A01 Media- Introduction
- Media has an influence on addiction (through movies, shows) which encourage addictive behaviours such as gambling.
- Media glamorises addictive behaviours which removes the stigma associated with the behaviour which making it come accross as socially acceptable.
e.g. Trainspotting -Recreational drugs
- Showed the world of a heroin addict
- Even though the movie was dark and disturbing, the movie came accross as fascinating for a mainstream audience.
Research into film representations of addiction
- Collected 140 scenes from 47 films that represented various forms of addictions.
- Films about drug use, such as American beauty (1999) showed a sense of achievement when consuming drugs and also feeling joy out of the effects.
- Enjoyment was generally compared to the dullness of ordinary life.
- In Human Traffic (1999)- Showed how the use of ecstasy is portrayed as a way of resolving relationship problems.
Representation of smoking in films
- Research has proven that media representations of smoking is influential towards teenagers causing them to take up the habit.
Waylen et al.(2011)
- Examined 360 of the top US box office films released between 2001-2005 which exhibited smoking.
- Findings- Teenagers who watched films that glamorized smoking were more likely to start smoking.Also found a correlation between teenagers smoking and the number of films they watched that were associated with smoking.
The role of media in changing addictive behaviour
- Treatment of addiction is often interfered by factors such as:
- A limited number of professionals who are able to administer the treatment
- The motivation for an addict to attend treatments etc.
- This has led to other ways of providing support/ education for individuals.
- Biggest form of intervention is through media
- Promotes healthy lifestyles
- Behaviour change- E.g. stop smoking
- physical exercise
Television support for problem drinking
Bennett el al.(1991)
- Evaluated a BBC TV series "Psst...the Really Useful Guide to Alcohol"
- Matched pairs design- Viewers of the series compared against non-viewers
- Findings- Even though the results showed an improvement in alcohol related knowledge, they still did not show a change in attitude or alcohol consumption.
A02 Film representations of addictions
Point- Despite various studies showing how addictions are represented in film media, only a few studies have assessed whether if these representations actually have an effect on viewers.
Elaborate- Evidence- Sargent and Hanewinkel (2009)
- Tested whether teenagers exposure to smoking from films influenced their initiation into smoking
- Surveyed 4384 teenagers aged 11-15 and re-surveyed them a year later
- Findings- Individuals who did not smoke when first surveyed, exposure to films about smoking over the year had a significant impact as to whether they had begun to smoke when re-surveyed.
Real world application- As several ethical issues are raised regarding what materials is broadcasted through mediums such as televisions and how studies have shown how vulnerable teenagers are to be influenced into smoking; this means that materials with behaviours such as smoking or gambling may need to be broadcasted after childrens bedtimes.
AO2- Against Sulkunen (2007)
An alternative perspective
Point- Researchers such as Sulkunen (2007) who claim that films portray addiction in a positive/ glamorised way, Boyd (2008) argues that films do frequently represent the negative consequences of addictions such as drugs or alcohol.
Elaborate- For example illegal drug use and addiction are represented by violence, crime, sexual degradation and moral decline.
Link- In US, film makers are provided with script-to-screen advice about how to represent drug use and addiction in films. Also financial incentives are offered if they do so in a negative way.
- Most of the evidence about the impact of media on addictive behaviour is correlational
- Therefore difficult to determine cause and effect- There may be confounding variables. (e.g. genetics, personality)
- Explanations and research mainly focuses on younger viewers