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Calidad Revistas Científicas Españolas
VOL.
29(3)/
2016
Author / Concepción FERNÁNDEZ VILLANUEVA Professor of Social Psychology. Social Psychology Department. Complutense University of Madrid. Spain.
Author / Juan Carlos REVILLA CASTRO Professor of Social Psychology. Social Psychology Department. Complutense University of Madrid. Spain.
More authors:  1 2
Article / “Distant” beings or “human” beings: real images of violence and strategies of implication or distancing from victims

Abstract /

1. Introduction This work is situated in recent research on the utility or unsuitability of broadcasting factual violence in TV news programmes, as well as the diverse ways of presenting it. Its aim is to discover and make explicit the evaluative-moral mechanisms that sustain the basis of the attitudes of distance vs. implication of audiences to diverse types of factual violence broadcasted in the mass media. On the basis of a discourse analysis of 16 focus groups that were shown violent scenes with diverse degrees of gravity, in a close vs. distant (to participants) geographic context, we describe the discursive strategies that participants use to feel involved in the suffering of the victims of violence or, on the contrary, to detach or estrange themselves. The results show a spontaneous identification and an ethical identification that is related to emotional and moral implication. Additionally, diverse mechanisms of estrangement are evident, such as denying the facts presented in the images and attributing responsibility to the victims. The implications that these strategies have in the moral debate on violence are discussed.

Keywords /

TV news programs, TV violence, identification, detachment, discourse strategies

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