Why We Watch: The Attractions of Violent Entertainment

Paperback | June 1, 1998

EditorJeffrey Goldstein

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Why We Watch is the first book to offer a careful look at why we are drawn to depictions of violence and why there is so large a market for violent entertainment. This arresting collection of essays examines the presence of violent imagery not just in contemporary America but across time, from classical antiquity to the present, and not only in film and television but in a fascinating array of cultural domains, including literature, religion, fairy tales, video games, children's toys, photojournalism, and sports. Why We Watch addresses a crucial but rarely considered aspect of the media-violence problem: Why is violent imagery so prevalent? The distinguished contributors, hailing from fields such as anthropology, history, literary theory, psychology, communications, and film criticism, include Allen Guttmann, Vicki Goldberg, Maria Tatar, Joanne Cantor, J. Hoberman, Clark McCauley, Maurice Bloch, Dolf Zillmann, and the volume's editor, Jeffrey Goldstein. Together, they aim to define what is distinctive about the culture of violence. Clear, accessible, and timely, this is a book for all who are concerned with the multiple points of access to violent representation.

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From Our Editors

America is fascinated by violence--where it comes from in ourselves, how it spreads through society, what effect it has on younger generations, and how it looks in all its chilling and sanguine detail. This arresting collection of essays examines the many facets of violence and its effects in contemporary American culture. 11 photos.

From the Publisher

Why We Watch is the first book to offer a careful look at why we are drawn to depictions of violence and why there is so large a market for violent entertainment. This arresting collection of essays examines the presence of violent imagery not just in contemporary America but across time, from classical antiquity to the present, and n...

Professor Jeffrey Goldstein teaches in the Department of Mass Communication and the Department of Social and Organizational Psychology at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. A well-known consultant on children and media, he is the author of Psychology: An Introduction (1997), Toys, Play, and Child Development (1994), Aggressio...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.02 × 5.98 × 0.59 inPublished:June 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195118219

ISBN - 13:9780195118216

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From Our Editors

America is fascinated by violence--where it comes from in ourselves, how it spreads through society, what effect it has on younger generations, and how it looks in all its chilling and sanguine detail. This arresting collection of essays examines the many facets of violence and its effects in contemporary American culture. 11 photos.

Editorial Reviews

"Why We Watch is a great read--something I never thought I would say about a scholarly edited volume. Goldstein and his colleagues provide the perfect antidote for the toxic political correctness that has poisoned the atmosphere of aggression studies, and of behavioral science generally. It's not what we'd prefer to be true that counts, but what is true, warts and all. The authors of these essays deserve our thanks for keeping that in view."--Melvin Konner, M.D., Ph.D., author of The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit and Why the Reckless Survive, and Other Secrets of Human Nature