Argument Synthesis Essay

Argument Synthesis Essay - Jeff Bouton Interpretation and...

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Jeff Bouton Interpretation and Argument October 14 th , 2009 Troubled Society? People are affected by their culture and what surrounds them there is no question about that. The actual question on hand is how do people in a society and their ideologies react to culture? There are several sides to the question, each as valid as the next. There are the Liberals that believe society is negatively affected by culture and media. On the other hand, there are the Conservatives who feel that mass media and culture positively affect people in a society. In between those two sides are neutrals that are indifferent to any side. These groups of people have different views, and they have formed their view on their respective side for reasons. It is important to see where people are coming from on their opinions so when you argue you have some understanding of where the opposing side is coming from. The basic idea behind this question can be resolved with whether or not one agrees with the concepts in Frederic Wertham’s book Seduction of the Innocent . Wertham’s book degrades the use of comic books which he says leads to juvenile delinquency. In general this describes the belief that culture can negatively affect the people who are exposed to it. The Liberals, which Wertham is one, believe what Wertham believes. The Conservatives have the opposite views and they enjoy what culture brings them, like the joy they get from comics. Then there are those who are in between who know that comics and other parts of mass media and culture effect societies, but they don’t go into depth on the effect of culture, but realize its effects and look into the origins of people’s beliefs. The Liberals think that culture hurts those that are exposed to it. Wertham 1
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in particular felt that comics written back in the 1940’s caused people, especially children, to commit violent acts and crimes. Wertham gathered data about a couple of cases where very young children committed murder or other sinful crimes, and his evidence against culture was that they happened to read comic books. Wertham, a psychologist, felt he then had the right to say that the comics were an influence in these children’s actions. So obviously Wertham believed that culture has a negative influence, but why? He wanted a world without violence in a world where the crime rate was increasing, so he looked for a possible source to this new dawn of violence. He looked into the media and mass culture and found comic books which often depicted and told stories of people murdering others, injecting drugs, and robbing banks. Wertham was wrong in the end because violence didn’t decrease even after he helped create
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2010 for the course PSYCH 85 211 taught by Professor Theissen during the Spring '10 term at Carnegie Mellon.

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Argument Synthesis Essay - Jeff Bouton Interpretation and...

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