MTV Affecting The Youth

The Pop Culture Assault Music TV channels, broadcasting variety of programs ranging from ordinary music videos through charts, various shows to cartoons are the symptom of our times. No matter if it’s MTV or VIVA, they sell very similar stuff, often cheap and shallow. The pop culture and consumption grasped the most powerful device that is television. It is used as a tool for spreading out information, ideas and appeals. Oftentimes they are silly and ridiculous; nevertheless they have enormous influence on people who watch it. Image has become the most widespread form of expressing ideas and for communication.

Colorful and quickly changing pictures surely affect human personality; it influences the way we behave, dress and exist. Young people tend do be and look like their VJ’s from the TV screen. They wear in certain way; they cut their hair, pierce or tattoo their bodies, just because of their TV idols doing that. TV hosts become the role models to follow; they are gurus and authorities on almost every field of human life from fashion to ethics and morality. They sell some patterns of behavior that other people can consider weird or outrageous. Their ideas can be good and honorable as well as freak and dumb.

TV creates an ideal of a ‘perfect’ woman and man with all the paraphernalia and pressure connected with it. Many young women (as they appear to be more susceptible to that tension) put themselves on diet; wear strange clothes etc. just to fit in the ‘official’ picture. People buy ‘proper’ brands of outfit, cosmetics and even food, they become the slaves of fashion, fashion that often is nothing but garbage glittering and shining on the surface but empty and dull inside. Tracks from the top of the charts, however stupid or unmusical-like they are, can be safe to be sold in millions of copies all over the world.

Here comes another phenomena, music that used to be of an artistic and cultural value, tends to be no longer so. It grows to be a bunch of indistinguishable sounds and samples measured in bps. All this can be dangerous. A group of people seems to have absolute control and power over other people’s mind. They can rein their souls, making them behave in certain way. People are deprived of their freedom; they stop thinking and tend to behave like robots, being the cogs in the giant machine of showbiz, which MTV is a part of.

How The Simpsons Affects Kids

The Simpsons is one of Americas most popular television shows. It ranks as the number one television program for viewers under eighteen years of age. However, the ideals that The Simpsons conveys are not always wholesome, sometimes not even in good taste. It is inevitable that The Simpsons is affecting children. Matt Groening took up drawing to escape from his troubles in 1977. At the time, Groening was working for the L. A. Reader, a free weekly newspaper. He began working on Life in Hell, a humorous comic strip consisting of people with rabbit ears. The L. A. Reader picked up a copy of his comic strip and liked what they saw.

Life in Hell gradually became a common comic strip in many free weeklies and college newspapers across the country. It even developed a cult status. (Varhola, 1) Life in Hell drew the attention of James L. Brooks, producer of works such as Taxi, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Terms of Endearment. Brooks originally wanted Groening to make an animated pilot of Life in Hell. Groening chose not to do so in fear of loosing royalties from papers that printed the strip. Groening presented Brooks with an overweight, balding father, a mother with a blue beehive hairdo, and three obnoxious spiky haired children.

Groening ntended for them to represent the typical American family “who love each other and drive each other crazy”. Groening named the characters after his own family. His parents were named Homer and Margaret and he had two younger sisters named Lisa and Maggie. Bart was an anagram for “brat”. Groening chose the last name “Simpson” to sound like the typical American family name. (Varhola, 2) Brooks decided to put the 30 or 60 second animations on between skits on The Tracy Ullman Show on the unsuccessful Fox network. Cast members Dan Castellaneta and Julie Kavner did the voices of Homer and Marge. Yeardley Smith (later to star in Herman’s

Head) did the voice of Lisa. Nancy Cartwright did the voice of Bart. Cartwright previously supplied the voices for many cartoons, including Galaxy High, Fantastic Max, Richie Rich, Snorks, Pound Puppies, My Little Pony, and Glo-Friends. Tracy Ullman later added Cartwright to her cast. (Dale and Trich, 11) Brooks, Groening, and Sam Simon, Tracy Ullman’s producer, wanted to turn the Simpson family into their own show. The Fox network was looking for material to appeal to younger viewers. The only show they had that drew a young audience was Married With Children. To Fox’s pleasure, The Simpsons saved the network from near ailure.

On December 17, 1989, The Simpsons got their break. The Christmas special, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” aired. (Dale and Trich, 19) In the episode, Bart got a tattoo, much to Marge’s dislike. She quickly spent all of the family’s Christmas money to remove Bart’s tattoo with a laser. At the same time, Homer, still on his morning coffee break at 4:00 in the afternoon, learns that he will not receive a Christmas bonus. When he learns that Marge is relying on the money for Christmas, he decides that he will do the Christmas shopping for the year. He quickly buys Marge panty hose, Bart paper,

Lisa crayons, and Maggie a dog toy. When he realizes that he is not doing very well, he gets a second job as a mall Santa for the extra money. On the way home from work, he steals a Christmas tree. The next day at the mall, Bart sits on his Dad’s lap and pulls down his beard. Homer responds by choking Bart and making him help make Christmas better. On Christmas Eve, Homer receives his check, $13. 70 for over 40 hours work. Homer takes Bart to the dog track as a final chance for Christmas money. They discovered a gem in the third race, Santa’s Little Helper. How could this dog lose on Christmas Eve?

The dds were 99 to 1, they were going to be rich. Homer put all of his money on Santa’s Little Helper, and to his horror, he never even finished. As Homer and Bart were scouring the parking lot for winning tickets into the night, they saw the track manager throw out a dog. It was not just any dog, it was Santa’s Little Helper. When Bart and Homer came home to their worried family, they had a good Christmas after all. Now they had a dog. (Pond) “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” was not the typical Christmas story. It dealt with body art, sleeping in the work place, sibling rivalry, stealing a Christmas tree, a misbehaved son, and ambling.

Although it was unorthodox, it was very successful. The Fox network decided to air it again on Christmas Eve. (Dale and Trich,19) In a little over a month, The Simpsons made it’s debut as a weekly show, “Bart the Genius” was the first regular episode. In the middle of a feared assessment test, Bart switches his test with the completed one of Nelson Prince, Class Nerd. Bart and his parents are called into Principal Seymour Skinner’s office where they are told that Bart has a 216 IQ. (Homer thought is was 912. ) Skinner requests that Bart attends The Enriched Learning Center for Children. Suddenly, Homer takes a liking to his son.

They joke together, play ball together, embarrass Marge at an opera together. (“Toreador, oh don’t spit on the floor. Use the cuspidor. That’s what it’s for. ” Bart sings along with the opera Carmen. ) Soon at Bart’s old school, Springfield Elementary School, Bart’s graffiti is roped off and tagged, “The Principal. By Bart Simpson. IQ 216. ” Bart’s friends no longer like him, they refer to him as Poindexter. The kids at his new school trick him into giving up his lunch. In fact, Bart is miserable. Then, after turning himself green in an uneducated science xperiment, Bart reveals to his new principal that he cheated on the test.

That night, as Homer is helping Bart clean himself off, Bart tells Homer the same. Homer ineztly transforms into a murderous rampage again. The episode ends with Bart locking himself in his room and Homer trying to knock down the door so he can tear Bart into pieces. (Vitti) Soon, Simpsons merchandise was all over America. Every kid wanted an “Underachiever and Proud of It, Man” or an “I’m Bart Simpson, Who the Hell Are You? ” shirt. Hats could be seen everywhere that had Bart dressed like a devil saying “Go For It, Dude! or with Homer, his arms open, lunging forward saying “Why You Little.

The most popular shirt was a family picture with Homer choking Bart. During the first week of school in 1990, two thirds of the sixth graders in America wore Simpsons paraphernalia. (Dale and Trich, 43) As the popularity of The Simpsons grew, so did parents’ fears. To their horror, Bart Simpson became a role model. “Aye Carumba! ” was a popular expression among kids. Almost anything a child did wrong was attributed to “last Sunday’s Simpsons. ” (Dale and Trich, 45) Bad ideas continued to be broadcast into kids’ minds. In the hird episode, a baby-sitter robbed the Simpson household of most of it’s belongings.

In the fourth episode, Homer caused a nuclear accident, got fired, and attempted suicide. Bart stole the head off of the statue of Jebidiah Springfield, Springfield’s founder in the sixth episode. In the eighth episode, Bart took a picture of Homer with an exotic dancer and distributed them to the entire town. Marge had an affair in the ninth episode. Homer stole cable, and almost everything else imaginable in the fifteenth episode. (Groening, 37) The Simpsons is often viewed as one of the biggest thr….. eats to Christianity. The Simpson family goes to church on a regular basis, but Bart and Homer loath it.

A typical Sunday School conversation is as follows: Child: “Will my dog, Fluffy go to heaven? ” Sunday School Teacher: “No” Other Child: “How about my cat? ” Teacher: “No, Heaven is only for people. ” Bart: “What if my leg gets gangrene and has to be amputated? Will it be waiting for me in heaven? Teacher: “Yes” Bart: “What about a robot with a human brain? ” Teacher: “I don’t know! Is a little blind faith too much to ask for? ” (Pepoon) The pastor, Reverend Lovejoy is a hypocrite. In “22 Short Films About Springfield” he leads his dog to the Flanders’ yard to go to the bathroom.

He praises the dog until Ned Flanders comes outside. He then acts angry and threatens the dog with hell. When Ned leaves, he praises the dog again. (Swartzwelder) In one episode, Homer quits going to church and falls in love with life. He claims to have his own religion so he doesn’t have to go to work on holidays, such as the Feast of Maximum Occupancy. In a conversation with Lisa: Lisa: “Dad, I don’t underezd, why have you dedicated yourself to living a life of blasphemy? ” Homer: “Don’t worry Lisa, if I’m wrong, I’ll repent on my death bed. (Meyer) The Simpsons is not just an enemy of Christianity, though.

In one episode, where Krusty the Clown is reunited with his father, a rabbi, almost the entire episode is spent making fun of Judaism. Lisa asks Bart, “Do you know what a rabbi’s most valued possession is? ” Bart replied, “I dunno, those stupid little hats. ” Hinduism is coneztly joked with by using East Indian, Kwik-E-Mart clerk, Apu Mahasapeemapitalon. Apu is once asked if he is Hindu. He replied, “By the thousand arms of Bishna, I swear it is a lie. ”

Once Homer was in the Kwik-E-Mart: Homer: “Hey Apu. No offense, but when they were anding out religions, you must have been on the can. ” Apu: “Mr. Simpson, please take your jerky and get out and come again! ” (Meyer) The average child can acquire a plethora of foul words from one episode. In “Flaming Moe’s”, Bart is “jinxed”, meaning he can’t talk until somebody says his name. Homer: “What is it boy? ” Bart: [Grunts] Homer: “Us anything the matter, my son? Talk to me young man. ” Bart: [Takes a pencil and writes ‘Say my name. ] Homer: “Say your name? Why should I do that, my lad? ” Bart: “Because I’m jinxed damnit! ” Homer: [Punches Bart in the arm. ] Bart: “Ow! What was that for! ” Homer: You spoke while you were jinxed, so I get to punch you in the arm! Sorry, it’s the law! ” (Cohen) Homer Simpson definitely has the worst influence on children.

Once, Homer overheard Ralph Wiggum say the he would do anything for Lisa. In the next scene, Ralph is coating the Simpson’s roof in tar. Ralph calls out, “Mr. Simpson, the tar fumes are making me dizzy. ” Homer, relaxing in a hammock replies, nonchalantly, “Yeah, they’ll do that. ” Homer fits the genera of the parent who pressures his kid to do well in sports. In one episode, after Bart scored a winning goal, Homer congratulated him, “Okay Bart, you won the hockey game.

Now, just as I promised, here’s your turtle, alive and unhurt. Homer got angry at Marge once for spending lots of money to vaccinate Maggie against diseases she doesn’t have. His advice on how to get out of jury duty is “to tell them that you’re prejudiced against all races. ” His self proclaimed, best advice is, “Sometimes the only way you can feel good about yourself is to make other people look stupid. ” (Groening, 26) Personally, I believe that The Simpsons affects children, but not necessarily in a bad way. Children never hurt themselves imicking The Three Stooges, nor do they with The Simpsons. Almost every episode ends with a family that loves each other.

Some episodes have answered the question of them affecting children on their own. Once, Marge began to protest Itchy and Scratchy cartoons. Itchy is a psychopathic mouse who’s only purpose is to kill and torture Scratchy, a cat. Nearing the end of the episode, Marge realizes that Itchy and Scratchy is not hurting anyone. They take a satirical view to the situation when a group of mothers try to stop Michaelangelo’s David from visiting the Springfield Museum of Art by means that it is pornographic. (Koger and Wolodarsky) Unlike many sitcoms, The Simpsons is more like everyday life.

Homer works in a power plant. In many other sitcoms, the father works a popular job, such as an accountant, or with a television studio. The Simpson family is not a wealthy family living in a $300,000 house. Many children can relate to this. (Rebeck, 622) In some cases, The Simpsons is educational. Karen Brecze credits Homer Simpson with saving her 8-year-old son, Alex’s life. Bence, of Auburn, Washington, says the boy was choking on an orange when his 10-year-old brother, Chris, used the Heimlich maneuver, which he learned from “Homer at the Bat”, where Homer is choking on a oughnut.

Unlike Alex, Homer doesn’t receive help and coughs up the doughnut as his co-workers look at the Heimlich maneuver poster. (Dyer, D3) The Simpsons affects kids, just as anything around them will. Perhaps people fear The Simpsons because they can see a little of The Simpsons in themselves. We all have inner child’s trying to get out that behave just like Bart. We all do “pull a Homer” sometimes. It just happens. The show doesn’t make us do it. It just happens. If this world did not have The Simpsons children would behave in the same manner, they just might laugh quite as much.

Digital Broadcasting

This will be done firstly by looking at the history of the BBC and the original intention of Public Service Broadcasting. It will discuss how by John Reiths successful approach to broadcasting, the BBC became a National Institution creating popular culture and a National Identity. It will examine how these first steps and ideas have major role in the introduction of Digital Broadcasting today and whether the initial Reithian values have any meaning in todays society. It will finally conclude what effect if any, these changes will have on British life as a whole and whether the fear of change is justified.

In the 2oth century the advance of technology has been fundamental in the way we live our lives today. The recent introduction of Digital Broadcasting to Great Britain has caused many technologists to become swept up in a sense of awed enthusiasm about the infinite possibilities of the new digital age. In its early stages digital broadcasting is only available to a minority and it will take ten years or so to become a new way of life. Digital Broadcasting has thousands of new services to offer its viewers and listeners.

Instead of pictures and sound being transformed into waves, the new technology turns them into a series of digits which are transmitted through the air and received by television or radio aerials. Digital Broadcasting is more efficient than analogue, giving space for six channels where analogue would give you one. Digital brings better picture, better sound quality and more choice and cinematic style. The new era gives the audience greater interaction with its broadcaster and also the opportunity to shop, book holidays, bank and play games all form remote control.

It is not just television that is going digital. Radio too will offer the listener a transformed experience in what we enjoy the most. The sound quality will be crystal clear and free from interruption. New digital radio sets will offer a built in display panel which will show graphics as well as facts and figures relating to the programme you are listening to. These are the things that we have come to expect from a broadcasting journey lasting 80 years. The new technological change is revolutionary as radio was 75 years ago and as television was 25 years after.

Overnight we will move from a world of scarcity with limitation, to a world of plenty where an infinity of services become possible. The fear of change is as great as its was 77 years ago when broadcasting began. The digital age brings risks as well as opportunities. The risk that globalisation of culture may threaten national identities; that the powerful gateway controllers may restrain rather than promote diversity; the risk of a possible two class society; the information rich, ready an able to pay for their increasingly expensive media, and the information poor who cannot.

Are these threats true to life ? How could this be avoided ? The introduction of digital broadcasting has followed a similar pattern to the advent of broadcasting itself 77 years ago by its gradual availability to all. In 1922 the British Broadcasting Company was founded. Owned by a consortium of radio manufacturers Peter Eckersley one of the companies first employees said, “The BBC was formed as an expedient solution to a technical problem”. (ECKERSLEY, 1922,pg112) The government had decided that there was going to be no radio free for all.

Led by 33 year old John Reith the BBC set to work at inventing broadcasting. The BBC was set up as a public service, meaning that the provision should be public goods rather than of a private commodity. Funding the public service was decided when it was felt that advertising could limit the number of programmes broadcast. Therefore to move away from the governments intervention a licence fee paid for by the owners of radios sets would mean money could be reinvested into the research and development of the service.

