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April 23, 2018 / C H Thompson

Hypodermic Syringe Model

  • Views the audience as passive, unthinking recipients of media texts who are unable to prevent media messages from being injected into audiences’ minds
  • The model is used by Marxists to explain the ideological power of media owners
  • This view argues audiences watch a violent film and then go and then go out and commit violence
  • Dworkin (1981), suggests men viewing pornography are more likely to abuse women
  • The principles behind the hypodermic syringe model is seen to drive moral panics over media effects such as Twitter ‘tweets’ fuelling the abuse of female politicians

Problems (evaluative points) with hypodermic syringe model

  • There’s little evidence which indicates media content has an immediate effect on audiences (see methodological problems of research media effects)
  • It assumes there’s a homogeneous rather than plurality of responses to media content
  • It ignores the diversity/pulrality of media audiences (age, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, gender, social class and educational background)

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