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The Limitations of Societal Growth Established by Censorship in Films

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Censorship involves the restriction of material that the government believes may be harmful to society. However, censorship in film is controversial because it can either create safe boundaries for movies or hinder the film industry’s freedom. Those who support censorship believe that it prohibits unnecessarily explicit content from being freely shown in films. Those who are against censorship believe that censorship conflicts with constitutional freedom and can be used as a tool for manipulation. Although, both sides of the argument have valid points, censorship should not apply to films at any extent because it impedes societal progress.

First, in support of censorship, films are censored in order to prohibit explicit content from being viewed by those that it may negatively affect. For example, the Journal of Educational Sociology states, “It has been established by the Payne Fund Studies, however, that motion pictures of the entertainment type do have far-reaching effects on the information and attitudes of those who see them, although the processes by which these effects are produced are still clothed in obscurity” (Thrasher 3). The studies prove that sexual and violent content in films can easily influence viewers. Censorship removes the explicit content, which makes films safer to watch without negative influence. Without content that could be considered damaging to society, films are left with content that only positively impacts viewers. Thus, censorship helps to make films more socially acceptable and acts for the benefit of society.

However, the article contradicts the studies by explaining the exaggeration of the negative effects of media. After explaining the studies, the article states, “Popular beliefs about the...

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... sexual and violent content should not be censored to any extent because censorship impedes societal progress by giving opportunity to hidden agendas and creating unnecessary boundaries for the film industry.

Works Cited

Bhomwik, Someswar. "Politics of Film Censorship: Limits of Tolerance." Economic and Political Weekly 37.35 (2002): 3574 - 3577. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.

Noorani, A. G.. "TV Films and Censorship." Economic and Political Weekly 25.6 (1990): 300. Web. 2 Mar. 2014.

Noorani, A. G.. "Films and Free Speech." Economic and Political Weekly 43.18 (2008): 11 - 12. Web. 3 Mar. 2014.

Thrasher, Frederic M.. "Education Versus Censorship." Journal of Educational Sociology 13.5 (1940): 285 - 306. Web. 2 Mar. 2014.

Wirt, Frederick M.. "To See or Not to See: The Case Against Censorship." Film Quarterly 13.1 (1959): 26 - 31. Film Quarterly. Web. 2 Mar. 2014.
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