Advertising was ruled out by the Sykes Committee of 1923 because of the detrimental effect it had on programmes in America. The American notion of broadcasting was based on freedom whereas John Reiths British one was completely different. In 1926 the Crawford Committee decided that the BBC should become more selective in its programmes and it was suggested that, “the broadcasting service should be conducted by a public corporation acting as a trustee for the national interest and its status and duties should correspond with those of a public service. (NEGRINE, Politics and the Mass Media, pg82)

The early creation of public service broadcasting saw the BBC become informer and educator not simply entertainer. The BBC was closely involved with the Adult Education Movement becoming an integral part of young adult life after leaving school at 14. Reiths commitment to the public service mean that the service was of very high quality. The tradition of the BBC as a public service also brought high mindedness to the pioneers of broadcasting, who felt that the broadcasting was their unique privilege.

In the early stages of the BBC John Reith was not alone in his uneasiness with popular culture, therefore in the first 25 years of broadcasting a pull in both directions was noticeable between what the public wanted and want they ought to want. Reiths bureaucratic Iron Fisted approached moulded the BBC into a unique character whose long time monopoly created a national institution for Britain. After developing as a small series of regional networks, the BBC became primarily a national broadcaster. The people of Britain were brought together and radio became an everyday part of British life.

The FA Cup final was first broadcast in 1927, in the same year the Proms brought classical music available to everyone. The Coronation in 1937 became the biggest event to that time in broadcasting history. A lot like digital, these new innovations were originally only available to the minority until Reith opened the range out to reach the masses. By the end of the 1930s, 70% of households owned a radio set. However that was 70% of Britain and not just London. A feud was stirring between the North and South as the concentration of broadcasting was based in London.

The people of the North feared a loss of their regional identity through the suppressed use of regional accents. This anxiety was shared by the Ministry of Information was suggested, Something might be done to diminish the present predominance of the cultured voice upon the wireless. Every effort should be made to get working class people to the microphone. ” (HOME MORALE COMMITTEE,pg144) In the General Strike of 1926 press production came to halt meaning that news was solely heard on the radio for the first time.

At that time Winston Churchill wanted to take over the BBC and use it for mild propaganda. Reith however was totally against this, his arguments were successful and the BBC ran itself on its own power supplies throughout the strike continuing its public service. When the strike had ended Reith commented that, Since the BBC institution and since the government in this crisis were acting for the people, the BBC was for the government in this crisis too. ” (REITH, 1926,pg 120) This impartiality showed the first step to the BBCs independence.

The first major changes in broadcasting happened during and after the Second World War. An initial decision not to broadcast during the war was revoked meaning that a huge recruitment campaign had to be launched after most of the BBC staff had been called up. This saw the beginning of the end of the stuffy high mindedness that had engulfed the BBC and it enabled the public to at last get what they want. During the war a shift in programming saw the BBC show its first substantial use of audience research, they asked soldiers in barracks what they wanted to hear and then played it.

A concentration of programming with intent to entertain and inform was intensified during the war to keep up spirits and moral. In 1945 the BBCs public service was enhanced by the introduction of television. John Reith labelled television as a social menace of the first order which seemed an odd statement, but perhaps he felt that after years of grooming radio for success, TV would arrive and steal its thunder. In 1955 the BBC lost its long time monopoly in broadcasting. ITVs new service funded by advertisements created a duopoly which was thought to be better for the industry.

ITV brought with it the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA now ITC) whose job it was to regulate the channel. The introduction of ITV brought challenge to the BBC, though John Reiths original ideal for public service broadcasting included ITV by means of programmes being informative, educational, entertaining and overall of a public service. The past twenty years have seen many changes in British Broadcasting, breakfast television, teletext and live television have all arrived.

Quality of sound and picture has been a major technical development. New terrestrial channels such as Channel 4 and Channel 5 have brought a greater choice for the viewer and the ever increasing influx of new independent radio stations like Virgin 1215 and Talk Radio have challenged the BBCs long time monopoly. The BBC itself introduced Radio5, then re-launched it to become a 24 hour news and sports station called Radio Five Live. The advance of technology in the last ten years has brought the British public more choice.

Sky and Cable broadcasting companies have been offering a wider range of programmes on and anything, Originally un-regulated the massive scale of choice brought new sources of entertainment. As in 1937 when the FA Cup final was first broadcast on radio, the Cricket World Cup of 1992 was exclusive to Sky Sports causing major increases in sales. Terrestrial television has changed in many ways since its introduction in the 1950s, two channels has become five and the quality of programming has improved a great deal.

John Reiths initial public service ethos as discussed earlier created a base for broadcastings future, future that is until now. The introduction of digital television will eventually see a change in Public Service Broadcasting but not the end. Digital has brought its doubters and sceptics but surely this change will be good for the audience, but will its be good for the BBC ? The new ideal for Public Service Broadcasting that enters the new millennium is similar to a large menu.

Unlike the old Reithian values set out at the beginning where an audience was given a service that was selected for them, the paying viewer can select a specific programme or genre of their choice at any time. Therefore broadcasting becomes a different type of public service, creating a pay per view system which offers a world wide choice. ONDigtals new pay per view system is the first in Britain. Chief Executive Stephen Grabiner claims, “Our research shows there is a high dissatisfaction with existing pay TV operators. We know people want more choice and they are prepared to pay for it, but they also want to be valued. “

Impact Of Violence TV

Just sixty years ago the invention of the television was viewed as a technological curiosity with black and white ghost-like figures on a screen so small hardly anyone could see them. Today that curiosity has become a constant companion to many, mainly children. From reporting the news and persuading us to buy certain products, to providing programs that depict violence, television has all but replaced written material. Unfortunately, it is these violent programs that are endangering our present-day society.

Violent images on television, as well as in the movies, have inspired people to set spouses on fire in their beds, lie down in the middle of highways, extort money by placing bombs in airplanes, rape, steal, murder, and commit numerous other shootings and assaults. Over 1,000 case studies have proven that media violence can have negative affects on children as well. It increases aggressiveness and anti-social behavior, makes them less sensitive to violence and to victims of violence, and it increases their appetite for more violence in entertainment and in real life.

Media violence is especially damaging to young children because they cannot tell the difference between real life and fantasy. Violent images on television and in movies may seem real to these children and sometimes viewing these images can even traumatize them. Despite the negative effects media violence has been known to generate, no drastic changes have been made to deal with this problem that seems to be getting worse. We, as a whole, have glorified this violence so much that movies such as “Natural Born Killers” and television shows such as “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” are viewed as normal, everyday entertainment.

It’s even rare now to find a children’s cartoon that does not depict some type of violence or comedic aggression. What we do not realize though, is that it is the children that are ending up with problems. Unlike most rational, educated adults, many children are gradually beginning to accept violence as a way to solve problems and are imitating what they observe on television. These children do not understand that the violence is shown strictly because the public wants to see it. They cannot grasp the meaning of “ratings” and “entertainment” as well as adults can.

All they know is, “if the TV portrays violence as cool, then it must be cool! ” The problem isn’t the violence in the media though; it is the media’s failure to show the consequences of violence. This is especially true of cartoons, toy commercials, and music videos. Children often do not realize that it hurts to hit someone else because they see it all the time on TV. Everyday a cartoon character is beat up, injured, or killed, only to return in the very next episode, good as new. As a result, children learn that there are few, if any repercussions for committing violent acts.

Unfortunately, as long as there is an extremely high public demand for violent shows and movies, the media is going to continue on the same path. And because it looks as though the “violence craze” is going to continue for some time, we need to be dependent on parents to reduce the effect that media violence has on children, which can be done in so many different ways. First, parents should limit the amount of television children watch per day from the average 3 to 4 hours, which is double the amount of recommended hours, to 1 to 2 hours.

Children are exposed to far too much violence every day on TV, mainly because parents see the TV as a convenient babysitter. By limiting the amount of time spent in front of the “tube,” parents will compel their children to do something more productive like reading a book or playing outside. In limiting TV time, parents also need to monitor what programs their children are watching and restrict the viewing of violent programs. Just because a child is not watching as much violence, does not mean he or she still can’t be influenced by it.

Parents should also make a greater effort to better develop their children’s media literacy skills. They need to help children to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Without proper instruction, children often have a hard time drawing the line between what is real and what is make-believe. With this education, parents should teach their children that real-life violence has consequences, in that pain is real and death is permanent. They need to understand that weapons and other acts of violence can inflict serious and life-long injuries.

This education can be done simply by watching television with children and discussing the violent acts and images that are portrayed. They should ask children to think about what would happen in real life if the same type of violent act were committed. Would anyone die or go to jail? Would anyone be sad? Would the violence solve problems or create them? Just asking children how they feel after watching a violent TV show, movie, or music video is enough to move them from their innocent dream world into reality. Finally the easiest and most simple way to keep children away from excessive media violence is to teach them alternatives to violence.

Parents should not be so quick to let their children plop down in front of a TV set. They should interest their children with something much more productive and exciting to do. However this task is completed, it is important for children to be given the proper support in dealing with issues of violence. If not, they could end up like one of the thousands of criminals sent to prisons and on death row for mindless and unnecessary acts of violence. We are bombarded continually with images of violence, brutality, and sexual immortality.

When children, teen-agers, and adults all mindlessly automatically imitate and follow the leader, it is hard to believe that there are so many non-aggressive and non-violent people in the world. The reason for this is education. We, as a humane society, learn in the early years of our life that violence is wrong. It is important for this education to continue with each passing generation. Mass media can have a very negative effect on children, but with the support of parents and a little control, the television can be turned into a beneficial tool rather than negative impact.

How MTV Maintains Its Dominance

Music Television, a basic cable service known by its acronym MTV, remains the dominant music video outlet utilizing effective marketing and competitive business practices throughout its nineteen year history. The creation of the “I Want My MTV” marketing campaign and use of the campaign throughout the 1980’s helped the cable outlet secure a substantial subscriber base. MTV dealt with competition from cable mogul Ted Turner’s Cable Music Channel by creating a fighting brand, sister cable service VH-1, along with facing challenges by numerous other music video programming services.

Through exclusivity agreements with record labels for music videos and limiting access to cable systems owned by MTV’s parent company, MTV exercised anticompetitive and monopolistic means to fend off competition. From its launch, MTV successfully applied these marketing and competitive business practices. The board of the Warner – AMEX Satellite Entertainment Company (WASEC), a partnership between Warner Communications and American Express, gave approval in mid-January 1981 for the creation of a cable service that would broadcast music videos .

Music videos, song length visual depictions used in the promotion of a musical act’s latest release, were already popular on European television since the mid 1970s. A deadline of August 1, 1981 was set for the launch of this new cable service as programs featuring music videos were beginning to appear on cable outlets such as Home Box Office and USA Network. The set-up and programming of the entire operation was to be established in approximately six-and-a-half months.

Bob Pittman, a WASEC programming executive with a background in radio, wanted to ensure the new music video outlet delivered programming that appealed to its target audience of twelve to thirty-four-year-olds. This age demographic was both desirable and difficult for advertisers to reach as young adults typically did not watch much of what television offered at the time. He determined that, with little exception, the cable service would have no distinguishable programs.

Video upon video would be presented by on-air personalities dubbed video jockeys, veejays for short, who would also provide entertainment news and conduct artist interviews. The absence of scheduled programming was, as stated by Tom McGrath in MTV: The Making of a Revolution, “a radical notion” as regularly scheduled programs were the norm on American television up to this point. Programming the new music video outlet in this manner made it as familiar as format commercial radio, while presenting it using the medium of television, to its young target audience.

The name of the new music video cable service began as TV-1, a name that Bob Pittman felt fit the “youthful arrogance” the channel embraced. With little support for the name from other WASEC executives, an M representing music replaced the 1 in the name. The name eventually evolved into MTV, Music Television. With a name chosen for the new cable outlet, Fred Seibert, the Director of On-Air Promotion, was charged with commissioning a logo for MTV. Manhattan Design, the studio hired by Seibert, eventually developed the logo still used by the channel today: a large block “M” with a small “TV” that looks spray painted on.

Many in Sales and Marketing at WASEC thought the logo left much to be desired, with one executive asking Seibert if he thought it would endure as long as the CBS eye. Almost two decades later, the MTV logo is arguably one of the most recognizable pop culture icons. A video of the Buggle’s “Video Killed the Radio Star” marked the launch of MTV at 12:01 AM August 1, 1981. Jack Banks notes in Monopoly Television: MTV’s Quest to Control the Music that at the start, the music video channel was available in 2. 1 million homes and was not offered in either New York City or Los Angeles.

The absence of MTV from cable systems in these two cities presented several problems for the new cable outlet. The amount of available advertising time sold, only thirty percent at the channel’s launch, did not seem likely to increase without advertising executives able to see MTV. National media coverage of the new music video channel was also lacking its start-up, with the exception of one reporter from the Los Angeles Times. An effective marketing campaign would be developed in the next several years that would increase customer demand for MTV, increasing the number of subscribers.

MTV’s distribution continued growing into the summer after its launch, reaching four million homes, though these numbers remained below projections. To combat cable system operators reluctant to carry the channel, Dale Pon and George Lois of the LPG/ Pon advertising agency developed a marketing effort directly targeted at consumers. The idea behind the “I Want My MTV” campaign would be to get pop-music stars to proclaim the tagline and encourage potential subscribers to call cable operators proclaiming the same thing.

WASEC programming executives warmed to the idea of the using the campaign following Dale Pon’s presentation emphasizing that the slogan played on the instant gratification spirit of MTV’s intended audience. With so many television outlets attempting to appeal to large audiences with broad demographics, the slogan reinforced the fact that the cable outlet cared only about its target audience of twelve to thirty-four-year-olds. The “I Want My MTV” marketing campaign, starring artists including Pat Benatar, Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, serving to let young people know the service is something for them.

Negotiations between WASEC and system operator Manhattan Cable were ongoing for the better part of a year when WASEC purchased advertising time for the “I Want My MTV” campaign on New York City broadcast stations. A cable service often shared channel space when it debuted on Manhattan Cable, airing only from 6:00 AM until 6:00 PM or vice versa, and WASEC viewed such a compromise as unacceptable. Time sharing of channel space seemingly undercut the idea of a twenty-four-hour-a-day music video outlet. If carried on Manhattan Cable, MTV would be exposed to a great number of Madison Avenue advertising agencies.

An extraordinary response to the “I Want My MTV” campaign took place only days after the spots debuted on the air in New York. Telephone callers inundated the offices of Manhattan Cable demanding the addition of MTV to the service lineup. Within weeks of the debut of the “I Want My MTV” campaign, MTV became available around the clock on Manhattan Cable. After its success in New York, the “I Want My MTV” campaign would continued to be used throughout the late 1980’s in order to build the service’s subscriber base throughout the U. S.

In addition to increasing its total number of subscribers, MTV would be successful at dealing with competition from other music video programming services. Ted Turner, the owner of Cable News Network (CNN) and cable superstation WTBS, announced plans in August 1984 to launch Cable Music Channel, a competing twenty-four-hour music video outlet. The strategy on the part of WASEC executives would be to create a second music video outlet of their own to combat Tuner’s plans; they figured if cable operators had capacity for a second music video channel, it would be MTV and not Turner that would give it to them.

Turner planned to offer Cable Music Channel to system operators free of charge at its launch, prompting WASEC, which charged operators a per subscriber fee for carrying MTV, to make concessions with two of the industry’s largest operators. WASEC struck deals with TCI and ATC lowering per subscriber fees for MTV and offering an upcoming sister cable service in exchange for each operator’s agreement not to air Turner’s Cable Music Channel. Cable Music Channel began on-air operations October 26, 1984 despite an inability to clear ten million subscribers at start-up.

Turner’s initial claims placed Cable Music Channel’s availability at two-point-three million homes, though audits later showed that the service never cleared more than three-hundred-fifty thousand subscribers. Ted Turner pulled the plug on Cable Music Channel by the end of November 1984, agreeing to a one-million-dollar buyout of the service by MTV; for its money MTV received only the Cable Music Channel name, a list of CMC’s subscribers and five-hundred-thousand dollars of advertising time on Turner Broadcasting’s channels. By the time of Cable Music Channel’s demise, MTV enjoyed a subscriber base of twenty-three-point-five million.

Originally planned as counter-programming to Turner’s Cable Music Channel, WASEC went ahead with the plans to launch the adult-oriented, middle-of-the-road music video service Video Hits One, known by its acronym VH-1, on New Year’s Day 1985. The twenty-four-hour-a -day music video channel targeted at twenty-five to forty-nine-year-olds debuted with thirteen advertisers signed on and a subscriber base of three million. Another way MTV dealt with challenges from other music video programming outlets is exclusivity agreements with record labels for music videos.

