Part 4 – Entertainment
Allen, Steve. 2001. Vulgarians at the Gate: Trash TV And Raunch Radio – Raising the Standards of Popular Culture. Amherst, NY: Prometheus.
Addresses popular entertainment’s dependence on vulgarity and violence.
Alley, Robert S. 1977. Television: Ethics for Hire? Nashville, TN: Abingdon.
Interviews with Norman Lear, Alan Alda, Earl Hamner, and others give insight into the aims and ethics of industry pacesetters.
Barad, Judith and Ed Robertson. 2001. The Ethics of Star Trek. New York: Harper Perennial.
An application of philosophical ethics (virtue ethics, hedonism, Stoicism, Christian ethics, social contract theory, duty ethics, utilitarianism, and existential ethics) to Star Trek.
Beker, Marilyn. 2003. Screenwriting with a Conscience: Ethics for Screenwriters. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence and Erlbaum Associates.
A resource for ethical screenwriting that emphasizes social responsibility in the media.
Bok, Sissela. 1998. Mayhem. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Bok raises the question why civilized societies condone and celebrate violent entertainment. She offers a review of research and hints at how U.S. policy might take pointers from Canada and Norway.
Carter, Stephen L. 1996. Integrity. New York: Basic.
Why is truth so easily shaved, avoided, and distorted? With chapters on mediated leisure and character building.
Cooper, Thomas W. 1988. Television and Ethics: A Bibliography. Boston, MA: G. K. Hall and Co.
This volume cites 1,170 sources, many of them annotated, on all aspects of television and ethics.
Dahlgren, Peter. 1995. Television and the Public Sphere: Citizenship, Democracy and the Media. London: Sage.
Dahlgren clarified concepts of civil society and the public sphere and relates these to an analysis of television as journalism, information and entertainment.
DeLong, Thomas A. 1991. Quiz Craze: America ‘s Infatuation with Game Shows. New York: Praeger.
History of radio and television game shows from 1930 to the present. Information about the personalities behind the programs.
Denzin, Norman. 1991. Hollywood Shot by Shot: Alcoholism in American Cinema. New York: Aldin de Gruyter.
A cultural studies approach to six eras of Hollywood stories about alcoholism. Denzin helps us understand how we came to regard alcoholism as a sickness.
Does Television Change History? 1987. Proceedings of the Second National Conference on Television and Ethics, 6 March, Emerson College, Boston, MA.
The difference between documentary and docudrama, and issues involved in ethically producing the latter.
Downing, Lisa and Libby Saxton. 2009. Film and Ethics: Foreclosed Encounters. New York: Routledge.
Applies ethical frameworks by philosophers such as Levinas, Foucault, and Derrida to films from around the globe.
Final Report of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography. 1986. Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press.
An attempt by experts summoned during the Reagan administration to speak definitively on the dangers of pornography.
Glassner, Barry, 1999. The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things. New York: Basic Books.
A sociologist explores why Americans are burdened with fear and exposes those who manipulate us and profit from our anxieties.
Good, Howard and Sandra L. Borden, eds. 2010. Ethics and Entertainment: Essays on Media Culture and Morality. North Carolina: McFarland & Co.
Includes 19 essays from industry professionals and consumers of entertainment. Sample topics include celebrities, children, news, intellectual property, and human dignity.
Greene, Robert, and Joost Elffers. 1998. The 48 Laws of Power. New York: Viking.
A thoughtful and historically rich treasure of Machiavellian methods for success in relationships and business. It describes the moral climate of American media.
Gross, Larry, John Stuart Katz, and Jay Ruby, eds. 1988. Image Ethics: The Moral Rights of Subjects in Photographs, Film, and Television. New York: Oxford University Press.
Original essays on the ethics of representation viewing moral questions in terms of the subject rather than the rights of producers and filmmakers.
Hatch, Nathan. 1989. The Democratization of American Christianity. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
A leading historian looks at the relationship between American religion and changing public attitudes on popular culture.
Heins, Marjorie. 2001. Not in Front of the Children: “Indecency,” Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth. New York: Hill and Wang.
Explains the history of censorship intended to protect young people.
Hill, Annette. 2005. Reality TV: audiences and popular factual television. New York: Routledge.
Specifically examines the reality television genre and studies the audience who watches these shows. It is also sheds lights on the ethics of reality television.
Holbrook, Morris B. 1993. Daytime Television Game Shows and the Celebration of Merchandise: “The Price Is Right.” Bowling Green, OH: Popular Press.
American consumerism reflected in a popular show, by a marketing scholar who frankly does not like what he sees.
Jhally, Sut, and Justin Lewis. 1992. Enlightened Racism: The Cosby Show, Audiences, and the Myth of the American Dream. Boulder, CO: Westview.
How prime-time television presents race and class images. This case study examines the popular show starring Bill Cosby and Felicia Rashad.
Jones, Ward E. and Samantha Vice, eds. 2011. Ethics at the Cinema. New York: Oxford University Press.
