George Gerbner’s cultivation theory provides a framework for the analysis of relationships between television viewing and attitudes and beliefs about the world. Since the 1970s, cultivation analysis has been a lens through which to examine television’s contributions to conceptions of violence, sex roles, political attitudes and numerous other phenomena. Hundreds of studies during this time have (mostly) found that there are relationships between television exposure and people’s worldviews, but important questions remain: just how big are these relationships, are they real, are some people more vulnerable to them than others, do they vary across different topics, and will we continue to find them in new media environments?
In this collection of 19 chapters, leading scholars review and assess the most significant developments in cultivation research in the past ten years. The book (edited by Dr. Michael Morgan of University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dr. Jim Shanahan of Boston University, and Dr. Nancy Signorielli of University of Delaware) highlights cutting-edge research related to these questions and surveys important recent advances in this evolving body of work. The contributors point us toward new directions and fresh challenges for cultivation theory and research in the future.