Beginning in 1983, MTV entered into agreements with many record labels providing the cable channel with a percentage of each label’s video clips on an exclusive basis for a thirty-day period. In exchange for the exclusive broadcast rights for approximately thirty-percent of a record label’s video clips, the labels (including CBS, Geffen, MCA and RCA) received compensation from MTV in the form of cash and advertising time. Reactions to the exclusivity deals between MTV and the record labels ranged from indifference to outrage on the part of competing music video outlets.

One of the loudest criticisms came from David Benjamin, the producer of NBC’s “Friday Night Videos” who said MTV wanted to effectively end competition, adding the viewer who doesn’t receive MTV is the ultimate loser. MTV programming executives quickly pointed out that the broadcast networks also pay for exclusive programming. In the end, exclusive agreements only delayed widespread distribution of each video clip to MTV’s competitors. MTV achieved its dominance as a music video outlet utilizing effective marketing and competitive business practices since its inception.

The “I Want My MTV” campaign and use of the campaign throughout the 1980’s is one example of the cable outlet’s use of effective marketing technique. MTV’s business strategy ended competition from cable mogul Ted Turner’s Cable Music Channel through the creation of a fighting brand, along with facing challenges by numerous other music video programming services. Exclusivity agreements with record labels for music videos and by limiting access to cable systems, MTV effectively exercised anticompetitive and monopolistic means to fend off competition.

Stay Tuned: The Exploitation Of Children In Television Advertisements

Across America in the homes of the rich, the not-so-rich, and in poverty-stricken homes and tenements, as well as in schools and businesses, sits advertisers’ mass marketing tool, the television, usurping freedoms from children and their parents and changing American culture. Virtually an entire nation has surrendered itself wholesale to a medium for selling. Advertisers, within the constraints of the law, use their thirty-second commercials to target America’s youth to be the decision-makers, convincing their parents to buy the advertised toys, foods, drinks, clothes, and other products.

Inherent in this targeting, especially of the very young, are the advertisers; fostering the youth’s loyalty to brands, creating among the children a loss of individuality and self-sufficiency, denying them the ability to explore and create but instead often encouraging poor health habits. The children demanding advertiser’s products are influencing economic hardships in many families today. These children, targeted by advertisers, are so vulnerable to trickery, are so mentally and emotionally unable to understand reality because they lack the cognitive reasoning skills needed to be skeptical of dvertisements.

Children spend thousands of hours captivated by various advertising tactics and do not understand their subtleties. Though advertisers in America’s free enterprise system are regulated because of societal pressures, they also are protected in their rights under freedom of expression to unfairly target America’s youth in order to sell to their parents, regardless of the very young’s inability to recognize the art of persuasion. In the free enterprise system, the advertiser’s role is to persuade consumers to buy their products/services.

They are given a product/service and re required to use their best creative effort to make this product desirable to the intended audience (Krugman 37). Because of this calculated and what many deem as manipulative way of enticing the target audience, the advertising industry is charged with several ethical breeches, which focus on a lack of societal responsibility (Treise 59). Child Advocacy groups and concerned parents, among others, question the ethicality of advertising claims and appeals that are directed towards vulnerable groups in particular, children (Bush 31).

The fundamental criticism is that children are an unfair market. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates the advertising industry to ensure consumers’ protection from false or misleading information. The question many assert is should the government be allowed to monitor what is legitimate simply because some do not approve (Hernandez 34). This question requires value judgments that can only be answered through constructing public policy (Kunkel 58). Most people in society recognize that television advertising directed towards children is excessive, manipulative and takes unfair advantage of children (Kunkel 60).

In a recent survey from the researcher, it was documented that 80% of dults with children wanted governmental regulation to protect children from television advertising (See Appendix 1). Research in the social science fields such as psychology and communication documents how the child interprets a given television advertisement. Findings indicate for one, the majority of children up to age five “experience difficulty distinguishing perceptually between programs and commercials” (Kunkel 62). It is noted that children at this young age tend to treat all television content as a unidimensional type of message.

For instance, child viewers do not begin to discriminate between antasy or reality dimensions of television content at the most basic levels until grade school. Advertisers compound this issue by using perceptual similarities in program content and commercial content which adds to the difficulty children already have in distinguishing between the two variables. Secondly, the study substantiates that, “A substantial proportion of children, particularly those below age eight, express little or no comprehension of the persuasive intent of commercials” (Kunkel 63).

This is a crucial argument in regards to the legality of unfair advertising. Children eight and younger are n unfair market, for they do not understand the intent of the advertisement. For the child to recognize and appreciate the persuasive intent of television advertising, he/she would be able to identify the following characteristics: “the source of the advertisement has perspectives and interests other than those of the receiver, the source intends to persuade, persuasive messages are biased, and biased messages demand different interpretive strategies than do unbiased messages” (Kunkel 64).

Thirdly, research has found “younger children who are unaware of the persuasive intent of television advertising tend to xpress greater belief in commercials and a higher frequency of purchase requests” (Kunkel 64). Children are an unfair market in this regard because they simply do not understand the commercial claim may be exaggerated and biased. The child often does not understand that when he/she gets the product , it may not be as spectacular as it was made out to be in the advertisement (Kunkel 64).

Popular studies give evidence that children are often mesmerized by television (Signorielli 34). Children fixate upon television and become hypnotized by watching. The attention level of young viewers is elevated in he presence of children, eye contact, puppets, and rapid pacing (Van Eura 23). Television advertisements target younger audiences by using colorful images and rapid movement often in the form of animation (Brady). The advertisements primarily directed towards the childrens’ market are for toys and foods (Pediatrics 295).

Studies show that children see the images on television as a window of the world, these images affect their thoughts and ideas (Pingree 253). Therefore, advertisers are manipulating children by predominantly showing advertisements that encourage materialism and eating. Research findings on how children interpret television commercials are not the only indicator of what constitutes a fair market. Public opinion, along with the observations of other regarded professionals, observe the exploitation of the children’s market.

According to Cynthia Schiebe, assistant professor of psychology at Ithaca College and director of The Center for Research on the Effects of Television, has the following to say in relation to children as an unfair market: “The point is not that advertising is wrong, but it often plays unfair… Children can’t distinguish the persuasive intent of ommercials. There is enormous evidence that young children have various difficulties in understanding the nature of commercials. They give more credibility to the person speaking than they should, especially if it’s someone like Cap’n Crunch or Ronald McDonald, or someone who is a role model.

Ms. Schiebe, through her work as a psychologist and a researcher, asserts that adults have the capabilities to detect persuasive strategies where children do not have the same capabilities. Peggy Charren, leader for 25 years of Action for Children’s Television (ACT), believes that advertising takes advantage of mpressionable youngsters. Charren states, “Children are the only unpaid sales force in the history of America. Advertisers don’t expect kids to buy the product. The kids are being used to sell the product to the parent. ”

According to James U. McNeal, a Texas A&M University Marketing professor , states, “What distinguishes children from other viewers is not so much what advertiser’s show them, but how they interpret it. Children are literalists, which makes them more vulnerable to advertising’s message. For them seeing is believing” (Guber). Though questions of ethicality are denounced extensively, advertising to hildren persist on the forefront of American culture. Advertisers continue to focus on the children’s market because children have become a tremendous source of revenue and an increasingly important commodity for the advertising and marketing industry.

In 1993 alone, children between the ages of four and 12 in the United States had a disposable income of 17 billion dollars. Not only do children have their own money to spend, but children with two working parents influence their parents to spend annually 155 billion dollars (Collins 4). Advertisers do not only see children in terms of immediate discretionary ncome that is available to spend, but perhaps even more valuable to the marketer is the brand loyalty potential.

The advertiser’s mission is to convince the child to want a particular brand, to then have a preference and liking for the brand and therefore to purchase the product again and again which then implies a brand loyalty has been established (Sissors). Advertisers do not only employ this brand loyalty tactic in commercials aimed at the child, but they also implicitly target other campaigns to meet the appeals of children. For example, children surveyed had a particular fondness for the Michelin tire campaign which features babies.

Though these children will not be buying tires for awhile, the implication that brand loyalty has been established seems great (Wujtas 50). Research has confirmed that children establish brand loyalty as early as the age of two years old. An older audience has an awareness of close to 1500 brand names where as a young child has little preconceived preferences. (Guber) With a combination of money to spend and an open mind for the potential to create a brand loyal consumer at an early age, children are an irresistible market to American businesses.

With such tremendous potentiality for revenues and brand loyalty, dvertisers target the children’s market with vengeance. Advertisers annually spend close to 471 million dollars on advertising to children. While the rest of the advertising industry is suffering from a three year decline, the amount of money spent on children’s advertising continues to increase despite heated controversy over the ethicality of targeting a vulnerable and unfair market (Wartella 461). Contemporary advertisers flood the marketplace in practically every outlet daily with their claims and appeals. Advertisements can be found virtually everywhere.

Common media vehicles used for the children’s market are, elevision commercials with an increase during children’s programs, especially Saturday morning programming, on videotapes, in children’s magazines , in malls, and even in the classroom through television- educational programming (Collins 4). One television outlet that has received a considerable amount of negative publicity is Channel One. This is a program where marketers enter the classroom setting by embedding advertisements aimed at children into segments of a 12 minute newscast that is shown daily in more than 12,000 schools across the country.

The appeal to advertisers is to guarantee reaching he intended target audience (Wartella 451). The result to children is exploitation which is basically sponsored by the school system via television advertisers. Many other vehicles are used in the targeting of the children’s market, however, television advertising is perceived as the most effective source in reaching children. The increase of cable options and the amount of time children spend watching the television allows the advertiser to make his exposure and frequency appeals more readily than ever before.

Next to sleeping, children spend the majority of their free time watching television (Lazar 67). By the time a young child graduates from high school, he/she will have seen an estimated 350,000 commercials (Carlsson-Paige 68). For the average child, the television set is on in the home for an average of seven hours per day. In a one week time frame the average preschool-aged child (ages two through five) watches 28 hours of television. The average school-aged child (ages six to 11) watches 24 hours of television (Kotz 1296).

With such an advent of exposure time the young child is repetitively exposed to the advertisers persuasive dialogue. Children are drawn to the mystique and excitement the television set ffers. Due to demographic shifts in the American family it is unlikely that parents will give up the television’s entertaining baby-sitting function. In the last two decades, the number of working women with young children and the number of single parent families has sharply risen. In addition statistics recorded in 1990 report, reflect that nearly three-fourths of both parents in married-couple families with children work on a full or part-time basis.

Therefore, with the current increase of pressures from home, work, and single parenthood the child becomes attached to the television and all it has to offer, hich to a large extent is a selling medium (Lazar 68). The lack of social policy which supports families and regulates children’s television leaves the child vulnerable and exploited from the marketplace. The venues advertisers use to market products to children have widened with increasing technology, marketing ploys and an increase of child oriented products/services.

Beginning in the middle of the 1970’s, the children’s television market grew through the addition of independent television channels and cable networks. The early 1980’s introduced a successful marketing device nown as the program-length commercial which capitalized on taking advantage of an unaware audience (Wartella 449). The program-length commercial is a television show where the main character is modeled after a toy product. The entire program is built around demonstrating to children how to play with a product then encouraging them to buy it.

This strategy is extremely successful for many in the toy industry who usually are the ones funding the marketing and production. Mattel who was the first to pioneer the program-length commercial in the early eighties doubled their sales for their He-Man action igure shortly after implementation of the advertisement (Carlsson-Paige 69). This implies that such advertising manipulates children through a character they admire and encourages the child to want this product by extending the exposure so that the child will demand the product.

The proliferation of new products aimed for children increases the number of television commercials as well. Common categories are videotapes, 900 number information services, a wider range of food products, including children’s TV dinners and other foods that can be prepared by children, an expanded line of clothing and apparel, and n increase of travel advertisements, such as Disneyland, which are aimed explicitly for children to influence their parents vacation choices (Wartella 449). Children have dominant influence on purchases and consumption rates in American families for several changing sociological reasons.

Children are influencing more purchases because families today are having only one child, hence the increase of one parent families forces the child to a do a great extent of his/her own shopping. More women are delaying childbearing, therefore, when she decides to have a child generally their is more money open to spend than when she was younger. And in 70% of U. S. households both parents work , requiring children to become more self-reliant than earlier generations (Wartella 451). Besides being an ethical issue, exploiting children creates adverse effects.

A study conducted by the American Dietetic Association reveals that advertisers primarily promote high fat and/or high sugar foods and drinks to children. The foods being advertised are not consistent with dietary recommendations. With the extended periods of time contemporary American children spend watching television, concern has risen on the implications this has on health attitudes and behaviors of children. By broadcasting the antithesis of a healthful diet, it may be a significant contributor to obesity in children.

Obesity is the result of an energy imbalance that is created when the diet contains mostly high fat and sugar (Kotz 1298). The American Dietetic Association conducted their study by viewing 52. 5 hours of television during children’s programming. In that time 997 commercials were for a product and a mere 68 were public service announcements. More than half (56. 5%) were advertisements for foods while only 10 of the 68 public service announcements were nutrition related. On the average of the 19 ommercials advertisements per hour 11 were for food.

This means a child views a commercial for food every five minutes (Kotz 1297). This may be an acceptable practice if the foods advertised were nutritious, however, predominantly the foods were inconsistent with what constitutes a healthful diet. Of the 564 food advertisements, 43. 6% were for foods in the fats, oils and sweets group. 37. 5% were for foods in the breads, cereals, rice and pasta food group, however, 23% of those ads were for high sugar cereals. In this particular study there was not a single advertisement for fruits or vegetables (Kotz 1297).

This skewed portrayal of a healthful diet has detrimental consequences not only as a short term effect but the overall effect will stay with the child throughout his/her life. In the United States nine out of 10 adults are at an increased risk of diet related chronic disease. The American Dietetic Association recommends a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and to keep fat intake to a minimal, a diet many Americans are lacking perhaps due to advertising’s neglect.

Because dietary patterns of children mirror those of adults, children too are lacking a healthful diet. Evidence indicates hat the atherosclerotic process begins in early childhood and that preventing or slowing this process could extend years of healthful living for many Americans (Kotz 1296). Although it is difficult to distinguish the effect television has on behavioral effects of children, studies show that the amount of time a child spends watching television directly correlates with the request , purchase, and consumption of foods advertised on television.

Heavy marketing of high fat and/or sugar foods and not advertising foods with nutritional value is exploitation; the child does not have the knowledge of what is healthful and is ot able to understand that commercials are designed to sell products (Kotz 1299). This view is accepted by The American Academy of Pediatrics as well. Their position is stated as the following: Parents rather than children should determine what children should eat. Children are unprepared to make appropriate food choices and do not understand the relationship of food choices to health maintenance and disease prevention….

Because young children can not understand the relationship between food choices and chronic nutritional diseases, advertising food products to children promotes profit rather than health (Kotz 1300). Profit seems to be the main motivation in the advertising world. The second effect advertisers promote in young children is materialism coupled often with a loss of self-sufficiency in their ability to make the best with what they have. Due to advertisers influential power on children and the advent of the program-length commercial, children think they have to have certain toys just in order to play.

In the past, children created their own accessories, props and so forth in acting out their play. Today, advertisers convince children they must have a manufactured accessory and prop to play. Basically, the advertiser is taking control of the situation and therefore undermining the child’s basic sense of self-sufficiency (Carlsson-Paige 69). Not only do advertisers dictate how children should play, but they are also creating an environment where children consistently demand more.

Toy manufacturers produce lines of toys which are correlated with cartoons or other children’s programming. This type of strategy is successful in making the child want it more. The toys being sold in this way have only one specific function so the child has to get other components to play effectively. The dvertiser is getting the child to think in terms of quantity (Carlsson-Paige 69). This creates profit for the advertising industry and creates a materialistic view of the world for the child. Concern of the implications of television has received attention for more than 30 years.

Through the pressures of children’s advocacy groups, the television market has received some regulation, though minimal. Many critics argue it is not enough and the government must intervene to stop the exploitation of children through television advertising. Current and past regulations imply that the profitability of the market place is regarded more ighly than the welfare of children (Kunkel 57). The controversy heated up in the late 1960’s when children were considered their own market because of the vast array of commercials directed explicitly to the children’s market.

