Violence and Pornographic Violence as a Mass Entertainment Medium: A Study on Spartacus Series

Violence and Pornographic Violence as a Mass Entertainment Medium: A Study on Spartacus Series

M. Nur Erdem
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6190-5.ch016
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


Containment of violence and pornography in mass media as an entertainment medium is not a recent occurrence. Academic studies have been interested in this issue for many years. Many studies have questioned both the effects and existence of violence and pornographic violence. The main focal point of this chapter is to study the effects of the exposure of excessive graphic violence and pornography in a TV series in recent years. In this line of argument, Spartacus, which contains a high rate of both aspects was chosen as the sample. Firstly, violence and pornographic violence within the series and other basic concepts and their representation are manifested. However, the findings of the analysis all by themselves are not regarded as adequate in this research, and the results of an effect study are included in the chapter.
Chapter Preview


Individuals of today’s society, as a means of solution, avoid intense stressful conditions in which they are involved by spending time with media. A great deal of time that is spent with media is TV series. Especially, the ratings of recent high budget series are remarkable. Considering the series Dexter, Spartacus, Game of Thrones, The Borgias, Tudors (most of them are made in US) etc. it is acknowledged that they are constantly and regularly followed by millions of people around the world. The primary main aspect of the TV series in this study is the pornographic violence elements which often result with death, sadomasochistic violence and sadism.

Fundamentally, using graphic violence and sexuality as a means of mass entertainment is not a recent phenomenon. It can be inferred that violence and pornography (violent pornography) evoke a sense of interest in masses. The interest of the spectator can be explained in different ways. When the violence is the subject, plenty of different sentiments like mercy or catharsis may emerge. Shows/visuals that contain pornographic violence are welcomed by the concept of catharsis and approach of “replacement of sexual satisfaction” (Oskay,2000, p.382). Whatever the reason is, it can be stated that shows/visuals that contains violence and/or pornographic violence are inevitably attractive for the society. In the light of this study, violence and pornographic violence phenomenon which can be relatively regarded as ignored in the field of communication studies and how these phenomenon's are involved in the series broadcasted on the internet and their influence on society will be examined. The series called “Spartacus” was picked in the study due to attention-grabbing high ratings. Examination is an analysis on race, social classes, sexuality and representation of emotions. In the second section, twelve people who had watched the series some questions were asked questions with standardized open-ended interview method and certain effects were managed to discover by their responses.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Catharsis: The concept of catharsis, which can be explained by the concept of purification, can be defined as a discharge of emotion of an individual who is exposed especially to violence or pornographic violence in the media.

Violence: Violence can be defined as the use of physical or psychological force, applying pressure consciously or unconsciously on an individual or group.

Machismo: Machismo concept can be defined as an effort to prove ones manhood, and superiority especially among men against the opposite sex or the same sex.

Desensitization: People who are exposed to violence in the media content become less sensitive in the violence in the real world. Concept of desensitization is used to explain this situation in mass communication researches.

Representation: In this study, the concept of representation can be defined as reflection of real world elements in the media.

Pharmakon: Pharmakon meaning of both drug and poison in ancient Greek, refers in this study to the creating catharsis with the images including violence, and correcting the concept of tendency to violence in society.

Pornographic Violence: Pornographic violence, a specific form of violence means using force sexually and representation of applying pressure in various media.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: