Are school shootings the result of violent video games? Do sex-laden movies lead to promiscuity? Can Goth music create alienation? Repeatedly we are told the answer to these and similar questions is a resounding yes. But is this the right answer? It's Not the Media considers why media culture is a perennial target of both fascination and concern, and why we are so often encouraged to believe it is the root of many social problems. A look beyond the attention-grabbing headlines and political stumping reveals that fearing media feels right because media represents what we fear. And changes in media culture are easier to see than the complex economic, social, and political changes we have experienced over the past few decades. Digging deeper into the historical and societal trends of the past century and drawing from the most current social science research on the effects of media on children, Sternheimer presents a compelling argument that fear of social change, and what it means to be a kid in a today's media-saturated climate, lies at the heart of our media-bashing culture.
About the Author
Karen Sternheimer is a sociologist at the University of Southern California where she is also a faculty fellow at the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching. Her research has focused on issues related to popular culture and youth, particularly moral panics relating to both. She editor and lead writer for the Everyday Sociology blog and has appeared as a commentator on numerous networks, such as CNN, The History Channel, MSNBC, and Fox News.