Advertisers used direct hard-sell approaches in attempts to persuade the children’s market to want the product/service. The advertisers focused their approach on exaggerated claims and showed these commercials often. The public took notice of the repetitiveness and appeals being used and voiced their concern to the Federal Communications Commission (Kunkel 59). In 1970, pressures from a child advocacy group, Action for Children’s television (ACT) presented ample evidence to the FCC on television advertising exploitation of children.

According to findings conducted by the Surgeon Generals Report, advertising is exploiting children because, one, children the age of five can not distinguish program content from commercial content and , two, children eight and under do not have the cognitive skills to identify persuasion (Lazar 69). Therefore children are an unfair market and the public expects protection on a government level. ACT petitioned the FCC to ban all advertisements directed towards hildren eight and under. Despite receiving more than 100,000 letters in support of ACT’s petition, the FCC did not comply with the request.

It took the FCC four years to come up with some restrictions. The restrictions included: advertiser’s must limit advertisement time to 9. 5 minutes per hour on weekends when viewing is highest and 12 minutes during the week (Lazar 70). The FCC believed reducing frequency would offer the child some sort of protection from exploitation. In order to protect the child five and under who cannot distinguish program content from advertisers, the FCC required all tations to comply with the separation principle.

This policy was applied in three different areas: One new requirement was that all television programs adopt a separation device referred to as a Bumper. This device signals to the child a commercial is about to be broadcast. For instance, an announcer might say, “And now a word from our sponsor” (Kankel 62). Critics claim that advertisers have circumvented the rules and they minimize the warnings. For example when speaking disclaimers such as the one mentioned before, the voice over is spoken rapidly and is not understood fully by the child viewer (Pediatrics 295).

The second area of regulation prohibited host selling. Host selling is when a character from the program promoted products either directly or adjacent to their show. For example a Barbie Doll commercial could not be seen during a Barbie Doll television show. And thirdly, program-length commercials were prohibited at this time (Kankel 62). In the early 1980’s during the time of the Reagan administration, the advertising industry basically deregulated itself. Mattel and other toy companies reinstated the program-length commercial.

In 1984, ACT responded to the proliferation of program length commercials by filing a complaint to the FCC. However, according to the FCC, “marketplace forces can better determine commercial levels than our own rules” (Lazar 70). Kunkel and Roberts had the following conclusion to make: “When forced to choose at an extreme level, society(at least in the form of its representative government) valued the protection of private enterprise, commercial speech, and some degree of the concept of caveat emptor more than it valued the protection of children in their interaction with these institutions” (67).

The government needs to intervene with some form of regulated guidelines because a child can not be regarded in the same sense as an adult audience. Children are vulnerable to persuasion and should not forced to succumb to materialism so early in life. There have been others concerned with this position and freedom of expression in the free enterprise system has allowed television to become the mass marketing tool. Advertisers seem unconcerned about ethical obligations. So it has to be individual families to shield their children from exploitation.

Cynthia Scheibe, psychology professor, and Peggy Charren, founder of ACT, has the following recommendations to lessen the degree of exploitation of children. The amount of television watched should be limited in order to ecrease its negative effects. Adults should impress upon youngsters that having more toys or clothes won’t always bring satisfaction.

As a parent, one should watch the advertisements with the child and ask the child such questions as “What is it they’re trying to sell? The parent should also take the child to the store to see if the desired products are really as exciting in real life as they appear to be on television. The parent should point out to the child that the objects surrounding the product are unrealistically big meaning the toy is probably smaller than it appears. And lastly, get the child to make up is or her own commercial and try to sell a product to another child to see how difficult it is to sell a product fairly in 30 seconds (Collins 5).

Although these suggestions are useful they still are not a remedy for the problem advertisers create. It is society’s responsibility to push for regulation that will protect America’s children from advertisers’ exploitation. The first amendment gives all citizens responsibility along with freedom: the responsibility to protect their vulnerable youth, the responsibility to limit their excesses, which with the pervasion of advertising has become next to mpossible, and the responsibility to insulate children from a world of adults who employ unfair tactics just to sell.

It is the duty of adults to teach sound ethics to children rather than to breach all ethical considerations for the purpose of selling, thus brainwashing our children through commercials and making them feel incomplete, inferior, and inadequate if they do not purchase various advertised products. It is citizens’ responsibility to nurture children to become self-sufficient, creative, healthy adults who have not a distorted propensity for materialism. The welfare of America’s children is the welfare of her future.

How Television Affects Society

The only activities Americans spend more time doing than watching television are working and sleeping. With this in mind, it is understood that television plays a major role in the statistical majority of most Americans. Society reflects what is shown on television in a multitude of various areas. Three of the major areas in which television affects us are in behavior, moral values, and social standards. All throughout life, youths have found some way to rebel against authority. In the 50s, boys rode on motorcycles and greased their hair back. In the 60s, they let their hair grow down to their who-ha as they denounced their government.

In todays day and age, we find our youth killing each other and denouncing God. A prime example of televisions responsibility for this matter would be the mass coverage of the Columbine shootings. In a personal individual survey I conducted, close to 100% of the people said that they had never before seen or heard of any school shootings before the Columbine incident. Now that the constant round the clock news coverage of Columbine has concluded, there is been well over seven more reported incidents of school shootings that will probably never reach the amount of coverage that Columbine got because school shootings are no longer a novelty.

Do you wonder why these kids did what they did? It is because of the amount of violence that is now being shown all across the news. In one weeks worth of time of watching the ten oclock news, I have seen blood drenched war victims give A. B. C news anchors their last words before slipping into a coma. Five days ago, a neighborhood gang interrupted a high school students routine walk home by beating him to within an inch of his life. When he was asked if he would reveal the names of the assaulters, guess who was bedside with a camera to capture the swollen faced expression of the student?

Newscasters are overstepping their boundaries for the mere purpose of sensationalism, and death has lost its shock value. A technique used by many in the television business to assure mass audience attention is to just make everything brief. The deceit in this technique is that it provides constant stimulation through variety, novelty, and action. In this aspect, television has become a virtual narcotic drug. In this, we the viewers are the junkies. We feed of the rush of the action, and because each time we get high, we want in more intense qualities than before. This forces the pusher to come up with new ways of stimulating us.

The unfortunate part is that we are never informed of the dangers of this drug. The statistical majority of Americans keep consuming this drug called T. V as their values deteriorate, as their concentration becomes obsolete, and as they subconsciously render victim to the downfall of their own moral sensation. Along with the instant gratification that television brings comes the desire for instant everything. Dont show him the money, tell him to have faith in the money. That phrase is one of the reasons why so many young people dont have any faith in God or themselves.

They dont believe in God because they cant see him, and they dont believe in themselves because no ones ever taught them how. Nowadays people want instant results, instant answers, and even instant oatmeal. Where has the love gone? If you want things done right, you have to put in the effort. Television has taught society that you can loose weight by watching T. V, and that sending three installments of $99. 99 too Millionaires Overnight will solve all of your financial, and soda can cutting, tomato slicing guinsu blues. Most of the products advertised on television cannot fully fulfill their promises to their consumers.

Advertisements for companies like Samsung dont even talk about their product, they simply show a bunch of extremely well built beautiful models doing flips in tight revealing tube tops and mini skirts. The main thing that Samsung is promoting is higher standards in beauty. A direct result of high beauty standards in American television is higher suicide, depression, and anorexia rates. A test in the early seventies conducted by anthropologist Margaret Mead on a tribe called the Samoans shows us how television is part of the coming of age.

The Samoan tribe was a loving peaceful tribe where heavenly bliss filled the warm air as you walked close to naked with confidence through the pastures. Five years later, after being introduced to American television, Margaret Mead concluded that suicide, and anorexia rates had increased quite drastically amongst the Samoans. Not only did the Samoans strive to meet America standards of beauty, they also found that their loving half naked environment soon turned into an environment of depressed self-disgusted embarrassment.

While television remains to be the number one source of education for so many, we must realize that its sole inventive purpose is to entertain. In a world so entirely caught up in fantasy, we must strive to remove the blinders that television has placed on our perception. We must remember that the thirty-second commercial of the Coors Lite walking into the tavern with the supermodels, is really an eight hour elaborate studio set up with fancy lighting. And while your camera might add ten pounds, their camera subtracts twenty. For the youth of today, they have found another way to access their own self-destruction: Internet Access.

Nielsen Ratings Essay

The following information is pertinent to the vitality and success of the FOX 24 cable-programming national network. It is necessary to discuss the importance of the ratings and shares system to enable FOX to increase viewership in the local TV market of 247,780 (. 235% of US). This market is highly competitive among the affiliates of the other major networks: ABC, CBS and NBC. The target demographics for FOX include an average age of 28 years with a $55,000 annual income. 56% of viewers are male while 43% are female, and of these only 37% have a college degree.

Due to such specifics, it is imperative that keep a variety of shows that appeal to a wide range of young adults. The FOX Family Channel is more oriented towards children and families. The data compiled by the Nielsen Media Research is essential to TV programming across the United States and in Canada. It monitors television ratings and estimates audience sizes by providing the highest quality of accuracy, allowing the television marketplace to function effectively. This information provides programmers and commercial advertisers with the awareness of peoples viewing habits.

Depending on air times and the popularity of certain shows, the station calculates the advertising fees that generate a majority of its revenue. All TV shows are ranked in order each week according to their ratings. Ratings are simply a tally of how many viewers watched a specific TV program and are surveyed nationwide every minute of every day. The “sweeps” are four months out of every year (November, February, May and July) when Nielsen measures every local TV market in detail in addition to the ongoing national surveys.

The rating system involves mathematical statistics with a focus on percentages. For example, there are 100 million homes in the world with TV sets. A rating aims to answer the direct question, “What percentage of the television homes in the world is watching a particular telecast? ” A rating of 15 means 15%, or 15 million homes, were watching. At certain slow times during the day and night it is difficult to get viewers. The total viewing audience, the homes who are actually watching their television sets, is called the HUT, or Homes Using Television.

At 8 p. , the daily peak for television viewing, the HUT is approximately 70. That is, 70% of the television homes in the world are watching something. At 2 a. m. it is closer to only 5%. A typical prime-time HUT is 60, which represents 60 million homes. By using the rating and the HUT it is possible to determine the share. The share is the calculation of what percentage, or “share,” the rating is of the HUT. In other words, what share of the available viewers did a program reach? The 15 rating out of a common HUT of 60 is a 25 share because 15 is 25% of 60.

Having a 15 rating and a 25 share is acceptable the program will then probably be renewed. Lead-in programs are extremely important to understand when dealing with syndicated and local programming. A lead-in program generally premieres at 7:00 PM on weekdays. It is necessary that this program be strong and engaging enough to get viewers to watch it, hopefully persuading them to continue tuning in to the rest of the shows on prime-time without switching channels. An interesting lead-in program should make viewers think that the rest of the nightly programming for WTAT will be just as enticing.

During November of 2000 last year, 3rd Rock from the Sun was the syndicated lead-in program for FOX, premiering at 7:00 PM on Monday through Fridays. This show brought in an average household rating of 2%. This means that in the local market area, only 2% of all TVs in the United States were watching 3Rd Rock from the Sun. The share was 4%, meaning that 4% of all TVs turned on saw 3rd Rock. The demographics for the show fall consistently between age and gender, showing ratings between 3% and 5%, excluding children from the ages of 2 to 11.

Total households watching 3rd Rock from the Sun equaled 9. Out of 112 adults viewing, men dominated the viewer ship over women. A mean of 70 men, ages 18 to 54, watched 3rd Rock from the Sun, versus a mean of approximately 35 for women ages 18 to 54. In the category of children ages 2 to 11, 37 watched the lead-in program compared to only 23 of teens 12 to 17. Being the lead-in program, 3rd Rock from the Sun faced tough competition from the other major network affiliates.

Compared to 3rd Rock from the Suns petty 2% rating and 4% share, Frasier pulled in a 9% rating and a 19% share, closely followed by Wheel of Fortune with a 9% rating and 18% share. Living Single had only slightly higher statistics than 3Rd Rock from the Sun with a 4% rating and an 8% share. Presently, several of FOXs prime time shows have had adequate statistics. The most prominent, That 70s Show, which airs on Tuesdays at 8:00 PM, had a rating of 6. 7% and a share of 11% out of an average of 10. 3 viewers. However, it is ranked in the 49th position, barely in the top 50 TV shows for the week.

Unfortunately, for the past several months in the 2001 season, FOX has failed to provide a Top 20 TV show for prime-time cable programming. NBC leads with the highest rated shows: Friends, ER, The West Wing and Law & Order. To continue a strong viewership, it is with careful consideration that FOX should decide to revaluate its syndicated programming for the lead-in and prime time shows. Without a strong Top 20 program, advertisers are less likely to buy air space from FOX, thus causing revenues to drop and the company to falter.

Societies Scapegoat

Youth crimes are on a continual rise. It seems that everyday violent offenders keep getting younger and more aggressive. We turn on the news only to hear that a ten year old mugged,shot,stabbed,beat or blew up one of his peers. With crimes on the rise involving children, people begin to look for a cause. Society, when looking for a scapegoat, becomes worse than a blood thirsty lynch mob at a witch trial. Usually the most obvious source of violence within a home is the television. However, in most cases it is not the true cause.

With the TV in the forefront of virtually every home in the civilized world, it’s no wonder hat it’s the easiest target for criticism. It’s elementary to blame the tube for a child’s behavior; it’s a quick and easily identified source of violence within a youths confined world. The TV many times is identified as the cause of aggressive acts to avoid dealing with other underlying issues. Society today has an entire array of different afflictions that plague us from day to day. The television is of very little significance alongside the landfill of troubles that influence children today.

Besides, trying to get networks to cut out violence and aggression entirely would be like trying to get Jesus Christ to rite a top ten list of reasons why Christianity sucks. (It’s not going to happen. ) TV is not the reason that our youth courts are filled to capacity with court dockets so hideous you would swear that you were looking at the start of the apocalypse. Television programs are not the reason for the apparent increase in adolescent crime. If you find yourself picking up your kids from the police station all the time, it’s not the TV’s fault!!!

There are no significant consequences for youth crime in our justice system. Maybe we should impose stiffer penalties on violent offenders, instead of more censorship on TV. Kids would not have such a tendency to mug, beat, strangle or shoot their peers if there were tougher consequences for doing so. The Japanese are responsible for some of the most violent cartoons ever created to date. I mean these things make our R rated movies look like a walk in the park. Japanese cartoons display bloodshed and drug induced murdering sprees as if they were nothing.

Even with all this vicious behavior on Japanese televisions, the youth crime and aggressive behavior is one tenth of ours. How can this be? Because the Japanese have adopted a zero tolerance policy for riminal behavior and reprimand criminals with a vengeance. Japanese society realized that blaming things like TV for violent behavior is unacceptable. Instead, the Japanese have taught their public that aggression in reality and on TV do not go hand in hand. (Or as I would say, “it’s not the TV’s fault!!! “) A healthy amount of violence within children’s programs in my mind is perfectly acceptable and necessary.

Violence in moderation teaches children about situations that may be encountered outside of their home, and helps them to deal with such incidents. Kids are aggressive in nature, and a child who rows up on Barney, the Purple Dinosaur, and Mary Poppins is likely to have a difficult time dealing with other kids. Face it, children need a certain amount of bellicosity to balance out all the bubbly behavior that some of these idiotic child role models portray: like Barney, who should be committed to an asylum. (I know if I was forced to watch Barney at an early age I probably would have blown up the house.

You may ask, “why do children need a balance of violence and aggression at all, why don’t we just program happy shows all the time? ” Because human kind has always been an aggressive species and probably will continue to be. By not preparing your children for acts of rabidity you are preparing them to be future victims. And if your child is beat up at school, it’s not the TV’s fault!!! (Maybe it’s time to let little Jack or Jill watch the Power Rangers, or a Rocky episode or two. ) I do, however, agree with one of the points people are trying to make against children viewing violence.

A five year old child should not be witnessing Freddy hack off human extremities with chain saws and axes. This is where the parents should be stepping in to filter out what their little bambino is taking in. Certain programs are oriented to different age groups and viewing hould be controlled, not removed through censorship. Parents want strict censorship because they don’t think it’s possible for them to control what their children watch. After all there are TV’s at friends houses and probably at least two within your own. So what’s the point?

Even if you forbid your child to view certain material they can watch it somewhere else. The point is, once you have told the child not to watch something it becomes taboo or wrong to watch it in their minds. Sure it will probably prompt him/her into viewing it some time or another; but now watching the program is, “wrong” and they know it. As a result little Jr. will be less likely to chase his sister around the house with an axe and blame it on Freddy Crouger. After all, blaming Freddy would get him busted for watching Mr. Crouger in the first place.

