingly segmented the market aimed at children based on age and gender.”

The article reaches its main argument on page 15, when it points out that “In everyday conversations, we often get the sense that people discuss the news as though it were facts, neutrally transmitted by the mainstream media (or else disregarded as propaganda), while pop culture gets singled out either for derision or as something evil that must be guarded against.” All three of these quotes from Stack’s article point to the fact that media is not what it used to be in the past. Media has a concrete effect on the development of youths, and (in general) is no longer the low-brow entertainment. It gives media considerable academic and intellectual value in today’s world that it did not have before.

This article greatly contributes to my research paper because it validates media as a viable vein of education for young people today. It empowers pop culture, media and the ideas they portrays as equal to, if not greater than, the same ideas that students learn inside classrooms. Therefore, one can conclude that Stack’s article gives educational value to all media forms, including feature films.

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