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Bilandzic, Helena; Hastall, Matthias R.; Sukalla, Freya (2017): The Morality of Television Genres: Norm Violations and Their Narrative Context in Four Popular Genres of Serial Fiction. In: Journal of Mass Media ethics, Vol. 32, No. 2: pp. 99-117
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Abstract

In a quantitative content analysis, social norm violations and their narrative context are analyzed in 225 episodes of 15 television series of four popular television genres (crime drama, medical drama, sitcom, and daily soap). Extending previous studies, the authors' results indicate that aggressive norm violations are only a fraction of all norm violations, which are dominated by lying/deception, swearing/use of vulgar language, and verbal attacks. The narrative context shows that norm violations are often motivated by egoism, receive low punishment, are rarely forgiven and seldom reflected by the characters;this, however, depends on the type of norm violation. Genre differences were observed and their potential for effects on audiences' moral thinking is discussed.