Reasons for social pathology

Ronald Kephart (rkephart@OSPREY.UNF.EDU)
Wed, 13 Mar 1996 13:02:19 -0500

In message <>
> I just have a problem with blaming things like juvenile crime on tv.
> What about poverty? Abusive / inadequate home situations? I realize, of
> course, that not all children who grow up in those kinds of situations
> become criminals, but we have to look at the general economic and social
> situation in the US these days as responsible in at least some part (and
> more of a part, I think, than television) for the wholesale
> disenfranchisement and subsequent lashing out through crime and violence
> of a great many young people in this country.
> When state and federal governments refuse to adequately fund
> education, won't maintain minimum wage at a livable level, and cut
> preventative social programs in favor of punitive ones, is it any wonder??
> Donna Lanclos


I agree that the things you cite, most of which can be restated as the effects
of poverty, have much more of a causal function than TV in producing social
pathologies. TV is a scapegoat, a distraction from the real issues. And has
anybody bothered to find out how many people were motivated to become band
leaders as a result of watching Lawrence Welk??

I think something else to look at is overpopulation. Remember the rats which,
even when they had plenty of food and water, developed pathological behaviors
under overcrowded conditions? Of course we aren't rats, or even rodents, but we
are mammals. We have culture, which helps us cope (the rats didn't create
police forces, lawyers, judges, courts, etc.). But the combination of
overcrowding and unequal access to the goodies has to be important...

Ronald Kephart
Dept of Language & Literature
University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL USA 32224-2645
Phone: (904) 646-2580