W. James Potter (1999). On Media Violence. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications). viii + 304 pp. ISBN 0-7619-1639-3. $41.95 (paper), $84.95 (hardbound). References, author and subject indices.
This solid work of scholarship not only reviews existing theories of media violence, including effects of exposure to violence and data on violent television content, but it carefully leads the reader through a "reconceptualizing" process (including chapters on violence, schema and context, levels of analysis, development, effects, risk and the industry's perspective) and rethinking of effects and content analysis methodology. The last third of the book develops a detailed general theory of media violence, complete with axioms, a dictionary, and several dozen well-organized "propositions" that underlie what the author calls "lineation theory." This complex schema may provide the framework for additional research to validate theories of violent media content and its effects.
The above article was published in Media Ethics , Spring 2004 (15:2), p. 32.