Tma 04

TMA 04
Compare and contrast the approaches taken by Huesmann et al. (2003) and Hall et al. (1978) to explaining social disorder.

When looking at social disorder, it can have many different definitions but in this instance both studies are specifically looking at violence and crime. Each study gives a central role to the media but differ in the relationship observed between the correlation of media influence and social disorder. Both have similarities but produce different results and use different methods to prove their hypotheses which, looking at both together and analysing them individually as well as comparing and contrasting, can give a full view on the different effects that the media can have on social disorder.

Hall et al (1978) focused on an area that had previously been brought to attention by Cohen (1973) which looked at fighting between youths in the 1960s- ‘Hall et al. accepted that street violence existed but are much more concerned with how it became defined and amplified through media’ (Kelly and Toynbee, 2009, p.372)   so they carried on the hypothesis that the exposure of violence in the media influenced others to partake in crime or created a panic among the public about the increase in crime and conducted his own study which analysed street crime in the 1970s. Hall took a naturalistic observational approach and took into consideration all social factors as well as the factors affected by the influence of the media which gives the study good external validity and makes it very generalisable to other decades and places.

Huesmann et al (2003) looked solely at the direct effects that media had on the public. He used a different approach which was a longitudinal study- this involves using a test group and makes the study less externally valid but more internally valid as Huesmann proved his hypothesis. The study concludes that there was a positive correlation between direct media influence and violence but does not take into consideration...