- Areas of Interest #1: Understands that group and cultural influences contribute to human development, identity, and behaviour.
- Area of Interest #2: Understands conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among individuals, groups, and institutions.
- When people repeatedly view violence in different forms of entertainment, they become hardened to it and are not upset by it.
- Playing violent video games and watching television programs or movies with extreme violence is just a leisure activity and not something that can desensitize people to violence.
- We glorify violence in our country – biggest and badest is best
- Societies that glorify violence and accept it as a form of entertainment are barbaric and uneducated. It suits government to have an uneducated populous.
- Violence begets violence, and if you watch it you will want to behave in a similar
- Manner – involuntary audience movement while watching contact sports
Using as an exemplar what many people considered a very violent society – the ancient Romans. While the Roman Empire was undoubtedly one of the most powerful and technologically advanced and literate societies of its time, it was also one of the most violent. Explore the fact that one reason cited for the fall of Rome is the decline of morals and values, among other things.
- Entertainment Roman Style – wine and games (cheap food and full contact human interactions – keeping the uneducated busy.
- What type of violence-based leisure activities do Americans participate in and/or
- support? All contact sports, aggressive competition (passive aggression), hunting…et al..
- What does our support of these types of activities say about our inherent human \ primate attitude toward violence?
- In ancient Rome, the death penalty was common for criminals, prisoners of war,
- and for people in positions of power. In what ways does our modern society mirror the ancient Romans when it comes to these three areas? How is our society different?
Murder was common in ancient Rome, regardless of social class. Can same could be said about American society? Why or why not?
Many lessons can be learned from the behaviour of the ancient Romans. While few except the scholars and writers of the time seemed opposed to the level of violence in ancient Rome, Can we say that it was ultimately a contributing factor in the downfall of the Roman Empire?
Examine American culture and the way people in the U.S. view violence against one another. Choose a topic such as:
- The death penalty
- The sale of violent video games
- The sale of violent music
- Violent television programming (including certain sporting events)
- The violent crime rate in the U.S.
- The American prison system
- Violence in U.S. schools
- Gang violence
This work should that examine the similarities and differences between American attitudes about this type of violence and what the Roman attitude may have been. In what ways do the two societies seem to share a common belief?
- How do the two societies differ when it comes to these topics? How do you think
- American society will be affected in the long term by the violence that is part of our daily lives?
- What can be done to prevent violence from causing the downfall of America, or is this even a possibility?
- Discuss opinions and support them with as many specific reasons, facts, and examples as can be provided.
Dr Paul Benham © May 2014