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1. Educația adolescenților

1. Educația adolescenților

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Published by: Marinela on Sep 27, 2010
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ADOLESCENTS EDUCATION IN A WORLD OFTECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNICATION.THE ROLE AND THE EFFECTS OF MASS MEDIA.(TELEVISION)
Marinela Rusu
Institutul de cercetri economicei sociale, ´Gh. Zane´, Iai,
Human beings have the capacity to think in symbolic terms and need not to rely on theactual presence of persons or objects to form views of themselves and the world. Humans arealso inventive and have created
mass media
to expose vast audiences to a constant barrage of stimuli that bear significantly on personality development.Of the various media,
television
reaches nearly all people in the country, it isnotoriously popular, easily accessible, and commands the largest share of time young peoplespend on any of the mass media. Television has absorbed some of the functions of the press,radio, and movie industry. Movies, for example, have become almost synonymous withtelevision, and it is only a matter of time before the latest productions can be seen at home.Television is probably the most influential source of common experience and along withschool, has come to function as a major socializing agent.Through mass media, the actual live person or group can be bypassed, and
 personal interaction
can be replaced by the
spectator-mass-media relationship
, allowing an almostunlimited range of vicarious identifications. One should not conclude that the significantother person and the concrete group have been replaced entirely. The feeling of security that achild derives from association with caring parents is still of paramount importance for  personality development.But
needing parents
and
wanting to be like them
are two different processes. The
 
first deals with the need for security and the second with the absorption of ideas, impressions,and behavior styles.
 Parental care
is a universal imperative for survival that has rarely beensuccessfully replaced, while
identification
is a process allowing alternative objects of identification. Mass media offer a vast number of such alternatives. Modern children,although depending on their parents physically, can select ego images from the characters presented by ubiquitous mass media. Through screen, radio, and print, characters of manydifferent types are presented to youth, who cannot escape from the incessant flow of stimuliand cannot avoid incorporating some aspects of these "types" into their behavior patterns andidentities. The effects that the mass media have on the personality of the young are not yetwell known.It may be assumed, however, that the effects are not superficial, when one considersthat over 99 percent of American homes have a minimum of one television set and thatamong American children time spent viewing television ranks second only to sleeping.Dominick, Joseph and Bradley, Greenberg ± 1972, say that:1.
 
By the time theteenagers reaches eighteen years of age, they will have watched anaverage of about 22,000 hours (that is approximately 2½ years) of television
 
2
 
compared with 11,000 hours spent in the class room. By the age of fourteen, thetypical viewer will have witnessed 11,000 TV murders; by the age of eighteen heor she will have been exposed to 350,000 commercials.2.
 
Television viewing starts early in America, and it soon starts to reflect thesymptoms of addiction. A study at Michigan State University discovered thatwhen four- and five-year-olds are offered a hypothetical choice between giving uptelevision or their father, one-third would rather part with father.3.
 
Children get up early in the morning to watch television before leaving for schooland millions of children under the age of twelve watch television as late as 10P.M. on week nights. The peak of television viewing is reached just beforeentering the adolescent years and then decreases slowly until when the adolescentis reaching a plateau of about two and one-half hours of television viewing a day.4.
 
The main reason for the heaviest period of viewing TV so much can be found inthe
new freedom that this age group experiences
in staying up later in theevening. The gradual decrease after this age is no doubt largely due to the socialinvolvements of the adolescent. The television set is at home, and
h
ome
is notwhere most adolescents want to spend their time. Their process of autonomy andtheir increasing interest in the peer group and in dating mean less time for television.Americans most likely, hold the world record in television viewing, butother countries are not far behind. Statistics show that West German children ratetelevision their favorite pastime, spending approximately one and one-half hoursdaily watching it, and list as their favorite shows: 1) comics, 2) wildlife shows, 3)children's programs and 4) Wild West movies.5.
 
