George Gerbner's Cultivation Theory

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Children and the media are a growing concern in our society. Young children are being largely exposed to various forms of media, including television shows, movies, music lyrics, and the internet. The purpose of this paper is to focus on the effects media forms can have on children through the use of Gerbner’s cultivation theory. First, I will present a theoretical overview and discuss the basic tenets of the theory. Next, I will analyze this theory in connection with the Disney princess movie Cinderella. Lastly, I will conclude this media assignment with the main takeaways from my analysis of the movie. Cinderella is a good example of cultivation theory because the princess phenomenon is massively influential in shaping children’s minds and can have long term effects on their attitudes.
Theoretical Overview George Gerbner’s cultivation theory is one of the many social scientific theories that specifically examines the long term effects of television on attitudes. With the main focus being on the systems of messages, cultivation theory “explores television’s independent contribution to viewers conceptions of social reality” (Morgan, 2009). Whether we are conscious of it or not, we construct our ideas of reality through the images and messages around us. Looking at specifically children, mass consumption of media can provide education and entertainment, but they can also damage young children’s influences, beliefs, and attitudes. The main hypothesis that is explored in

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