From Moral Corruption to Moral Management

Media’s Influence on People’s Morality and Well-Being

Authored by: Sven Joeckel , Leyla Dogruel

The Routledge Handbook of Media Use and Well-Being

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138886582
eBook ISBN: 9781315714752
Adobe ISBN: 9781317501954


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For the average layperson, the answer to the question “Is the media corrupting our society?” is obvious: Media has a negative influence on society, its values and moral standards. Indeed, Wilson, in an overview on media effects on children, quotes findings from a U.S. poll, stating that “70 percent of Americans are very or somewhat worried that popular culture, as portrayed in television and movies, is lowering moral standards in the United States” (Wilson, 2008, p. 98). This concern is not exclusive to the USA. German media scholar Noelle-Neumann critically observed a decline of the values and moral standards that have shaped Western societies due to the media’s influence from the 1970s on (Noelle-Neumann & Petersen, 2001), and British sociologists are eager to point out that media is often blamed for a broad range of social ills in contemporary societies (Cohen, 1972).

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