Introduction collective violence. One content analysis of major Los Angeles newspapers from 1892 to 1968 (Johnson, Sears, & McConahy, 155) revealed that little attention was given to blacks in the press and that coverage relative to their increasing proportion of the Los Angeles population decreased from 1892 until just prior to the 1965 riot. Nevertheless by early 1966 the increased amount of coverage, due to the riot, reverted to earlier levels of coverage. Analysis of opinions held by white residents and leaders revealed a lack of understanding of the problems of the black community and a racism of indifference or fear. Warren's (648) study of a 1969 Detroit racial incident resulting in death and injuries showed that the coverage resulted in a polarization of perceptions between blacks and whites. Television Entertainment Since the 1960s there have been numerous studies, conferences, and books reporting and summarizing research on television violence. These include works by Larsen (165), Baker & Ball (13),Comstock (51,52,53), Murray (535, 536, 539), Cook (56),Rubinstein (214,215), Pearl, Bouthilet, & Lazar (198), the Canadian Royal Commission on Violence in the Communications Industry (32,33), the British Broadcasting Corporation (83, 223), Sveriges Radio (61),and Radiotelevisione Italiana (203). Greenberg (119) analyzed dramatic series for three seasons and found violence (defined as "physical aggression") occurring more than nine times per hour between 8 and 9 p.m., more than 12 times per hour between 9 and 11 p.m. and more than 21 times per hour on Saturday morning children's programs. One of the longest continuing studies of television content and its relationship to viewer conceptions of social reality has been conducted by the Cultural Indicators research team at the University of Pennsylvania. This project, first commissioned in 1967 by the U.S. National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence (248) to study television violence, has continued annual monitoring and periodic surveys until the present time. It provided the research evidence on violence for the 1972 Report of the Surgeon General's Scientific Advisory Committee on Television and Social Behavior (638), for several Congressional investigations (639), and for the 1982 Surgeon General's "update" (Pearl, Bouthilet, & Lazar, 198)--a report which also summarized ten years of research on television. This study consideres physical violence in all contexts, including humorous, as indicative of social relationships and providing demonstrations of power. The results of the trend analysis reported by Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, & Signorielli (103) revealed that the basic structure of themes, characterizations, action, and fate in the world of dramatic television is remarkably stable from year to year. They report an index of violence that reached its highest level, since the study xiii
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