ISSN: 2241-6692

BLOG - Queer

In the 1960s, when television entered the majority of US households and became a ubiquitous cultural force, professor of communication George Gerbner developed cultivation theory to examine the medium’s influence on its viewers.[1] Within fictional worlds, he argued, ‘representation’ is vital, because it ‘signifies social existence; absence means symbolic annihilation’ (1972). Although cultivation theory has been criticised on both methodological and conceptual grounds (Hughes 1980; McQuail & Windahl 1993; Potter 1994), its engagement with the effects of representations paved the way for screen scholarship to examine how media in general have at different times and in different places favoured or erased particular topics or people from public consciousness. Indeed, research conducted within different disciplines has quantitatively and qualitatively described culture media products’ treatment of women and black, gay, lesbian and, relatively recently, transgender persons. ... More