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Old 11 January 2014, 05:35 PM
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Default Seven Movies That Changed People’s Political Views

http://www.slate.com/articles/health...malcolm_x.html

Quote:
Rush Limbaugh was right all along.

Sort of.

According to a study recently published in Social Science Quarterly, Hollywood is making you more liberal. The study, titled "Moving Pictures? Experimental Evidence of Cinematic Influence on Political Attitudes," was co-authored by Todd Adkins and Jeremiah Castle of the University of Notre Dame. It found that viewers who watched a movie with a message on health care (either Francis Ford Coppola's fairly polemical The Rainmaker or James L. Brooks' more subtle As Good As It Gets) generally saw their support for the Affordable Care Act, or similar policies, increase.
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Old 11 January 2014, 07:14 PM
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I wonder if watching a movie like Lone Survivor makes a person more likely to support the war in Afghanistan?
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Old 11 January 2014, 07:29 PM
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I wonder if watching ET makes people more likely to support increased rights for illegal aliens.
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Old 11 January 2014, 07:35 PM
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I remember reading somewhere (don't have the energy to look for a cite, will cheerfully retract if I'm wrong) that the reason the anti-war movement really mobilized in the U.S. during Vietnam and not before was that this was the first time people at home could watch what was happening on television, and that made it seem more real. I've seen a few conservatives turn liberal once they've had the experience of being outside their privilege for a bit, even if only vicariously. I've also become more liberal as I've grown up and come to understand the world better.
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Old 11 January 2014, 08:12 PM
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As near as I can tell (the study itself was behind a paywall, so all I could get to was the other article linked near the beginning in the OP article), they didn't study whether movies with conservative attitudes also made their audiences more conservative; nor did they study what percentage of movies made, or what percentage of movies most people saw (not the same thing), had underlying "conservative" versus underlying "liberal" attitudes. They just checked reactions to a few movies they had defined as "liberal"; which seems to me to show that this was the specific point they were trying to make. Whether trying to make that specific point influenced the study otherwise I don't know.

I wouldn't be surprised if movies, books, etc. do change people's underlying opinions on issues; but I'd be surprised if the change can only be in one direction.
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Old 11 January 2014, 10:59 PM
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E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
 
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When you consider how much movies and television do to reinforce existing biases about things like gender roles, race, nationality, age, etc., the occasional shift to the left is probably more than offset.

I know one of my perennial gripes is the way films and television seem to be to teach disrespect for the law and doing things "by the book." It's always the maverick who makes his own rules but gets the job done who's the hero, and who rarely if ever ends up paying the cost for all the violations. Whether it's Batman or Jethro Gibbs, I'm not sure that this is really such a great lesson. (I love NCIS as a show, but those agents ought to be in prison for a lot of the crap they pull.) I mean, hell, we love to hate Walter Peck from Ghostbusters but he had every right to be concerned about what those clowns were doing with no oversight.
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Old 12 January 2014, 04:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
I remember reading somewhere (don't have the energy to look for a cite, will cheerfully retract if I'm wrong) that the reason the anti-war movement really mobilized in the U.S. during Vietnam and not before was that this was the first time people at home could watch what was happening on television, and that made it seem more real.
That might have been part of it, but I strongly suspect that there were some other significant factors, as well, like the length of the war and the fact that it was ultimately a civil war that we were forcing ourselves into rather than a hostile invasion of the country by a force that could have conceivably represented a threat to the US.

Quote:
I've seen a few conservatives turn liberal once they've had the experience of being outside their privilege for a bit, even if only vicariously. I've also become more liberal as I've grown up and come to understand the world better.
Yeah, same here.
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Old 12 January 2014, 04:06 AM
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I do have to wonder if I'd have moved so far to the left if I had been as financially successful as I expected to be when I was in high school. Even then I leaned left on social issues like civil rights, but I was a lot more susceptible to conservative economic ideas. I like to think I would not be able to stomach today's Republican party even if I had become a billionaire, but how can we ever know? (I like to think I'd have been an abolitionist if I'd been alive in the early 19th century, too, but there's no way I can be sure...)
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