The question of the impact of television on American society remains a burning one because of the effects that television has had, and still has, on that society. The effects can be seen in the behaviour of individuals, both young and old alike, who have been influenced by various images that they have seen on television and in the division that has arisen between families in their viewing habits. The impact of television can be seen by people's everyday conversations that centre on the latest soap opera, sporting event or news item. Agenda setting is used by advertisers on television in an attempt to influence what Americans buy. The media can have an influence on people in relation to politics and the outcome of elections. People's perceptions on what they should look like, what they should wear and who they are, are heavily influenced by the beautiful people that are seen on television each and every day. This can have an impact on people's attitudes and could lead to racis!.
t and sexist views.
"The television violence issue has been and continues to be the subject of public concern." Violent images are a common sight on American television in films, dramas, cartoons and news programmes. There is a fear that these images can influence people, especially the younger generation, to imitate or copy violent acts. Researchers from the University of California at Santa Barbara reported in February 1996 that children can "become more desensitised to the harmful consequences of violence." Although Seymour Feshbach argues that "hostile imagery decreased by exposure to a violent portrayal." Parents have been concerned about the material that their children are viewing and recent technology in the shape of the V-chip has made it possible to censor material that they deem to be unsuitable. As we enter the twenty-first century there are very few homes in America without a television set and in most homes you can find more than one set and it is not unusual to find a television in each room of the house.