Making sense of violence: a study of narrative meaning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Dramatized violence has been a feature of entertainment in western civilization throughout history. The function of film violence is explored and compared to violence encountered in real life. The role of narrative in individuals' meaning-making processes is also investigated. Six adults were individually interviewed using a semi-structured schedule and narrative analysis was implemented. The findings revealed that real life violence is experientially distinct from film violence but narrative was found to be central to participants' quest for the meaning of violence in both contexts. The narrative framework of violence and whether it is justifiable were fundamental to participants' understanding. The function of violent film was found to be multifaceted: it can teach viewers about the consequences of violence; it allows them to speculate about their own and others' reactions to violence; and it provides an opportunity to experience something which is ordinarily outside of our experience in order to satisfy our human existential needs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-151
Number of pages21
JournalQualitative Research in Psychology
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Fingerprint

Violence
Motion Pictures
Civilization
Appointments and Schedules
History

Bibliographical note

This is an electronic version of an article published in Shaw, Rachel L. (2004). Making sense of violence: a study of narrative meaning. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 1 (2), pp. 131-151. Qualitative Research in Psychology is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1478-0887&volume=1&issue=2&spage=131

Keywords

  • film violence
  • meaning-making
  • narrative
  • phenomenology
  • real life violence

Cite this

@article{166b90952785438a8dd83cd80c30d73d,
title = "Making sense of violence: a study of narrative meaning",
abstract = "Dramatized violence has been a feature of entertainment in western civilization throughout history. The function of film violence is explored and compared to violence encountered in real life. The role of narrative in individuals' meaning-making processes is also investigated. Six adults were individually interviewed using a semi-structured schedule and narrative analysis was implemented. The findings revealed that real life violence is experientially distinct from film violence but narrative was found to be central to participants' quest for the meaning of violence in both contexts. The narrative framework of violence and whether it is justifiable were fundamental to participants' understanding. The function of violent film was found to be multifaceted: it can teach viewers about the consequences of violence; it allows them to speculate about their own and others' reactions to violence; and it provides an opportunity to experience something which is ordinarily outside of our experience in order to satisfy our human existential needs.",
keywords = "film violence, meaning-making, narrative, phenomenology, real life violence",
author = "Shaw, {Rachel L.}",
note = "This is an electronic version of an article published in Shaw, Rachel L. (2004). Making sense of violence: a study of narrative meaning. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 1 (2), pp. 131-151. Qualitative Research in Psychology is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1478-0887&volume=1&issue=2&spage=131",
year = "2004",
doi = "10.1191/1478088704qp009oa",
language = "English",
volume = "1",
pages = "131--151",
journal = "Qualitative Research in Psychology",
issn = "1478-0887",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "2",

}

Making sense of violence: a study of narrative meaning. / Shaw, Rachel L.

In: Qualitative Research in Psychology, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2004, p. 131-151.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Making sense of violence: a study of narrative meaning

AU - Shaw, Rachel L.

N1 - This is an electronic version of an article published in Shaw, Rachel L. (2004). Making sense of violence: a study of narrative meaning. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 1 (2), pp. 131-151. Qualitative Research in Psychology is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1478-0887&volume=1&issue=2&spage=131

PY - 2004

Y1 - 2004

N2 - Dramatized violence has been a feature of entertainment in western civilization throughout history. The function of film violence is explored and compared to violence encountered in real life. The role of narrative in individuals' meaning-making processes is also investigated. Six adults were individually interviewed using a semi-structured schedule and narrative analysis was implemented. The findings revealed that real life violence is experientially distinct from film violence but narrative was found to be central to participants' quest for the meaning of violence in both contexts. The narrative framework of violence and whether it is justifiable were fundamental to participants' understanding. The function of violent film was found to be multifaceted: it can teach viewers about the consequences of violence; it allows them to speculate about their own and others' reactions to violence; and it provides an opportunity to experience something which is ordinarily outside of our experience in order to satisfy our human existential needs.

AB - Dramatized violence has been a feature of entertainment in western civilization throughout history. The function of film violence is explored and compared to violence encountered in real life. The role of narrative in individuals' meaning-making processes is also investigated. Six adults were individually interviewed using a semi-structured schedule and narrative analysis was implemented. The findings revealed that real life violence is experientially distinct from film violence but narrative was found to be central to participants' quest for the meaning of violence in both contexts. The narrative framework of violence and whether it is justifiable were fundamental to participants' understanding. The function of violent film was found to be multifaceted: it can teach viewers about the consequences of violence; it allows them to speculate about their own and others' reactions to violence; and it provides an opportunity to experience something which is ordinarily outside of our experience in order to satisfy our human existential needs.

KW - film violence

KW - meaning-making

KW - narrative

KW - phenomenology

KW - real life violence

UR - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1191/1478088704qp009oa

U2 - 10.1191/1478088704qp009oa

DO - 10.1191/1478088704qp009oa

M3 - Article

VL - 1

SP - 131

EP - 151

JO - Qualitative Research in Psychology

JF - Qualitative Research in Psychology

SN - 1478-0887

IS - 2

ER -