Film philosophers discuss ethical issues such as virtue, justice and ideals as well as address sexuality, belonging, and cultural identity in film.
Kupfer, Joseph H. 1999. Vision of Virtue in Popular Film. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Examines the moral principle of virtue by studying popular films. Dissects films in terms of virtue and vice.
Larrabee, Mary Jeanne. Ed. 1993. An Ethic of Care: Feminist and Interdisciplinary Perspectives. New York: Routledge.
Collection of essays about moral philosophy and sex differences in moral reasoning that engage Carol Gilligan’s book, In a Different Voice.
Lester, Paul and Susan Ross, eds. 2003. Images That Injure: Pictorial Stereotypes in the Media, 2nd ed. Westport, CT: Praeger.
A collection of essays explores the impact of age, gender, and racial, ethnic, and social stereotypes perpetuated in advertising, television, film, and journalistic photography and illustrations from an ethical and social perspective. The conclusion offers examples of “images that heal” as well.
Lumby, Catharine and Elspeth Probyn, eds. 2003. Remote Control: New Media, New Ethics. New York: Cambridge University Press.
A look at ethical issues in entertainment and new media, including reality television, the Internet, radio and pornography.
Medved, Michael, and Diane Medved. 1998. Saving Childhood. New York: Harper Collins.
Plenty of evidence in this well-written book that children are not well served by television and film.
Newcomb, Horace, and Robert Alley. 1983. The Producer’s Medium: Conversations with Creators of American TV. Near York: Oxford University Press.
Interviews with notable producers (e.g., Norman Lear, Richard Levinson, William Link, and Garry Marshall) about the values they express as artists.
New York Public Library. 1984. Censorship: 500 Years of Conflict. New York: Oxford University Press.
Photographs, prints, and other artwork depicting the last five centuries of suppression of printed material.
Perebinossoff, Philippe. 2008. Real-world Media Ethics: Inside the Broadcast and Entertainment Industries. Boston: Elsevier.
Focuses on ethics in entertainment and journalism, complete with case studies.
Phelan, John M. 1980. Disenchantment: Meaning and Morality in the Media.New York: Hastings House.
Proposing that a public philosophy arises from the humanities, Phelan addresses the problems of new technology and cultural freedom.
Pipher, Mary. 1994. Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls. New York: Ballantine Books.
Pipher explains the dangers adolescent girls face growing up in our media-saturated, look-obsessed, “girl-poisoning” culture.
Robinson, Deanna Campbell, Elizabeth B. Buck, Marlene Cuthbert, and the International Communication and Youth Consortium. 1991. Music at the Margins: Popular Music and Global Cultural Diversity. Newberg Park, CA: Sage.
Forty scholars from twenty countries analyze popular music and the industrial structure that produces and distributes the product.
Romanowski, William D. 1996. Pop Culture Wars: Religion and the Role of Entertainment in American Life. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
At issue is Medved’s thesis of warfare between Hollywood and traditional values, seen through the lens of informed (culturally and theologically) reformed Christian faith.
Rossi, Philip, and Paul Soukup, eds. 1994. Mass Media and the Moral Imagination. New York: Sheed & Ward.
A collection of scholarly essays that probes spirituality and religious conviction en route to insights on media and morality.
Saunders, Kevin W. 1996. Violence as Obscenity: Limiting the Media’s First Amendment Protection. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Saunders questions whether violent material is protected by the First Amendment or if it should be regulated as obscenity.
Schultze, Quentin J. 2002. Habits of the High-Tech Heart: Living Virtuously in the Information Age. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Schultze examines the impact of information technologies and how we can develop moral virtues for living in our high-tech society.
Shattuck, Roger. 1996. Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus to Pornography. San Diego: Harcourt Brace.
All cultures set fences. In the West, these fences have a long history in literature and science. Are they changing? Should some remain, in the interest of human community?
Thayer, Lee, ed. 1980. Ethics, Morality, and the Media. New York: Hastings House.
Twenty-seven essays and speeches-most by practitioners on the current status of media ethics, with a long introduction (“Notes on American Culture”) by the editor.
Valenti, F. Miguel. 2000. More Than A Movie: Ethics in Entertainment. Colorado: Westview Press.
The author and industry professionals discuss the ethical issues such as social responsibility, which is encountered when creating films. This publication urges filmmakers to be conscious of the perspectives they portray in their movies.
Ward, Annalee. 2002. Mouse Morality: The Rhetoric of Disney Animated Film. Austin: University of Texas Press.
What values do children learn from Disney’s animated productions? How vividly are these values portrayed?
Wilson., James Q. 1993. The Moral Sense. New York: Free Press.
A naturalist wonders how chemistry and biology gave rise to moral reflection, with implications on the virtues required for social justice today.
Wolfe, Alan. 2001. Moral Freedom: The Search for Virtue in a World of Choice. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
A study about the everyday morality of Americans. He discovered that Americans have redefined morality in ways that fit their circumstances.