And if your child does turn into Freddy later in life, it’s not the TV’s fault!!! (It’s probably because of all the times they fell on their heads. ) It’s ridiculous that cartoons like the Road Runner were taken off the tube in certain parts of north America, because of their vile illustrations. This is preposterous. Wily Coyote illustrated to children that dropping anvils ff cliffs, using explosives, guns, and running things over with trucks didn’t help him catch that annoying Road Runner. As a matter of fact Wily Coyote showed kids that his aggressive manner never paid off.

Everything Wily Coyote tried literally backfired in his face. And in Bugs Bunny, I don’t believe Elmer Fudd ever managed to blow away, “that waskily wabbit”. But I guarantee that some parent with an over active imagination saw the Bugs Bunny show as a promotion for their kids to join the N. R. A.. Or how about Bambi, another violent film. Bambi’s mother is shot by a gun toting maniac, and is forced to ive with his dysfunctional father. (Let me guess, this is a subliminal message to shoot wildlife or your mother) Films like this in my mind can act as a buffer for the detection of warped children.

If your offspring expresses any interest in wanting to be Wily Coyote, Elmer Fudd or the hunter that killed Bambie’s mother, you should have himher committed to a mental hospital. If your child does however pick up a gun and proceeds to blast the family rabbit or kill a deer in the backyard, it’s not the TV’s fault!!! Fault lays in your lap again for not keeping your firearm locked up. Guns in children’s programming is a big issue today. Society is so upset over the surge of gun related incidents among our youth.

Once again some individuals blame it on the TV for instigating these ideas within a child’s mind. This is not true. Maybe one in every million kids that watch violence on the television will actually use a gun because of the program. In these isolated incidents people would probably find that the child had easy access to a firearm and no education as to what could happen if misused. Children that do pick up guns and massacre family members usually do so with complete ignorance of the consequences. And of course when confronted the youngster will probably say he saw someone on TV do the same thing.

In fact the correct response should have been: My parents were idiots for leaving a shiny and loaded Smith and Wesson hand gun on the coffee table for me to play with. In these incidents firearm education and proper storage is the real underlying issue. Because it’s not the TV’s fault people can be so stupid. In certain cases there have been instances where children have re- enacted scenes from programs they have seen, and been badly injured. Without sounding sadistic, I believe in these few isolated incidents it probably worked ut best for the child.

Having a bad incident occur at an early age opens up parents eyes to whatever field they have neglected to teach the child about; at the same time it also gives the youth an eye opening experience to their own stupidity. After all children learn best from trial and error, and it’s better for them to figure out what not to do early in life. And if Jr. jumps off the roof of the family home to be like a super hero, it’s not the TV’s fault!!! (Your kid probably has less common sense than a lemming. ) Violence on TV is both unavoidable and necessary for children to learn bout their ever changing hostile world.

The only question to be asked is, “when is a child mature enough to watch certain programs? ” A change in children’s programming is not likely to occur any time soon. It’s up to the parents to regulate and censor what they deem appropriate. Through better education of violence, children will be better equipped to realize what is intended for entertainment and what actions are not acceptable in day to day life. Censorship is not the answer. It’s way too easy to blame TV for dirty deeds that may have been caused by other unseen sources.

I Didn’t Do It: How The Simpsons Affects Kids

The Simpsons is one of Americas most popular television shows. It ranks as the number one television program for viewers under eighteen years of age. However, the ideals that The Simpsons conveys are not always wholesome, sometimes not even in good taste. It is inevitable that The Simpsons is affecting children. Matt Groening took up drawing to escape from his troubles in 1977. At the time, Groening was working for the L. A. Reader, a free weekly newspaper. He began working on Life in Hell, a humorous comic strip consisting of people with rabbit ears. The L. A. Reader picked up a copy of his comic strip and liked what hey saw.

Life in Hell gradually became a common comic strip in many free weeklies and college newspapers across the country. It even developed a cult status. (Varhola, 1) Life in Hell drew the attention of James L. Brooks, producer of works such as Taxi, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Terms of Endearment. Brooks originally wanted Groening to make an animated pilot of Life in Hell. Groening chose not to do so in fear of loosing royalties from papers that printed the strip. Groening presented Brooks with an overweight, balding father, a mother with a blue beehive hairdo, and three obnoxious spiky haired children.

Groening intended for them to represent the typical American family “who love each other and drive each other crazy”. Groening named the characters after his own family. His parents were named Homer and Margaret and he had two younger sisters named Lisa and Maggie. Bart was an anagram for “brat”. Groening chose the last name “Simpson” to sound like the typical American family name. (Varhola, 2) Brooks decided to put the 30 or 60 second animations on between skits on The Tracy Ullman Show on the unsuccessful Fox network. Cast members Dan Castellaneta and Julie Kavner did the voices of Homer and Marge.

Yeardley Smith (later to star in Herman’s Head) did the voice of Lisa. Nancy Cartwright did the voice of Bart. Cartwright previously supplied the voices for many cartoons, including Galaxy High, Fantastic Max, Richie Rich, Snorks, Pound Puppies, My Little Pony, and Glo-Friends. Tracy Ullman later added Cartwright to her cast. (Dale and Trich, 11) Brooks, Groening, and Sam Simon, Tracy Ullman’s producer, wanted to turn the Simpson family into their own show. The Fox network was looking for material to appeal to younger viewers.

The only show they had that drew a young audience was Married With Children. To Fox’s pleasure, The Simpsons saved the network from near failure. (Varhola, 3) On December 17, 1989, The Simpsons got their break. The Christmas special, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” aired. (Dale and Trich, 19) In the episode, Bart got a tattoo, much to Marge’s dislike. She quickly spent all of the family’s Christmas money to remove Bart’s tattoo with a laser. At the same time, Homer, still on his morning coffee break at 4:00 in the afternoon, learns that he will not receive a Christmas bonus.

When he learns that Marge is relying on the money for Christmas, he decides that he will o the Christmas shopping for the year. He quickly buys Marge panty hose, Bart paper, Lisa crayons, and Maggie a dog toy. When he realizes that he is not doing very well, he gets a second job as a mall Santa for the extra money. On the way home from work, he steals a Christmas tree. The next day at the mall, Bart sits on his Dad’s lap and pulls down his beard. Homer responds by choking Bart and making him help make Christmas better. On Christmas Eve, Homer receives his check, $13. 70 for over 40 hours work.

Homer takes Bart to the dog track as a final chance for Christmas money. They discovered a gem in the third ace, Santa’s Little Helper. How could this dog loose on Christmas Eve? The odds were 99 to 1, they were going to be rich. Homer put all of his money on Santa’s Little Helper, and to his horror, he never even finished. As Homer and Bart were scouring the parking lot for winning tickets into the night, they saw the track manager throw out a dog. It was not just any dog, it was Santa’s Little Helper. When Bart and Homer came home to their worried family, they had a good Christmas after all.

Now they had a dog. (Pond) “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” was not the typical Christmas story. It dealt with body art, sleeping in the work place, sibling rivalry, stealing a Christmas tree, a misbehaved son, and gambling. Although it was unorthodox, it was very successful. The Fox network decided to air it again on Christmas Eve. (Dale and Trich, 19) In a little over a month, The Simpsons made it’s debut as a weekly show, “Bart the Genius” was the first regular episode. In the middle of a feared assessment test, Bart switches his test with the completed one of Nelson Prince, Class Nerd.

Bart and his parents are called into Principal Seymour Skinner’s office where they are told that Bart has a 216 IQ. (Homer thought is was 912. Skinner requests that Bart attends The Enriched Learning Center for Children. Suddenly, Homer takes a liking to his son. They joke together, play ball together, embarrass Marge at an opera together. (“Toreador, oh don’t spit on the floor. Use the cuspidor. That’s what it’s for. ” Bart sings along with the opera Carmen. ) Soon at Bart’s old school, Springfield Elementary School, Bart’s graffiti is roped off and tagged, “The Principal.

By Bart Simpson. IQ 216. ” Bart’s friend no longer like him, they refer to him as Poindexter. The kids at his new school trick him into giving up his lunch. In frank, Bart is miserable. Then, after turning himself green in an uneducated science experiment, Bart reveals to his new principal that he cheated on the test. That night, as Homer is helping Bart clean himself off, Bart tells Homer the same. Homer instantly transforms into a murderous rampage again. The episode ends with Bart locking himself in his room and Homer trying to knock down the door so he can tear Bart into pieces. Vitti) Soon, Simpsons merchandise was all over America.

Every kid wanted an “Underachiever and Proud of It, Man” or an “I’m Bart Simpson, Who the Hell Are You? ” shirt. Hats could be seen everywhere that had Bart dressed like a devil aying “Go For It, Dude! ” or with Homer, his arms open, lunging forward saying “Why You Little. ” The most popular shirt was a family picture with Homer choking Bart. During the first week of school in 1990, two thirds of the sixth graders in America wore Simpsons paraphernalia. (Dale and Trich, 43) As the popularity of The Simpsons grew, so did parents’ fears.

To their horror, Bart Simpson became a role model. “Aye Carumba! ” was a popular expression among kids. Almost anything a child did wrong was attributed to “last Sunday’s Simpsons. ” (Dale and Trich, 45) Bad ideas continued to be broadcast into kids’ minds. In the third episode, a baby-sitter robbed the Simpson household of most of it’s belongings. In the fourth episode, Homer caused a nuclear accident, got fired, and attempted suicide. Bart stole the head off of the statue of Jebidiah Springfield, Springfield’s founder in the sixth episode.

In the eighth episode, Bart took a picture of Homer with an exotic dancer and distributed them to the entire town. Marge had an affair in the ninth episode. Homer stole cable, and almost everything else imaginable in the fifteenth episode. (Groening, 37) The Simpsons is often viewed as one of the biggest threats to Christianity. The Simpson family goes to church on a regular basis, but Bart and Homer loath it.

A typical Sunday School conversation is as follows: Child: “Will my dog, Fluffy go to heaven? ” Sunday School Teacher: “No” Other Child: “How about my cat? Teacher: “No, Heaven is only for people. ” Bart: “What if my leg gets gangrene and has to be amputated? Will it be waiting for me in heaven? Teacher: “Yes” Bart: “What about a robot with a human brain? ” Teacher: “I don’t know! Is a little blind faith too much to ask for? ” (Pepoon) The pastor, Reverend Lovejoy is a hypocrite.

In “22 Short Films About Springfield” he leads his dog to the Flanders’ yard to go to the bathroom. He praises the dog until Ned Flanders comes outside. He then acts angry and threatens the dog with hell. When Ned leaves, he praises the dog again. Swartzwelder) In one episode, Homer quits going to church and falls in love with life. He claims to have his own religion so he doesn’t have to go to work on holidays, such as the Feast of Maximum Occupancy.

In a conversation with Lisa: Lisa: “Dad, I don’t understand, why have you dedicated yourself to living a life of blasphemy? ” Homer: “Don’t worry Lisa, if I’m wrong, I’ll repent on my death bed. (Meyer) The Simpsons is not just an enemy of Christianity, though. In one episode, where Krusty the Clown is reunited with his father, a rabbi, almost the entire episode is spent making fun of Judaism.

Lisa asks Bart, “Do you know what a rabbi’s most valued possession is? ” Bart replied, “I dunno, those stupid little hats. ” Hinduism is constantly joked with by using East Indian, Kwik-E- Mart clerk, Apu Mahasapeemapitalon. Apu is once asked is he is Hindu. He replied, “By the thousand arms of Bishna, I swear it is a lie. ”

Once Homer was in the Kwik-E-Mart: Homer: “Hey Apu. No offensive, but when they were handing ut religions, you must have been on the can. ” Apu: “Mr. Simpson, please take your jerky and get out and come again! (Meyer) The average child can acquire a plethora of foul words from one episode. In “Flaming Moe’s”, Bart is “jinxed”, meaning he can’t talk until somebody says his name. Homer: “What is it boy? ” Bart: [Grunts] Homer: “Us anything the matter, my son? Talk to me young man. ” Bart: [Takes a pencil and writes ‘Say my name. ] Homer: “Say your name? Why should I do that, my lad? ” Bart: “Because I’m jinxed damnit! ” Homer: [Punches Bart in the arm. ] Bart: “Ow! What was that for! ” Homer: You spoke while you were jinxed, so I get to punch you in the arm! Sorry, it’s the law! (Cohen) Homer Simpson definitely has the worst influence on children. Once, Homer overheard Ralph Wiggum say the he would do anything for Lisa.

In the next scene, Ralph is coating the Simpson’s roof in tar. Ralph calls out, “Mr. Simpson, the tar fumes are making me dizzy. ” Homer, relaxing in a hammock replies, nonchalantly, “Yeah, they’ll do that. ” Homer fits the genera of the parent who pressures his kid to do well in sports. In one episode, after Bart scored a winning goal, Homer congratulated him, “Okay Bart, you won the hockey ame. Now, just as I promised, here’s your turtle, alive and unhurt. Homer got angry at Marge once for spending lots of money to vaccinate Maggie against diseases she doesn’t have.

His advice on how to get out of jury duty is “to tell them that you’re prejudiced against all races. ” His self proclaimed, best advice is, “Sometimes the only way you can feel good about yourself is to make other people look stupid. ” (Groening, 26) Personally, I believe that The Simpsons affects children, but not necessarily in a bad way. Children never hurt themselves mimicking The Three Stooges, nor do they with The Simpsons. Almost every episode ends with a family that loves each other.

Some episodes have answered the question of them affecting children on their own. Once, Marge began to protest Itchy and Scratchy cartoons. Itchy is a psychopathic mouse who’s only purpose is to kill and torture Scratchy, a cat. Nearing the end of the episode, Marge realizes that Itchy and Scratchy is not hurting anyone. They take a satirical view to the situation when a group of mothers try to stop Michaelangelo’s David from visiting the Springfield Museum of Art by means that it is pornographic. (Koger and Wolodarsky) Unlike many sitcoms, The Simpsons is more like everyday life.

Homer works in a power plant. In many other sitcoms, the father works a popular job, such as an accountant, or with a television studio. The Simpson family is not a wealthy family living in a $300,000 house. Many children can relate to this. (Rebeck, 622) In some cases, The Simpsons is educational. Karen Brecze credits Homer Simpson with saving her 8-year-old son, Alex’s life. Bence, of Auburn, Washington, says the boy was choking on an orange when his 10-year-old brother, Chris, used the Heimlich maneuver, which he learned from “Homer at the Bat”, here Homer is choking on a doughnut.

Unlike Alex, Homer doesn’t receive help and coughs up the doughnut as his co-workers look at the Heimlich maneuver poster. (Dyer, D3) The Simpsons affects kids, just as anything around them will. Perhaps people fear The Simpsons because they can see a little of The Simpsons in themselves. We all have inner child’s trying to get out that behave just like Bart. We all do “pull a Homer” sometimes. It just happens. The show doesn’t make us do it. It just happens. If this world did not have The Simpsons children would behave in the same manner, they just might laugh quite as much.

The Simpsons Up Close and Personal

There is a fine line that exists in TV land that had never been crossed until The Simpsons graced the television sets of over one million Americans. This sitcom has become one of the most popular television programs in America. Is it because The Simpsons is a cartoon? My answer is yes! This show is able to sneak through the wormholes of TV land because it is a cartoon. People are overlooking the underlying issues conveyed through the characters because it’s only cartoons right? Wrong! The Simpsons is a satirical sitcom that makes fun of everyday issues that Americans in today’s society are faced with.

In a way this is a fabulous idea. Most television shows mask the reality of life, making every conflict easy to solve and finding love is as simple as snapping fingers. These notions that are fed into the minds of Americans are false and unfair. The goal of most TV shows is to create a fantasy world where we can forget all of the hassles of life by escaping into our television sets for an hour. The Simpsons does the exact opposite. The show is designed to get Americans to confront the issues of life and take them for all they can offer, while making a joke out of issues that most Americans become overly stressed about.

In the episode I viewed in class, Homer decides to illegally install cable television into his home. Without acknowledging the fact that it is actually stealing he rationalizes that it is only fair, because the Cable Company has plenty of money. It is ironic that a nuclear power plant employs Homer because nuclear energy makes it possible to provide homes with cable television. Homer is actually stealing from his place of employment. His job is to monitor energy use, and document it precisely so American’s are billed correctly for their energy use.

