Heavy viewers are exposed to more violence and therefore are affected by the Mean World Syndrome, the belief that the world is a far worse and dangerous place then it actually is. According to the article the heavy viewing of television is creating a homogeneous and fearful populace.
What are young girls and women learning about the culture’s view of the female body when all around them images of teen girls and women are scantily clad if dressed at all. Viewing this phenomenon through George Gerbner‘s lens of cultivation, the building and maintenance of a stable set of images that reinforce one another and collectively construct reality, girls grow up in a culture in which it is not uncommon and is actually expected that girls and women will be highly sexualized objects.
As we described in the previous chapter, cultivation emerged in the shadow of two contrary historical trends: while the prevailing intellectual discourse held that media effects were, at most, limited, heightened concern about television and violence dominated public and Congressional discourse
One response to this statement, as seen in the previous chapter, was that cultivation couldn't be properly measured and therefore was probably not real; or, if real, it had not been convincingly demonstrated using sufficiently rigorous scientific techniques.
Cultivation analysis springs from one of those broadly based theories in communication. As such, it has of course been guilty of committing the errors that all grand theories make as they develop from infancy toward maturity. Previous research has advanced essentially to the stage where certain degrees of media exposure (mostly television) are correlated with predicted differences in cognitive, affective or behavioral measures.
Cultivation Theory is a social theory that was developed by George Gerbner and Larry Gross in the 1960s and 1970s. The gist of Cultivation Theory is that people's perceptions of reality are cultivated by exposure to television over time. According to Cultivation Theory, the process of cultivation occurs in two ways: mainstreaming and resonance.
By analyzing the way power, representation and culture are at play we are able to gain a greater understanding of how the media functions, which subsequently enables us the discerningly evaluate its influence and content. Despite the fact that in the media, generally fall into the same category, the enormous range of titles do not contain the same content and target.
The premise behind Cultivation Theory is the notion that the audience receives the same constant message and develops it primarily through mainstreaming or residence. As we move into the era were television channels range well into the thousands; it should be questioned whether cultivation is still feasible in new media as it is currently defined.
Cultivation theory (aka cultivation hypothesis, cultivation analysis) was an a theory composed originally by G. Gerbner and later expanded upon by Gerbner & Gross (1976 – Living with television: The violence profile. Journal of Communication, 26, 76.), they began research in the mid-1960s endeavoring to study media effects, specifically whether watching television influences the audiences idea and perception of everyday life, and if so, how.
Cultivation theorists argue that television has long term effects which are small, gradual and indirect but cumulative and significant in nature. According to this theory a long persistent exposure of TV is capable of cultivating common beliefs about that world.