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Collaborative Writing Journal

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: October 11, 2001
Latest Update: October 11, 2001

E-Mail jeannecurran@habermas.org
E-Mail takata@uwp.edu
E-Mail Olivier Urbain, Soka University

Reactions to Repetition of
September 11 Violence on TV

Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors: September 2001.
"Fair use" encouraged.

On Thursday, October 11, 2001, Kevin Gabbey, UWP, wrote:

Susan,

When we recently discussed in class whether or not what young people see on tv affects them I strongly voiced my opinion that we only use tv as an excuse, and this has been my belief for quite a while. This was my opinion until a few days ago when I was at a family birthday party and heard something disturbing my sixth grade cousin said. CNN was on and was updating the situation in Afghanistan when this cousin of mine said that he "wanted to see the video of the plane crashing into the building again." He also said that he "loves watching the buildings collapse." I didn't say anything to him, but I was angry at how entertaining this was to him. My anger quickly shifted when his mother said "he is obsessed with this stuff, all he does all day is watch it over and over." His mother shouldn't keep him totally in the dark, but when it gets to the point that he is obsessed and enjoying it, then she needs to censor it from him. This single incident has made me think very seriously about the effect of tv on children.

Kevin
Criminology

On Friday, October 12, 2001, Susan responded:

kevin,

your observation fits in nicely with the relationship between theory, policy, practice. in theory, akers' social learning theory applied to tv and violence seemed far fetched to you. but then you're struck by a close to home illustration of that theory coming to life. maybe as part of creative scholarship, you might want to explore this topic further. there are strong arguments on both sides. with the WTC collapse, it might be too early to measure the effects of such images on our children. have you seen the gallery of drawings from kids from new york that's on the dear habermas web site? some of those drawings are quite revealing.

susan