He is working to prevent exactly what he is doing wrong at home by stealing cable television. Many Americas could have been watching this episode on their cable televisions. For those Americans who are actually stealing cable television this episode will either consciously or unconsciously make those families think about what they are doing is wrong. This is an intelligent way of conveying an important message to people. This type of action is not acceptable behavior. This format is brilliant because it is actually funny but at the same time very serious.

Americans can relate to this issue and respond in a more understanding way because this cartoon is more approachable when stealing is addressed in a humorous manner. Hopefully, this will cause people to think twice about what they are actually doing. Bart takes this whole idea of stealing the cable as an excellent opportunity to make a little cash by inviting his peers to view the pornography channel at a cost of fifty cents per head. At first, this appears to be hilarious because most people can relate to what Bart is doing. Yet it is not the fact that Bart was selling pornography.

Homer freaked out over Bart providing sexual viewing in his home rather than realizing it is the cable that he is stealing which provides his son with this opportunity. I am sure this idea has crossed the minds of many young boys at some point in their lives. Did they ever stop to think that this was a moral issue? Probably not. The Simpsons make it possible to observe actions from a different angle, allowing us to think twice about the difference between moral and immoral. Bart eventually comes to realize that this display of behavior is not right, but only through the help of his sister, Lisa.

Lisa Simpson is the most important character in The Simpsons. Her character makes it possible for the show to be satirical at all. Lisa is the black sheep of the family. She appears to be smarter than her parents. Lisa, unlike her family, is able to clearly and effortlessly distinguishes between right and wrong. Through her character immoral issues are addressed in an affective way. Lisa realizes that her family is participating in an illegal act just by watching the stolen cable. She sees visions of Hell, which drives her mad. Lisa pleads with her father to cut the cable line.

She enables Homer to see the immorality of what he is doing. At the end of the show Lisa wins and her family will not be going to hell. This influences Simpson viewers across America to step outside of their actions and reevaluate what consciously is right from wrong. The Simpsons crosses that fine line between what is acceptable on television and what is not. Various Americans might view this in a negative way. But if looked at closely, what the show is actually attempting to do is positive. Through poking fun at everyday life The Simpsons is able to reach all of the Americans who are illegally or immorally acting.

Within the subconscious mind this cartoon is actually implanting a positive influence in a satirical format. Everyone loves The Simpsons; I’m glad I understand why. Now I can actually appreciate what the show is trying to accomplish. This cartoon is a brilliant way to surpass the censorship of television production companies. Television possesses a power to create an illusion of reality. This is why America is so addicted to television programming. The Simpsons through a cartoon like mask expose American society for what it has become. It emanates only the truth, but gently.

Television Violence and Its Effect on Children

The children of today are surrounded by technology and entertainment that is full of violence. It is estimated that the average child watches from three to five hours of television a day! (Neilson 1993). Listening to music is also a time consuming pastime among children.

With all of that exposure, one might pose the question, “How can seeing so much violence on television and video games and hearing about violence in in music affect a child’s behavior? Obviously these media have a big influence on childrens’ behavior: we can see it n the way they attempt to emulate their favorite rock stars by dressing in a similar style and the way children play games, imitating their favorite cartoon personalities or super heroes. Studies have shown that extensive television viewing may be associated with, aggressive behavior, poor academic performance, precocious sexuality, obesity, and the use of drugs or alcohol (Deitz).

Television, video games, and music are very influential and if there is too much violence available for children to watch, play, or listen to, this can sway their attitudes in a negative direction. Television is especially influencial on the children today. The hard truth is that children spend an average of 28 hours a week in front of the television (Neilson 1993). This is almost two times the amount of time that some children are in school. At this very impressionable age it is no wonder that the images that kids see sometimes has a profound impact on their behavior.

Fifty-five percent of children watch television with a friend or alone. (TV-Free America). Too often parents assume that their children are responsible enough to choose suitable programming. But the sad fact is that even some shows deemed as children’s television are violent. A survey in Mediascope showed that a staggering sixty-six percent of children’s programming contained violence. Many times the violence occured in cartoons which were the least likely to show the long term consequences of violence and in many cases portrayed the violence in a humorous way (Mediascope 2/96).

Studies done in various countries across the world show the homicide rates doubling 10 to 15 years after the introduction of television even though the study was taken at different times in each country Centerwall). Another study showed that eight year old boys who watched the most violent programming were the most likely to get into fights or problems with the police (Eron). If parents knew what their children were watching maybe they could help to point out the shortcomings in television. Music is also a large part of children’s lives today.

A recent study showed that between the seventh to twelveth grade alone children listen to almost as many hours of rock music as they spend in school, for a full twelve years (Entertainment Monitor, 1995). As a teenager I can personally attest to the fact that most parents don’t know what their children are listening to. Much of the popular music of today contains messages about sex and violence. The artists who sing the music often become the idols of countless children across the country, many of whom copy everything from the singers habits (drugs, alcohol, violence, etc. ) to their style of dress.

Another threat to children are video games. Today’s most popular video games include many different fighting games. These games such as Mortal Kombat nd Street Fighter include graphic images of blood and violence. Other popular types of games include sports games such as NHL 96 also include many violent aspects. The violence in these video games can desensitize children to violence and alter their perception of reality. It can give them the idea that violence is the way to deal with problems and conflict. Little is known of the actual numbers of how video games affect children because the technology is so new.

It has been assumed that studies dealing with other forms of media will also apply ere (McAfee). In the first few year of a child’s life he is very impressionable. Much of his personality is formed by the time he goes to his first day of kindergarten. There is nothing wrong with him listening to music, watching television, or even playing video games. It becomes a problem when the parents lose control of what a child sees and how he interprets it. Many of the facts in this paper are startling, but does this mean we should ban all violence from everything? That will never happen.

In all of the examples I have presented ne thing is very clear: If parents played a more active role in what children watched, listened to, or games they played, things would be fine. All too often children are left to make up their own minds about things. Next time you wonder about how easily children can be convinced of something think of the myth of Santa Claus: One man bringing presents to the WHOLE world, in one sled, pulled by flying reigndeer. All in the couse of one night. If they believe that, how hard can it be to convince them of other falsehoods?

Gender, Class, and Race Stereotypes in American Television

Gender, class, and race stereotypes abound in contemporary society, much like they have done throughout human history. With the advent of television, however, stereotypical assumptions have become so pervasive, and so diffused, that some call for a serious and purposeful scrutiny of television’s contents. On the following pages, various content analyses of television programs will be addressed, followed by discussions on the greater implications race, class, and gender stereotypes have on society. The research method most often used in studying media images is called content analysis.

Content analysis is a descriptive method in which researchers analyze the actual content of documents and/or programs. By systematically counting items pertaining to a specific category, researchers are able to conceptualize a larger theoretical framework based on their observations of media content (Wiseman 1970). Content analyses of television programming show, that during prime time hours, men make up the vast majority of characters shown. Furthermore, women characters found during that same time frame are mainly in comedies, while men predominate in dramas.

Thus, the implications are that men are to be taken serious, while women should not. (Tuchman 1978). Similarly, content analyses on soap operas reveal highly stereotypical representations of the genders. In soap operas, strong, willful women are predominantly depicted as villainous, while the more benevolent women are suspect of vulnerability and naivety (Benokraitis 1986). Furthermore, another sharp gender-stereotypical contrast on television content can be seen in advertisements. In fact, 75% of all television ads using women are for kitchen or bathroom related products (Tuchman 1978)

On average, women tend to be portrayed in roles in which they are underestimated, condemned or narrowly defined, resulting in one researcher termed the symbolic annihilation of women by the media (Tuchman 1978). Conversely, men are usually depicted in high-status roles in which they dominate women (Lemon 1978). These stereotypical images of men and women found in the media, not only foster gender-stereotypes, but also those of class and race as well. Studies done on the relative dominance characters portray revealed that both men and women of professional occupational status are more likely to be found in dramas.

Working-class characters, however, are found predominantly in comedies, where they are presented in class-stereotypical roles. The resulting impressions are, as one researcher concluded, that working class lives are funny, whereas serious drama occurs elsewhere. (Andersen 26). In the same vein, studies find that men are most dominant on television, except in situation comedies, where low-status status women supercede men in relative dominance. ( Lemon 1978). In addition, these stereotypical patterns above are further confounded by race. In terms of race, white characters on television far outnumber members of minority classes.

Although estimates are that African-Americans watch television significantly more than whites, or around 10 percent, they are a small proportion of the characters seen. Despite a trend towards reducing that discrepancy, there are still limited positive images of African-Americans on television. When African-American characters appear, they have been shown to exhibit a narrow range of character types. Almost half of all African-Americans on television are either portrayed as criminals, servants, entertainers, or athletes; rarely are [African-Americans] portrayed as loving, sexual, sensitive people. (Andersen 26).

Despite this dire misrepresentation of African-Americans in television programming, their situation is paradoxically positive when compared to other minority groups. Asian-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans are virtually absent from television programming. When they do appear, they are usually in the form an occasional diversion, exotic objects, or marginal and invisible characters (Andersen 56) To further accentuate that statement, content analyses provides a clear-cut conclusion. In pertinent data from 1984, it was shown that of the 264 speaking roles on television, Hispanics had only 3.

Furthermore, two-third of Hispanic characters on television assumed the role of a criminal (Stables 1985) The invisibility of minority groups on television can be seen in, as one researched termed, the ‘disappearing’ roles they respectively hold. For example, on many television programs minority men and women silently appear in backgrounds to cater to the needs of dominant households or individuals (Andersen 56). The greater societal consequences for this stereotypical portrayal on television can be seen clearly in children’s television programming and the resulting impressions they have on children.

Children’s programming include even fewer women than do adult shows, in addition, as with adult shows, female characters are likely to be seen as comical, household-bound, or as victims of domestic abuse (Gerbner 1978). The influence of gender stereotyping on television can be seen on the fact that children who spent the most time watching television are also those who demonstrate the most stereotypic sex-role values. To further solidify that apparent causal effect, a large proportion of elementary school children reported that they learned about how African-Americans look and dress from watching television.

The tremendous influence television has on contemporary American culture has been compared by some to that of a national religion. Social scientist Gerbner concludes, Television is used practically by all the people and it is used practically all the time. It collects the most heterogeneous public of groups, classes, races, and sexes, and nationalities in history into a national audience that has nothing in common except television or shared messages.

Television thereby becomes the common basis for social interaction among a very widely dispersed and diverse national community. As such it can only be compared, in terms of its functions, not to any other medium but to the preindustrial notion of religion. If television provides for the maintenance of culture, then it must resist social movements that challenge the culture and seek to transform social institutions. The media does not fully resist such changes; rather, they defend the traditional system by co-opting new images that social movements generate.

Consequently, we now see liberated images of women on television, but ones that still carry stereotypical gender assumptions. For example, women may be shown as working, but they are still all beautiful, young, rich, and thin. (Andersen 29) Segregation by race, class, and gender juxtaposes the human potential. It expands cultural divides and gives people little access to the lives of others. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to assume that television offers, for some, the only indirect experience of the vastness the human cultural and individual palate has to offer.

Unfortunately, in light of all that has been covered above, television fails miserably in portraying the human potential. Despite increased awareness of harmful stereotypes, cultural habits are hard to shake. A simplified worldview based on stereotypes, however comforting it may be, is only achieved by the sacrifice of understanding. Thus, in order to gain understanding of others, and consequently one’s self, one should perhaps look elsewhere than towards television.

Violence on Television and the V-chip

Television programs that generate a great deal of concern among parent and educators are those that contain violence. The questionable violence, sex and language on television have caused the nation to find methods of censoring these problems. Due to television violence, censorship should reduce the ability for children to view violent content. Children have an easy access to violence on television from violent programs through movie channels. The publics concern has been reflected in congressional hearings and massive studies on the effect of TV violence, especially on children.

Dr. James C. Dobson from the Focus on the Family Newsletter says: If you have any doubt about the influence MTV wishes to exert on todays adolescents, watch their popular program Beavis and ButtheadThey use crude words, fondle themselves, do horribly cruel things to animals, and sit around watching heavy-metal videos as bright green stuff runs from their nosesBeavis and Butthead took a trip to a rifle range where they accidentally shot down a plane. They had difficulty opening the door of the wrecked plane, so they left women and children to die inside.

This is the fare served up to preteens and adolescents by the company that seek to shape an entire generation (Hendershot 13) In 1994 a small child burned down his trailer house, killing his baby sister. His mother responded to the accident by saying that he learned to do so by watching Beavis and Butthead. Instead of legal issues, MTV responded by moving the program to a later time. (Hendershot 14) There are many reasons to be concerned about violence. Television violence is more frequent then real violence. Television violence spares the views the suffering of the victim and the disorder of the killer.

By the time a child is the age of 18, they will see 115,000 violent acts on television. (Hefzallah 88) An eleven-year-old child reported, I was scared when I saw Friday the 13th. Whenever the girl went into the water and Jason stuck a knife in her and all this blood was in the water-I got real scared. (Abelman 28) Robert Singer voiced: Working-class children, minority children, unpopular children and children doing poorly in school seem to be the ones more susceptible to imitating the aggression that they see on television.

This may be partly because they watch more hours and are exposed to more television violenceTelevision may or may not contribute to their aggressive behavior, but their aggressive nature does play a major role in what they choose to watch. (Hefzallah 87) Action for Childrens Television (ACT tried to make childrens television better; it was often accused of making it worse. Peggy Charren, cofounder of the ACT says: People criticize ACT for lack of creativity today. We never asked for that. They dont remember what it was like before we were around. There was no Sesame Street or Electric Company.

It was never our idea to sanitize the superheroes and reduce the art of animation to its present standards. The broadcasters are responsible for whats on the air today, not Action for Childrens Television. Were trying to see that the product is improved, not worsened. (Hendershot 61) A way to help with the problem of violence on television is censorship. In the United States the design and development of program rating systems plan to be used in connection with supposed v-chip technologies. (Price 23) In February 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which included the v-chip.

The v-chip allows parents to shield out shows that have been rated for violence and objectionable content (cnn. com. ) The legislation requires insertion of the v-chip in new television sets allowing parent to have some control of what their child watches. The v-chip provision requires television broadcaster and cable companies to voluntarily develop a rating system on violence, sex and obscenity. The law requires that if networks establish ratings, they must transmit these ratings so they may be recognized by the v-chip. There are a variety of myths that come with the v-chip.

Some believe that the v-chip is censorship and violates the First Amendment. In fact the v-chip is not in violation of the First Amendment. The parents decide what to block, not the government. Others believe that it will be expensive to add v-chips to their television. But in fact it will only cost less than $5 to add the v-chip. Correspondingly the Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990 already requires every new to have closed-captioning electronics. The v-chip basically involves adding the ability to read program ratings to the existing ability to read closed-captioning.

President Bill Clinton looks on the v-chip as giving the remote control back to the parent. In an article written for Business Wire and also in a speech on the floor of the Senate, Senator Paul Simon argues that the v-chip would not be used in areas of high crime. He also points out that teenagers will find a way around the v-chip. Donald Wildmon president of the American Family Association said the v-chip sounds like a good step on the surface, but in the long run would absolve the entertainment industry of their responsibly. (cnn. com)

There are still questions that need to be answered about the chip. Such as if the program is turned on in the middle of the program, will the rating be read by the chip and the program blocked? Would each episode of the show be rated or would shows be given just one rating, regardless of content from week to week? These questions are still to be answered. Though the v-chip will not eliminate all violence, it will help reduce the amount that a child can view. No matter what, parents will still be responsible for what their children watch.

Violence on the Tube

One Saturday morning many years ago, I was watching an episode of the Roadrunner’ on television. As Wile E. Coyote was pushed off of a cliff by the Roadrunner for the fourth or fifth time, I started laughing uncontrollably. I then watched a Bugs Bunny’ show and started laughing whenever I saw Elmer Fudd shoot Daffy Duck and his bill went twirling around his head. The next day, I pushed my brother off of a cliff and shot my dog to see if its head would twirl around. Obviously, that last sentence is not true.

Some people believe that violence on the tube is one of the main factors that leads to real-life violence, ut in my opinion, television is just a minor factor that leads to real-life violence and that it is the parents responsibility to teach kids the difference. According to Rathus in Psychology in the New Millennium, observational learning may account for most human learning (239). Observational learning extends to observing parents and peers, classroom learning, reading books, and learning from media such as television and films.

