|The logical argument in the
preceding literature review is the basis of relevance for the following research question:
R1: Do military themed movies influence public opinion of the U.S. Armed Forces?
This body of research stands by the notion that public opinion is important because it can influence behavior. Public opinion is not merely an effect of one sole cause, but can have an unlimited amount of influence and variables taken into account when forming. Previous research finds media one such influential source for forming opinion (Gunther, 1998).
The media, and movies in particular, often portray the military. As the services' total force decrease, less people are associated with the military, thus less people have direct knowledge of the military from which to form viable perceptions and opinions. Hence, people draw on the images presented to them through different media, specifically movies, to better understand and form opinions about the U.S. Armed Forces.
This research is simply an initial look into an increasingly important aspect of military public affairs. The ability to hypothesize how the public gains information and opinions from the entertainment industry is logical, but extensive research and data collection must be contributed to the field of communication before any definitive theories can be formed.