Springer & Sociology

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When asked "What is the trashiest show on television?" I wouldn't doubt that the majority of the population would agree that it was The Jerry Springer Show. The show deals with people and there issues in the way like many other self-help shows do, for example Oprah or Dr. Phil, but the issues that are dealt with are quite different. Although one may argue that the people on The Jerry Springer Show are simply freaks, a sociologist would say that the issues on the show are dysfunctions of society and this show is an outlet for them to show off their abnormality. We must first understand the life of Jerry Springer to analyze his role on the show. Without a doubt, the show affects the morals and norms of society along with our perception of class, gender, and sexuality. Another important aspect is the role of the audience on the show and how that effects the roles of the guests. Jerry Springer was born in London in 1944 and moved to America at age five. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Tulane University, Springer received his law degree from Northwestern University in 1968. Five years later, Springer launched his career in broadcasting as a political reporter and commentator on Cincinnati's WLWT-TV. He became anchor and managing editor in 1984 and was Cincinnati's top-rated news anchor until he relinquished the post in January 1993. During his tenure, Springer received seven Emmy Awards for his nightly commentaries, the forerunner to his "Final Thought," and was voted television's Best Anchor for five consecutive years by readers of Cincinnati Magazine. The company that owned WLWT-TV also owned The Phil Donahue Show. One day, Springer's employers took him to lunch and gave him a new assig... ... middle of paper ... ...erry finally chimes in with his advice that which lasts for all of one minute. On a recent show where husbands were committing adultery with their wives older friends, Jerry advised his guests to stay either stay faithful of get a divorce, as if that weren't obvious enough. I feel that this personal statement is Springer's justification for hosting such useless program. One can argue that they watch Jerry Springer purely for fun, but it is undeniable that the show is affecting society one individual at a time. The argument of whether the show has a positive or negative effect is still undetermined, but its changes are profound. It has created a society that is jaded, however more accepting yet our morals and values have deteriorated. However, without such extreme popular culture examples like this, our society would not evolve, thus it would not become better.

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