The Effects Of Television On Modern Society Essay

The Effects Of Television On Modern Society Essay

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The textbook defines "family" as "the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children" and includes "any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family". Ideas about what families are come to us partly from our surroundings. From the time we are young, we are exposed to ideas about what families ought to look like and how they should function. We are exposed to alternative images as we become acquainted with the different family structures portrayed by the media; books, newspapers, magazines, films, and especially television. For decades, television has served as a high-powered cultural lens on families. For the most part, these images have tended to be conventional and narrow in scope, promoting a largely inaccurate version of family reality.
The 1950s gave us shows like Leave it to Beaver that depicted “conventional” families – authoritarian fathers who worked to provide for their families and stay-at-home mothers whose primary task was to look good in an apron and keep peace among the children. The viewing audience is presented with a nuclear family without any serious economic problems or embarrassing histories. The most pressing problems could be solved in 30 minutes with a few wise words from dad or a hug from mom. Ward, the father of Beaver and Wally and husband to June, represents the professional man who is economically in charge of the household. Ward plays an important role as a parenting figure. While it could be assumed that he lets his wife take care of all things family-involved, he actually plays an important role in teaching lessons to his children in a fair and reasonable manner, thus breaking the stereotype that fathers are cruel...


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...mily togetherness is still depicted as the main source of individual happiness and well being for adults and children alike.
To conclude, the dynamics that define each family in these sitcoms have evolved tremendously over time. At first, in the 1950s, the icon TV family was being portrayed as a working father, a homemaker mother, and the 2.5 children. By the time the 1980s reached, however, the TV family had been transformed completely. The audiences were now seeing families that consisted of a single father or a single mother raising their children on their own, or roommates living together and enjoying their single life. The families on modern television shows are not as idealistic, but they remain likeable and relatable. As evolution has taught us, in order to survive one must adapt to accommodate the changes happening around us. Sitcom families are no exception.

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