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Henry Bacon

Bioculturalist approach can be fruitfully employed to explain why fictional violence is such an integral part of both our art and entertainment. In any cultural context aggression related biological traits are controlled and shaped in order to ensure both the internal order and the security of a community. William Flesch has argued that his process is guided by the tendency to admire altruistic punishers, who without self-interest assume the task of punishing evildoers. Spectators of such actions tend to react to it emotionally, both spontaneously and via reflection, thus giving the experience both an emotional and a meta-emotional aspect. This plays an important role in relating to the ways in which resorting to violence is justified in mainstream films. This scenario has a strong emotional appeal, even if the spectator would deplore such means in real life contexts. This discrepancy emerges even more strongly in the revenge scenario, which in a fictional context can appear satisfying and empowering despite the moral qualms the spectator might have concerning the ethics of revenge. Because of the deeply ingrained cult of individuality and doubts about the efficacy of government in maintaining law and order, these narrative patterns have developed especially strongly within American popular culture. However, judging by the worldwide success of such films, their appeal is nonetheless quite universal.

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Brendan Rooney, Hanna Kubicka, Carl Plantinga, James Kendrick, and Johannes Riis

’s fascinating list of reasons why we watch fictional violence), its overall organization and focus on the spectator’s relationship to what Bacon terms the “poetics of film violence”—“how filmic devices are used to depict violence with the purpose of producing

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Qihao Ji and Arthur A. Raney

(1999) : emotional and cognitive processes are inseparable. References Atkin , Charles . 1983 . “ Effects of Realistic TV Violence vs. Fictional Violence on Aggression .” Journalism Quarterly 60 ( 4 ): 615 – 621 . Bilandzic , Helena , and Rick W