America: Desensitized to Death?

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The concept of death can be quite scary for many people, but with the frequent portrayal of violence and death in video games, TV shows, and the internet and social media, some have suggested that this casual exposure is affecting people's emotional responses (e.g. grief, fear, anxiety) when faced with death and dying in their own lives. Through survey data and an assessment of peer-reviewed articles or books, this paper will address the question of whether or not people in the United States are becoming desensitized to death, mourning, and grief. Along with these two analyzes, this study will use public demographic data from the survey collected to further analyze this question: are people becoming desensitized to death? Utilizing different video games, TV shows, movies, social media, and news outlets this study will demonstrate how media displays death in daily life as less than a tragedy. On all accounts, death is in fact, normal. However, knowing the emotions that come along with the passing of someone you know is not something that people are regularly comfortable feeling.

First Advisor

Saige Kelmelis

Research Area

University Honors

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