Nearly all of us have been exposed to television, videotapes, and films in the classroom. Children in day- care centers often watch Sesame Street. There are filmed and videotaped ersions of great works of literature such as Orson Welles’ Macbeth. Nearly every school shows films of laboratory experiments. But what of our viewing outside of the classroom? Television is also one of our major sources of informal observational learning. According to Sweet and Singh, viewing habits range from the child who watches no television at all to the child who is in front of the television nearly all waking hours.

They say that on average, children aged 2 to 11 watch about 23 hours of television per week, and teenagers watch about 22 hours per week (2). According to these igures, children spend less time in the classroom than they do watching television. During these hours of viewing, children are constantly being shown acts of violence. Why? Simple: violence sells. People are drawn to violence in films, television dramas, books, professional wrestling and boxing, and reports of crime and warfare. Does violence do more than sell, however?

Do media portrayals of violence beget violence in the streets and in the home? It seems clear enough that there are connections between violence in the media and real violence. In the 1990’s, for example, audiences at films about iolent urban youth such as Colors, Boyz N the Hood, and Juice have gotten into fights, shot one another, and gone on rampages after the showings. The MTV cartoon characters, Beavis and Butt-head, who comment on rock videos and burn and destroy things, may have been connected with the death of a 2-year-old and a burned room in Ohio.

The victims 5-year-old brother, who set the blaze that killed the 2-year-old, had begun playing with fire after he observed Beavis and Butt-head to say that fire is fun. A few more examples are shown on the picture to the left (Leland 47). Obviously, these are just a few isolated incidents. If everyone acted this way after watching violence then we would really have a problem. Children are routinely exposed to murders, beatings, and sexual assaults just by turning on the television set.

The public is wary of it, of course. Psychologists, educators, and parent groups have raised many questions about the effects of media violence. For example, does media violence cause real violence? If there are causal connections between media violence and real violence, what can parents and educators do to prevent the fictional from pilling over into the real world? Media violence affects children through observational learning, disinhibition, increasing arousal and priming aggressive thoughts, and desensitization.

The Mean World Syndrome, which suggests that children who watch a lot of violence on television may begin to believe that the world is as mean and dangerous in real life as it appears on television, and hence, they begin to view the world as a much more mean and dangerous place, is another way in which media violence affects children (Murray 9). Children learn from observing the behavior of their parents and other dults. Television violence supplies models of aggressive skills.

Acquisition of these skills, in turn, enhances children’s aggressive competencies. In fact, children are more likely to imitate what their parents do than heed what they say. If adults say they disapprove of aggression but smash furniture or slap each other when frustrated, children are likely to develop the notion that aggression is the way to handle frustration. Classic experiments have shown that children tend to imitate the aggressive behavior they see on television, whether the models are cartoons or real people.

In one uch experiment, a child watches a film where an adult beats up on a life-size doll. The child is then put in a room with the same doll and is observed. The child almost always beats up on the doll in the same ways as seen in the film. The expression of skills may be inhibited by punishment or by the expectation of punishment. Conversely, media violence may disinhibit the expression of aggressive impulses that would otherwise have been controlled, especially when media characters get away with violence or are rewarded for it. 3% of violent acts in programs went unpunished (Telecommunications: Clinton Backs Antiviolence Chip 536).

Media violence and aggressive video games increase viewers’ levels of arousal. In the vernacular, television works them up. We are more likely to engage in dominant forms of behavior, including aggressive behavior, under high levels of arousal. Media violence has cognitive effects that also prime aggressive ideas and memories. Media violence provides scripts , or ideas on how to behave in situations that seem to parallel those they have observed.

Desensitization suggests that children who watch a lot of violence on television may become less sensitive to violence in the real world around them, ess sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, and more willing to tolerate ever-increasing levels of violence in our society. We become used to, or habituated to, many stimuli that impinge on us repeatedly. Repeated exposure to television violence may therefore decrease viewers’ emotional response to real violence.

If children come to perceive violence as the norm, their own attitudes toward violence may become less condemnatory and they may place less value on constraining aggressive urges. The question repeatedly arises as to whether media violence should be curtailed in an effort to stem community violence. Because of constitutional guarantees of free expression, current restraints on media depictions of violence are voluntary. Films, perhaps, are more violent than they have ever been, but television stations now and then attempt to tone down the violence in shows intended for children.

Still, our children are going to be exposed to a great deal of media violence. If not in Saturday morning cartoon shows, then in evening dramas and in the news. Or they’ll hear about violence from friends, watch children get into fights, or read about violence in the newspapers. Even if all those ources of violence were somehow hidden from view, they would learn of violence in Hamlet, Macbeth, and even in the Bible. Thus, the notion of preventing children from being exposed to violent models is impractical. We might also want our children to learn some aggressive skills so that they can defend themselves against bullies and rapists.

What, then, should be done? First of all, consider whether we are overestimating the threat. Although media violence contributes to aggressive behavior, it does not automatically trigger aggressive behavior. Many other factors, including the quality of the home environment, are involved. A loving, comfortable home life is not likely to feed into aggressive tendencies. In conclusion, it is parents’ and educators’ responsibility to inform children that the violent behavior they observe in the media does not represent the behavior of most people.

Also, the apparently aggressive behaviors they watch are not real. They reflect camera tricks, special effects, and stunts. Another important thing to tell children is that most people resolve conflicts by nonviolent means. Since it is impossible to censor television because of first amendment rights and television is a small contributor to real-life iolence, parents should concert their efforts towards spending time with their children and actually watching a violent show with their children and discussing in depth what is being shown.

If children consider violence inappropriate, they will probably not act aggressively, even if they have acquired aggressive skills. For in the words of Andrew Greeley, Music, film, and television reflect behavior rather than cause it. (C2) If I had known all this years before, maybe my brother wouldn’t have a headache all the time and my dog’s head wouldn’t be facing the wrong way.

I Didn’t Do It: How The Simpsons Affects Kids

The Simpsons is one of Americas most popular television shows. It ranks as the number one television program for viewers under eighteen years of age. However, the ideals that The Simpsons conveys are not always wholesome, sometimes not even in good taste. It is inevitable that The Simpsons is affecting children. Matt Groening took up drawing to escape from his troubles in 1977. At the time, Groening was working for the L. A. Reader, a free weekly newspaper. He began working on Life in Hell, a humorous comic strip consisting of people with rabbit ears. The L. A. Reader picked up a copy of his comic strip and liked what they saw.

Life in Hell gradually became a common comic strip in many free weeklies and college newspapers across the country. It even developed a cult status. (Varhola, 1) Life in Hell drew the attention of James L. Brooks, producer of works such as Taxi, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Terms of Endearment. Brooks originally wanted Groening to make an animated pilot of Life in Hell. Groening chose not to do so in fear of loosing royalties from papers that printed the strip. Groening presented Brooks with an overweight, balding father, a mother ith a blue beehive hairdo, and three obnoxious spiky haired children.

Groening intended for them to represent the typical American family “who love each other and drive each other crazy”. Groening named the characters after his own family. His parents were named Homer and Margaret and he had two younger sisters named Lisa and Maggie. Bart was an anagram for “brat”. Groening chose the last name “Simpson” to sound like the typical American family name. (Varhola, 2) Brooks decided to put the 30 or 60 second animations on between skits on The Tracy Ullman Show on the unsuccessful Fox network. Cast members Dan Castellaneta and Julie Kavner did the voices of Homer and Marge.

Yeardley Smith (later to star in Herman’s Head) did the voice of Lisa. Nancy Cartwright did the voice of Bart. Cartwright previously supplied the voices for many cartoons, including Galaxy High, Fantastic Max, Richie Rich, Snorks, Pound Puppies, My Little Pony, and Glo-Friends. Tracy Ullman later added Cartwright to her cast. (Dale and Trich, 11) Brooks, Groening, and Sam Simon, Tracy Ullman’s producer, wanted to turn the Simpson family into their own show. The Fox network was looking for aterial to appeal to younger viewers.

The only show they had that drew a young audience was Married With Children. To Fox’s pleasure, The Simpsons saved the network from near failure. (Varhola, 3) On December 17, 1989, The Simpsons got their break. The Christmas special, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” aired. (Dale and Trich, 19) In the episode, Bart got a tattoo, much to Marge’s dislike. She quickly spent all of the family’s Christmas money to remove Bart’s tattoo with a laser. At the same time, Homer, still on his morning coffee break at 4:00 in he afternoon, learns that he will not receive a Christmas bonus.

When he learns that Marge is relying on the money for Christmas, he decides that he will do the Christmas shopping for the year. He quickly buys Marge panty hose, Bart paper, Lisa crayons, and Maggie a dog toy. When he realizes that he is not doing very well, he gets a second job as a mall Santa for the extra money. On the way home from work, he steals a Christmas tree. The next day at the mall, Bart sits on his Dad’s lap and pulls down his beard. Homer responds by choking Bart and making him help make Christmas better. On Christmas Eve, Homer receives his check, $13. 70 for over 40 hours work.

Homer takes Bart to the dog track as a final chance for Christmas money. They discovered a gem in the third race, Santa’s Little Helper. How could this dog loose on Christmas Eve? The odds were 99 to 1, they were going to be rich. Homer put all of his money on Santa’s Little Helper, and to his horror, he never even finished. As Homer and Bart were scouring the parking lot for winning tickets into the night, they saw the track manager throw out a dog. It was not just any dog, it was Santa’s Little Helper. When Bart and Homer came home to their worried family, they had a good Christmas after all.

Now they had a dog. (Pond) “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” was not the typical Christmas story. It dealt with body art, sleeping in the work place, sibling rivalry, stealing a Christmas tree, a misbehaved son, and gambling. Although it was unorthodox, it was very successful. The Fox network decided to air it again on Christmas Eve. (Dale and Trich, 19) In a little over a month, The Simpsons made it’s debut as a weekly show, “Bart the Genius” was the first regular episode. In the middle of a feared assessment test, Bart switches his test with the completed one of Nelson Prince, Class Nerd.

Bart and his parents are called into Principal Seymour Skinner’s office where they are told that Bart has a 216 IQ. (Homer thought is was 912. ) Skinner requests that Bart attends The Enriched Learning Center for Children. Suddenly, Homer takes a liking to his son. They joke together, play ball together, embarrass Marge at an opera together. (“Toreador, oh don’t spit on the floor. Use the cuspidor. That’s what it’s for. ” Bart sings along with the opera Carmen. Soon at Bart’s old school, Springfield Elementary School, Bart’s graffiti is roped off and tagged, “The Principal.

By Bart Simpson. IQ 216. ” Bart’s friend no longer like him, they refer to him as Poindexter. The kids at his new school trick him into giving up his lunch. In frank, Bart is miserable. Then, after turning himself green in an uneducated science experiment, Bart reveals to his new principal that he cheated on the test. That night, as Homer is helping Bart clean himself off, Bart tells Homer the same. Homer instantly transforms into a murderous rampage again. The episode ends with Bart locking himself in his room and Homer trying to knock down the door so he can tear Bart into pieces. Vitti)

Soon, Simpsons merchandise was all over America. Every kid wanted an “Underachiever and Proud of It, Man” or an “I’m Bart Simpson, Who the Hell Are You? ” shirt. Hats could be seen everywhere that had Bart dressed like a devil saying “Go For It, Dude! ” or with Homer, his arms open, lunging forward saying “Why You Little. ” The most popular shirt was a family picture with Homer choking Bart. During the first week of school in 1990, two thirds of the sixth raders in America wore Simpsons paraphernalia. (Dale and Trich, 43) As the popularity of The Simpsons grew, so did parents’ fears.

To their horror, Bart Simpson became a role model. “Aye Carumba! ” was a popular expression among kids. Almost anything a child did wrong was attributed to “last Sunday’s Simpsons. ” (Dale and Trich, 45) Bad ideas continued to be broadcast into kids’ minds. In the third episode, a baby-sitter robbed the Simpson household of most of it’s belongings. In the fourth episode, Homer caused a nuclear accident, got fired, and attempted suicide. Bart stole the head off of the statue of Jebidiah Springfield, Springfield’s founder in the sixth episode.

In the eighth episode, Bart took a picture of Homer with an exotic dancer and distributed them to the entire town. Marge had an affair in the ninth episode. Homer stole cable, and almost everything else imaginable in the fifteenth episode. (Groening, 37) The Simpsons is often viewed as one of the biggest threats to Christianity. The Simpson family goes to church on a regular basis, but Bart and Homer loath it. A typical Sunday School conversation is as follows: Child: “Will my dog, Fluffy go to heaven? “

How The Simpsons Affects Kids

The Simpsons is one of Americas most popular television shows. It ranks as the number one television program for viewers under eighteen years of age. However, the ideals that The Simpsons conveys are not always wholesome, sometimes not even in good taste. It is inevitable that The Simpsons is affecting children. Matt Groening took up drawing to escape from his troubles in 1977. At the time, Groening was working for the L. A. Reader, a free weekly newspaper. He began working on Life in Hell, a humorous comic strip consisting of people with rabbit ears. The L. A. Reader picked up a copy of his comic strip and liked what they saw.

Life in Hell gradually became a common comic strip in many free weeklies and college newspapers across the country. It even developed a cult status. (Varhola, 1) Life in Hell drew the attention of James L. Brooks, producer of works such as Taxi, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Terms of Endearment. Brooks originally wanted Groening to make an animated pilot of Life in Hell. Groening chose not to do so in fear of loosing royalties from papers that printed the strip. Groening presented Brooks with an overweight, balding father, a mother with a blue beehive hairdo, and three obnoxious spiky haired children.

Groening intended for them to represent the typical American family “who love each other and drive each other crazy”. Groening named the characters after his own family. His parents were named Homer and Margaret and he had two younger sisters named Lisa and Maggie. Bart was an anagram for “brat”. Groening chose the last name “Simpson” to sound like the typical American family name. (Varhola, 2) Brooks decided to put the 30 or 60 second animations on between skits on The Tracy Ullman Show on the unsuccessful Fox network. Cast members Dan Castellaneta and Julie Kavner did the voices of Homer and Marge.

Yeardley Smith (later to star in Herman’s Head) did the voice of Lisa. Nancy Cartwright did the voice of Bart. Cartwright previously supplied the voices for many cartoons, including Galaxy High, Fantastic Max, Richie Rich, Snorks, Pound Puppies, My Little Pony, and Glo-Friends. Tracy Ullman later added Cartwright to her cast. (Dale and Trich, 11) Brooks, Groening, and Sam Simon, Tracy Ullman’s producer, wanted to turn the Simpson family into their own show. The Fox network was looking for material to appeal to younger viewers.

The only show they had that drew a young audience was Married With Children. To Fox’s pleasure, The Simpsons saved the network from near failure. (Varhola, 3) On December 17, 1989, The Simpsons got their break. The Christmas special, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” aired. (Dale and Trich, 19) In the episode, Bart got a tattoo, much to Marge’s dislike. She quickly spent all of the family’s Christmas money to remove Bart’s tattoo with a laser. At the same time, Homer, still on his morning coffee break at 4:00 in the afternoon, learns that he will not receive a Christmas bonus.

When he learns that Marge is relying on the money for Christmas, he decides that he will do the Christmas shopping for the year. He quickly buys Marge panty hose, Bart paper, Lisa crayons, and Maggie a dog toy. When he realizes that he is not doing very well, he gets a second job as a mall Santa for the extra money. On the way home from work, he steals a Christmas tree. The next day at the mall, Bart sits on his Dad’s lap and pulls down his beard. Homer responds by choking Bart and making him help make Christmas better. On Christmas Eve, Homer receives his check, $13. 70 for over 40 hours work.

Homer takes Bart to the dog track as a final chance for Christmas money. They discovered a gem in the third race, Santa’s Little Helper. How could this dog loose on Christmas Eve? The odds were 99 to 1, they were going to be rich. Homer put all of his money on Santa’s Little Helper, and to his horror, he never even finished. As Homer and Bart were scouring the parking lot for winning tickets into the night, they saw the track manager throw out a dog. It was not just any dog, it was Santa’s Little Helper. When Bart and Homer came home to their worried family, they had a good Christmas after all.

Now they had a dog. (Pond) “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” was not the typical Christmas story. It dealt with body art, sleeping in the work place, sibling rivalry, stealing a Christmas tree, a misbehaved son, and gambling. Although it was unorthodox, it was very successful. The Fox network decided to air it again on Christmas Eve. (Dale and Trich, 19) In a little over a month, The Simpsons made it’s debut as a weekly show, “Bart the Genius” was the first regular episode. In the middle of a feared assessment test, Bart switches his test with the completed one of Nelson Prince, Class Nerd.