Concerns about TV's family-destructive potential has been expressed on thehighest government level. For example, in 1982 West German Chancellor HelmutSchmidt called on his nation to dedicate a family night at least once a week-withTV off (H. Sebald, 1992). Nonetheless, television as an internationally informational medium is
on t 
h
e rise
. Itsgrowing magnitude in technologically advanced societies illustrates the emphasis that postindustrial systems place on the service function, including entertainment, communication,and advertisement.
 P 
rominent ingredients of TV programs
.
Since adolescence is the result of anterior accumulationsand of an identity synthesis, it is necessary to look at the whole evolutionary process. The presence of the TV until puberty, alreadygives to the teenager a series of  behavioral patterns that tend to remaincrystallized, if his life experience is not diversifiedenough, to collapse and replace them with other sustainable behavior. Television, for example, portrays a variety of values that cannot fail to have impact on the young. Some of the dominant values conflict with those that most parents would like to instill in their children:1.
Violence.
It is virtually impossible to watch television without seeing humanskilled, tortured or maimed, and it has been estimated that by fourteen, the average child hasseen 18,000 humans killed on television.2.
Unreality.
Television exposes the young to a world of unreality that not onlyinvites escapism from real life - a function of fantasy that is often useful but seriously distortsreality.
 Imagination
is far more honest because it admits openly, that ´it is not reality´ butonly a fly of the fantasy.3.
 Sex.
Sexuality is usually presented in movies and television on a physical level, both visually and verbally, but disguised as "love."4.
 Idealization of immaturity
. Idols and heroes are often immature and teenagelikeand seem to have achieved wealth and fame with minimal talent.
 
3
 
5.
 M 
aterialism
. Many programs imply that happiness comes with success, andsuccess means houses, cars, expensive vacations, and so forth.6.
 Instant achievement and solution.
This theme glorifies the power of technologyand promises instant solutions to life's problems. Many commercials peddle chemicalsassuring immediate success in problems that range from romance to insomnia. During a two-hour television period, forty-two such claims were presented in the form of commercials.7. In addition to these themes, there are, also
 ,
more
 positive values
 presented, and theywill be discussed later.For the moment, we are concerned with two dimensions:
unreality and violence
.
Fantasy
may even stimulate
creative thought 
and the ability to solve problems.However, researchers have found that exposure to television - a prolific source of fantasy -does not significantly improve the child's school performance. Studies of two samples of children, made by Eleanor E. Maccoby (1954), one group with and the other without atelevision set at home, revealed that the group exposed to television entered school withlarger vocabularies - an advantage that was of short duration. After a period of schoolattendance, the language proficiency of the two groups became comparable. Also, there waslittle differences between them in respect to interest in class work, completion of assignments, and test performance.
Overexposure to fantasy
may lose its beneficial effects. A child may become"addicted" to mass media fantasy, try to substitute the real world with the "safer" world presented in movies and actually find it difficult to separate the real from the unreal. A childor teenager watching television more than four hours a day has to do an extraordinary amountof switching back and forth between the two worlds. This oscillating existence does notcontribute to his or her ability to concentrate and solve the real problems and tasks.Maybe the greatest danger is the possibility that the young use certain
mass mediaimages
and
models
to formulate identities that become harmful not only to themselves but toothers. Many of the television crime-busters invite emulation, although imitation of their techniques would be disastrous in real life. George Gerbner, (quoted by de Lesser, Gerald S.,1974), one of the american's foremost mass media analysts, concludes in his recent researchthat young persons may come to view themselves in the light of fantasy and
acquire a pseudoidentity
that would have to be changed for everyday life. Not only television but books also, presentviolent events, feminine characters withmuch aggressivity and miraculous chances, fact that are extremely difficult to match in thereal life of the teenager-as one will discover not long after. At one moment, ideas of equivalence or imitative possibilities may abruptly cease and painful frustration set in.
Violence
, the other major theme, is heavily laced with unreality-both in quantity andquality. The vast majority of all types of violence in real life takes place between personswho are friends or family members. In only about 10 percent of all homicides are theassailant and the victim strangers. In the television world, the majority of violent acts occurs between strangers. Such facts justify raising the question as to how violence influences theaudience, especially the malleable young.There is a controversy on this theme. Representatives of the broadcasting industryclaim that television has no harmful effects on the viewer. Mental health officials, socialworkers, teachers, and the general public are divided over the question, some believing thatexposure to violence breeds violence, and others assuming that exposure has a cathartic and pacifying effect, allowing children to identify with the aggressor and in this way ridthemselves of pent-up hostile emotions without harmful acting out.The divergence of interpretations is typically exemplified by the dispute betweensociologist Paul Hirsch and communication researcher George Gerbner. Hirsch, using National Opinion Research Center data, compared heaviest and lightest viewers andconcluded that heavy watchers show no negative signs. On the contrary, he thinks,
TV 
is

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