In this final episode we look at just what controversy is, what purpose it plays in society, and how the media shapes our conversations.
Over the past 4 episodes we’ve looked at controversies of various magnitudes, across various different medias.
We’ve heard about the upset caused by video game violence, and some problematic marketing; we’ve heard about fan backlash to movie casting; about how difficult topics within children’s literature can unsettle and upset parents and others’; and about how imagery, as immediate as it is, can offend instantly.
In some cases, the outcry was short-lived; in other cases there was a very real message being spoken, and the controversy forced the issue into the public forum.
In other words then, some of it was deeply meaningful… and some of it was just stupid.
And so to finish this series off, I wanted to get a different perspective, from the viewpoints of people who think about society and media in a scholarly way, to learn about what controversy is, what it tells us about ourselves and the societies we live in, and what purpose it serves.
And so I spoke to two academics one an expert in sociology and one in journalism, to hear their thoughts.