Research task week 5 – Cabinet of curiosities and vulnerable audiences

There have been a number examples where politicians or/and the print media have made allegations that music, film or video games have been responsible for injecting ideas into the heads of a vulnerable audience i.e. children and teenagers.

Let us propose that this theory is true…

Think about this in relation to your Cabinet of Curiosities…. Select a single object from you cabinet and thin about the following two propositions:

1. In what ways could your media object ‘influence’ the minds of a vulnerable audience?
2. What possible negative ‘effect’ does this media object have on the audience and society?

Tom and Jerry

Tom and Jerry

For this task, I chose the Tom and Jerry cartoon series from my Cabinet of Curiosities.

1. This particular media object could ‘influence’ the minds of a vulnerable audience in a number of ways:

  • suggest animals act like people (speak, sing, write, smile, cry, play instruments, walk on two feet, hold stuff with their hands, use refrigerators, furniture, cutlery, tools etc.)
  • suggest it’s ok to break stuff around the house
  • suggest you can spend a couple of seconds hanging in the air before falling
  • suggest weapons are not harmful (in a number of episodes, the cat or mouse are injured in such a way that in normal life the wounds would be deadly)
  • suggest the only way to solve your problems is to fight back (even though in a comic form, the series include a lot of violence)
  • suggest lab chemicals give you superpowers
  • suggest the attics are always haunted by ghosts
  • suggest you can fly with a broomstick
  • suggest you can become invisible using invisible ink
  • suggest you can stay frozen for a while and then get back to normal with no consequences
  • suggest it’s ok to tease the others
  • etc.

2. A possible negative ‘effect’ this media object has on the audience and society is that kids start to mimic what they’ve seen in the cartoon series thinking it would be the same in real life.

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