Viewers on Violence
By Julie Firmstone
Publication date: 2002
Total pages: 112
ISBN: 1 86020 565 8
Price: £ 15.00
Discerning Eyes reviews all major recent studies
of viewers’ perceptions of screen violence. This authoritative and
complete account of the research in the field covers all aspects of
television programming including news and current affairs, documentary,
crime reconstruction, crime drama and other fictional programming. In
addition to this comprehensive interpretation of research into adult
viewers’ perceptions of screen violence Discerning Eyes also
provides an analysis of similar research conducted with children.
Furthermore, the author addresses research in the topical area of violence
in video games.
This important review
gives attention to specific areas of research into screen violence such as
women’s perceptions of television violence, the contribution of screen
violence to fear of crime and perceptions of screen violence by survivors
of violence and their relatives.
Discerning Eyes makes a major contribution to the understanding of the
role of screen violence in people’s lives by bringing together a number of
disparate studies in an organised and informative structure. This
practical approach allows the reader to readily identify the key issues
and findings of the research in this area of study.
Julie Firmstone’s concentration on research into audience perceptions offers a
welcome change from the bias of much academic enquiry in the effects
tradition. The contextual historical essay by Professor James D. Halloran
is of particular importance in setting the social and political context
within which mass communications research and research into screen
violence has developed. Drawing from his own experience as a founding
figure of British mass communications research, Professor Halloran
explains the reasons why research began to turn away from a traditional
focus on the effects of televised violence. His reasoning and description
of British communications research, and communications research in
general, provides a fascinating account of the politics of research.
Foreword by Professor James Halloran
graduated in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds. Since
graduating she has worked as a researcher on several audience research
studies at the Institute of Communications Studies, and has recently
begun research based in the Institutes’ Centre For European Political
Communications into the role of the media in the communication of
European politics and the representation of European news in the media.