Access: The Colbert Report
Summary: Neuroscientist Steven Pinker shares his book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. This video explains (without mentioning it) cultivation theory, which is the idea that the more you watch the news, the more you have a tendency to overestimate the crime rate. Specifically, the video discusses terrorism, and Americans' fixation on it as a source of danger, when more mundane sources like flammable pajamas and peanut allergies cause far more deaths. This video works well as a means of introducing cultivation theory, but it is also a good starting point for a more general conversation about how the media misleads the public about how dangerous the world is and from where dangers come. Note that The Sociological Cinema has previously explored the way media is used as a tool for dispersing propaganda in a democratic political system (here), and also as a supplicant to the demands of corporate power (here).
Submitted By: Nickie Michaud Wild