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Abstract

In his paper "Towards a Cultural Framework of Audience Response and Television Violence" Lajos Császi argues that media violence is not a reification of social violence; rather, a popular ritual allowing contemporary societies to sublimate, to substitute, and to discuss aggression in the public sphere. Császi reviews the central questions of contemporary debates about television violence including Stuart Hall's thought on this topic and introduces the ideas of Elias, Geertz, Turner, Bettelheim, Benjamin, Girard, and others in order to locate the representation of violence in an interdisciplinary context. Using the genre of the horror film as an example, Császi suggests alternate ways the representation of violence could be interpreted. Császi's objective is to reconnect the vital but neglected theoretical insights of social and cultural thinkers to existing debates about the meanings of media representations of violence.

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