Park University Unit 8 Violence in the Media Question

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Park University


Please choose one of the following questions to answer for this unit by Wednesday at 11:59pm (CST). You should also respond to two of your classmates' postings by Sunday at 11:59pm (CST).

Before answering this unit's questions, you should read “Serial Killing in America After 9/11,” p. 244 in Natural Born Celebrities.

Keep in mind, as you view the film, a few of the questions posted below.


Full-bodied entries—of at least ten sentences of writing from you (in addition to quotations from the text)—are more likely to receive full credit. Lesser credit will be assigned to work that is missing, brief, or clearly disengaged or sloppily produced such that miscues interfere with readability.

Your responses to other students’ work are also assessed. Students often resist commenting on each others’ work in substantial ways; instead choosing to post simply “good job” or “looks okay to me.” This kind of peer response doesn’t help your own—or your peers’—development as a writer and thinker.

Acceptable peer responses will, among other things:

  • Explicitly identify what was learned from someone else’s work.
  • Ask a follow-up question.
  • Offer an alternative interpretation.
  • Offer concrete strategies for improvement.

Questions (Reading and General Questions)

Choose one questions to answer:

  1. In the final chapter from Natural Born Celebrities, Schmid argues that the serial killer genre and the terrorist genre of films coincided after 9/11. The co-mingling of the genres offered an opportunity for us to associate serial killers as a foreign threat to our nation. What ties do you see between this idea and the zombie trend in popular culture right now?
  2. Overall, what concepts about violence in the media have you gained during the time in this course? What ideas will resonate with you after the course ends? While most people simply consume these films and TV series as mindless entertainment, what do you now think they are actually watching and internalizing, if anything?
  3. If you were teaching this course, what media would you have included in the syllabus? (Remember, the idea: How are we valorizing the serial killer or reversing the positions of killers within pop culture.) Thoughts?

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Explanation & Answer




Violence in the Media
Institutional Affiliation


Violence in the Media

The perspectives of violence vary from society to another. Communities that have been
battling with civil wars for decades have different priorities in combatting social violence from
those dealing with cases of serial killers as well as those handling extremists. Regardless of the
variations that might exist between the three, the media has an influential role in shaping the
outlooks of people on matters of violence, establishing elements that are viewed as "normal" and
others that are entirely unacceptable. The movie industry, in particular, has historically portrayed
the different forms of violence in societies and the standard methods of dealing with such
instances. Hence, media presentations actively or subconsciously influence the beliefs of people
concerning violence, a factor that can also alter their character.
Concepts about Violence in the Media
One of the central notions about violence available in contemporary media is that the
perpetrators are external. A common theme is many media presentations is that people who
initiate violence are not part of the standard society. Such a view is achieved through the
externalization of attackers through psychological labeling or geographical affiliation. ...

Really useful study material!