Bart and his parents are called into Principal Seymour Skinner’s office where they are told that Bart has a 216 IQ. (Homer thought is was 912. ) Skinner requests that Bart attends The Enriched Learning Center for Children. Suddenly, Homer takes a liking to his son. They joke together, play ball together, embarrass Marge at an opera together. (“Toreador, oh don’t spit on the floor. Use the cuspidor. That’s what it’s for. ” Bart sings along with the opera Carmen. ) Soon at Bart’s old school, Springfield Elementary School, Bart’s graffiti is roped off and tagged, “The Principal.

By Bart Simpson. IQ 216. ” Bart’s friend no longer like him, they refer to him as Poindexter. The kids at his new school trick him into giving up his lunch. In frank, Bart is miserable. Then, after turning himself green in an uneducated science experiment, Bart reveals to his new principal that he cheated on the test. That night, as Homer is helping Bart clean himself off, Bart tells Homer the same. Homer instantly transforms into a murderous rampage again. The episode ends with Bart locking himself in his room and Homer trying to knock down the door so he can tear Bart into pieces.

Vitti) Soon, Simpsons merchandise was all over America. Every kid wanted an “Underachiever and Proud of It, Man” or an “I’m Bart Simpson, Who the Hell Are You? ” shirt. Hats could be seen everywhere that had Bart dressed like a devil saying “Go For It, Dude! ” or with Homer, his arms open, lunging forward saying “Why You Little. ” The most popular shirt was a family picture with Homer choking Bart. During the first week of school in 1990, two thirds of the sixth graders in America wore Simpsons paraphernalia. (Dale and Trich, 43) As the popularity of The Simpsons grew, so did parents’ fears.

To their horror, Bart Simpson became a role model. “Aye Carumba! ” was a popular expression among kids. Almost anything a child did wrong was attributed to “last Sunday’s Simpsons. ” (Dale and Trich, 45) Bad ideas continued to be broadcast into kids’ minds. In the third episode, a baby-sitter robbed the Simpson household of most of it’s belongings. In the fourth episode, Homer caused a nuclear accident, got fired, and attempted suicide. Bart stole the head off of the statue of Jebidiah Springfield, Springfield’s founder in the sixth episode.

In the eighth episode, Bart took a picture of Homer with an exotic dancer and distributed them to the entire town. Marge had an affair in the ninth episode. Homer stole cable, and almost everything else imaginable in the fifteenth episode. (Groening, 37) The Simpsons is often viewed as one of the biggest threats to Christianity. The Simpson family goes to church on a regular basis, but Bart and Homer loath it. A typical Sunday School conversation is as follows: Child: “Will my dog, Fluffy go to heaven? ” Sunday School Teacher: “No” Other Child: “How about my cat? Teacher: “No, Heaven is only for people. ” Bart: “What if my leg gets gangrene and has to be amputated? Will it be waiting for me in heaven?

Teacher: “Yes” Bart: “What about a robot with a human brain? ” Teacher: “I don’t know! Is a little blind faith too much to ask for? ” (Pepoon) The pastor, Reverend Lovejoy is a hypocrite. In “22 Short Films About Springfield” he leads his dog to the Flanders’ yard to go to the bathroom. He praises the dog until Ned Flanders comes outside. He then acts angry and threatens the dog with hell. When Ned leaves, he praises the dog again.

Swartzwelder) In one episode, Homer quits going to church and falls in love with life. He claims to have his own religion so he doesn’t have to go to work on holidays, such as the Feast of Maximum Occupancy. In a conversation with Lisa: Lisa: “Dad, I don’t understand, why have you dedicated yourself to living a life of blasphemy? ” Homer: “Don’t worry Lisa, if I’m wrong, I’ll repent on my death bed. ” (Meyer) The Simpsons is not just an enemy of Christianity, though. In one episode, where Krusty the Clown is reunited with his father, a rabbi, almost the entire episode is spent making fun of Judaism.

Lisa asks Bart, “Do you know what a rabbi’s most valued possession is? ” Bart replied, “I dunno, those stupid little hats. ” Hinduism is constantly joked with by using East Indian, Kwik-E-Mart clerk, Apu Mahasapeemapitalon. Apu is once asked is he is Hindu. He replied, “By the thousand arms of Bishna, I swear it is a lie. ” Once Homer was in the Kwik-E-Mart: Homer: “Hey Apu. No offensive, but when they were handing out religions, you must have been on the can. ” Apu: “Mr. Simpson, please take your jerky and get out and come again! Meyer) The average child can acquire a plethora of foul words from one episode. In “Flaming Moe’s”, Bart is “jinxed”, meaning he can’t talk until somebody says his name.

Homer: “What is it boy? ” Bart: [Grunts] Homer: “Us anything the matter, my son? Talk to me young man. ” Bart: [Takes a pencil and writes ‘Say my name. ] Homer: “Say your name? Why should I do that, my lad? ” Bart: “Because I’m jinxed damnit! ” Homer: [Punches Bart in the arm. ] Bart: “Ow! What was that for! ” Homer: You spoke while you were jinxed, so I get to punch you in the arm! Sorry, it’s the law! Cohen) Homer Simpson definitely has the worst influence on children. Once, Homer overheard Ralph Wiggum say the he would do anything for Lisa.

In the next scene, Ralph is coating the Simpson’s roof in tar. Ralph calls out, “Mr. Simpson, the tar fumes are making me dizzy. ” Homer, relaxing in a hammock replies, nonchalantly, “Yeah, they’ll do that. ” Homer fits the genera of the parent who pressures his kid to do well in sports. In one episode, after Bart scored a winning goal, Homer congratulated him, “Okay Bart, you won the hockey game. Now, just as I promised, here’s your turtle, alive and unhurt.

Homer got angry at Marge once for spending lots of money to vaccinate Maggie against diseases she doesn’t have. His advice on how to get out of jury duty is “to tell them that you’re prejudiced against all races. ” His self proclaimed, best advice is, “Sometimes the only way you can feel good about yourself is to make other people look stupid. ” (Groening, 26) Personally, I believe that The Simpsons affects children, but not necessarily in a bad way. Children never hurt themselves mimicking The Three Stooges, nor do they with The Simpsons. Almost every episode ends with a family that loves each other.

Some episodes have answered the question of them affecting children on their own. Once, Marge began to protest Itchy and Scratchy cartoons. Itchy is a psychopathic mouse who’s only purpose is to kill and torture Scratchy, a cat. Nearing the end of the episode, Marge realizes that Itchy and Scratchy is not hurting anyone. They take a satirical view to the situation when a group of mothers try to stop Michaelangelo’s David from visiting the Springfield Museum of Art by means that it is pornographic. (Koger and Wolodarsky) Unlike many sitcoms, The Simpsons is more like everyday life.

Homer works in a power plant. In many other sitcoms, the father works a popular job, such as an accountant, or with a television studio. The Simpson family is not a wealthy family living in a $300,000 house. Many children can relate to this. (Rebeck, 622) In some cases, The Simpsons is educational. Karen Brecze credits Homer Simpson with saving her 8-year-old son, Alex’s life. Bence, of Auburn, Washington, says the boy was choking on an orange when his 10-year-old brother, Chris, used the Heimlich maneuver, which he learned from “Homer at the Bat”, where Homer is choking on a doughnut.

Unlike Alex, Homer doesn’t receive help and coughs up the doughnut as his co-workers look at the Heimlich maneuver poster. (Dyer, D3) The Simpsons affects kids, just as anything around them will. Perhaps people fear The Simpsons because they can see a little of The Simpsons in themselves. We all have inner child’s trying to get out that behave just like Bart. We all do “pull a Homer” sometimes. It just happens. The show doesn’t make us do it. It just happens. If this world did not have The Simpsons children would behave in the same manner, they just might laugh quite as much.

Seinfeld: The Untold Story

Throughout Seinfeld’s eight-season stint on network television the show and its creator’s have stereotyped everything from young Puerto Rican boys to Jewish Priests. The main stereotype of this sit-com is the very florid portrayal of the generational age groups of the characters. The main characters represent the beginning of the Generation X culture. The parents and relatives of Jerry Seinfeld and that of George Costanza present the presence of the members of the Silent or GI generation.

Throughout the television series we have seen the elderly as stereotypically helpless individuals with little or no purpose. The character’s Jerry Seinfeld, George Costanza, Elaine Benes, and Cosmo Kramer, represent the Generation X culture. These half-witted characters are often unreliable and uncaring about the society they live in. These characters often care about nothing more about life outside their own. The stereotype of these characters and the success of this very popular television show have contributed to the media’s wide usage of stereotyping generations.

The article, “My Inner Shrimp,” can be directly correlated to George’s eccentric ego trips with his problems with shortness, unemployment, and baldness. George’s character is often portrayed as a very loud, very rambunctious person who is often seeking to be on top. Elderly: Helpless or Not Throughout the series we have seen the elderly characters of Seinfeld often being absent minded, senile, and often helpless. Jerry’s parents upon retirement moved to the sunny state of Florida to bask in their retirement. This proves to be a very common nomenclature among senior citizens.

Throughout the nation many retired citizens have been moving eagerly across the country spending their hard earned money and moving to much more appealing climates. Throughout the show Jerry’s parents often try to impose money upon him even though he never request any money from his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Seinfeld often believe that Jerry is living a life of poverty and that he lives a very inadequate life. Throughout our nation the elderly have often saved and saved countless dollars so that they may have a better life and provide their children with the sustenance they need to live a very adequate life.

Mr. and Mrs. Costanza are often portrayed as very senile individuals. George’s parents often tend to exaggerate things outside the spectrum they should really include. One certain episode can attribute to there senility. During the Seinfeld’s visit of New York to see their son Jerry, the Costanza’s graciously ask the Seinfeld’s to accompany them to dinner at their home. The Seinfeld’s regretfully decline because of previous engagements, the Costanza’s proceed to slander the Seinfeld’s because of their declination of dinner plans.

The Costanza’s felt as if there was some ulterior motive for them declining to dine with them. This is an excellent example of how the media portrays the elderly as a group of senile individuals. More examples of senility of elders is when Jerry’s Uncle is caught stealing books in a book store and his excuse for doing the crime is because of his old age. His uncle states, “I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m an old Man, can you please take me back to my home. ” Jerry’s Uncle stereotype’s the elderly as a group of very senile very insane individuals.

A Cast of Generation Xer’s The shows main characters lace the screen with scenes of comic relief, the slandering of friends, and an overwhelming sense that these characters care nothing more about the world. Jerry, the show’s main character, places more precedence on his wardrobe and his looks than the world around him. He constantly bashes what is wrong with society and ridicules various radical organizations. Even though he criticizes the world he does very little to change it. Jerry is very politically inactive and often ridicules political candidates.

George’s character perhaps shows the greatest stereotype of the Generation X genre. George is often out of work skipping from job to job as time passes throughout the show. George is often found living off his parents’ wealth and he is also known to live off his friends. George’s thought does not exceed past his pathetic uninvolved life. The character’s of this television show are so self involved that they do not have the time nor the ability to involve themselves with the outside world.

Your Classic Inner Shrimp George’s character can directly relate to the article, “My Inner Shrimp,” George’s character is the stereotypical short individual. George is constantly ridiculed for his shortness. He is constantly denied by the opposite sex for a date and is often picked on by members of his same sex, just as the character in the article was ridiculed. During one episode, George purchased a pair of boots for the purpose that they made him look three inches taller than his original height.

George went to the extremes to paint his shoes with spray paint so that he could wear them to a formal affair so that he could remain the same height as everyone else. George’s shortness is often the one ridiculed of many a joke. Season Finale Throughout the show the media continuously stereotype’s the characters of the television sit-com. Through the media, television has stereotyped the elderly as decrepit, senile individuals. The media stereotyped the generation x members as self-centered unmotivated individuals. Through the media this television show contributed to the stereotyping of our society and its members.

Talk Shows Essay

The television talk show is, on the face of it, a rather strange institution. We pay people to talk for us. Like the soap opera, the talk show is an invention of twentieth century broadcasting. It takes a very old form of communication, conversation, and transforms it into a low cost but highly popular form of information and entertainment through the institutions, practices and technologies of television. The talk show did not originate over night, at one time, or in one place. It developed out of forty years of television practice and antecedent talk traditions from radio, Chatauqua, vaudeville and popular theater.

In defining the talk show it is useful to distinguish between \”television talk\” (unscripted presentational address) and \”talk shows\”–shows organized principally around talk. \”Television talk\” represents all the unscripted forms of conversation and direct address to the audience that have been present on television from the beginning. This kind of \”live,\” unscripted talk is one of the basic things that distinguishes television from film, photography, the record and book industries.

Television talk is almost always anchored or framed by an announcer or host figure, and may be defined, in Erving Goffman’s terms, as \”fresh talk,\” that is, talk that appears to be generated word by word and in a spontaneous manner. Though it is always to a degree spontaneous, television talk is also highly structured. It takes place in ritualized encounters and what the viewer sees and hears on the air has been shaped by writers, producers, stage managers and technical crews and tailored to the talk formulas of television.

Thus, though it resembles daily speech, the kind of talk that occurs on television does not represent unfettered conversation. Different kinds of television talk occur at different times of the broadcast day, but much of this talk occurs outside the confines of what audiences and critics have come to know as the \”talk show. \” Major talk traditions have developed around news, entertainment, and a variety of social encounters that have been reframed and adapted for television.

For example, talk is featured on game shows, dating or relationship shows, simulated legal encounters (People’s Court) or shows that are essentially elaborate versions of practical jokes (Candid Camera). All of these shows feature talk but are seldom referred to as \”talk shows. \” A \”talk show,\” on the other hand, is as a show that is quite clearly and self-consciously built around its talk. To remain on the air a talk show must adhere to strict time and money constraints, allowing time, for instance, for the advertising spots that must appear throughout the show.

The talk show must begin and end within these rigid time limits and, playing to an audience of millions, be sensitive to topics that will interest that mass audience. For its business managers the television talk show is one product among many and they are usually not amenable to anything that will interfere with profits and ratings. This kind of show is almost always anchored by a host or team of hosts. Host/Forms Talk shows are often identified by the host’s name in the title, an indication of the importance of the host in the history of the television talk show.

Indeed, we might usefully combine the two words and talk about host/forms. A good example of the importance of the host to the form a talk show takes would be The Tonight Show. The Tonight Show premiered on NBC in 1954 with Steve Allen as its first host. While it maintained a distinctive format and style throughout its first four decades on the air, The Tonight Show changed significantly with each successive host. Steve Allen, Ernie Kovacs, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, and Jay Leno each took The Tonight Show in a significant new direction. Each of these hosts imprinted the show with distinctive personalities and management styles.

Though many talk shows run for only weeks or months before being taken off the air, once established, talk shows and talk show hosts tend to have long runs. The average number of years on television for the thirty-five major talk show hosts listed at the end of this essay was eighteen years. Successful talk show hosts like Mike Wallace, Johnny Carson, and Barbara Walters bridge generations of viewers. The longevity of these \”super stars\” increases their impact on the forms and formats of television talk with which they are associated.

Television talk shows originally emerged out of two central traditions: news and entertainment. Over time hybrid forms developed that mixed news, public affairs, and entertainment. These hybrid forms occupy a middle ground position between news and entertainment, though their hosts (Phil Donahue, Oprah Winfrey, and Geraldo Rivera, for example) often got their training in journalism. Approximately a third of the major talk show hosts listed at the end of the essay came out of news. The other two thirds came from entertainment (comedy in particular).

Within the journalistic tradition, the names Edward R. Murrow, Mike Wallace, Ted Koppel and Bill Moyers stand out. News talk hosts like Murrow, Koppel, and Moyers do not have bands, sidekicks, or a studio audience. Their roles as talk show hosts are extensions of their roles as reporters and news commentators. Their shows appear in evening when more adult and older aged viewers are watching. The morning host teams that mix \”happy talk\” and information also generally come from the news background. This format was pioneered by NBC’s Sylvester \”Pat\” Weaver and host Dave Garroway with the Today show in the early 1950s.

Hosts who started out on early morning news talk shows and went on to anchor the evening news or primetime interview shows include: Walter Cronkite, John Chancellor, Barbara Walters, Tom Brokaw, and Jane Pauley. Each developed a distinctive style within the more conversational format of their morning show. Coming from a journalism background but engaging in a wider arena of cultural topics were hosts like Phil Donahue, Oprah Winfrey, and Geraldo Rivera. Mixing news, entertainment, and public affairs, Phil Donahue established \”talk television,\” an extension of the \”hot topic\” live radio call-in shows of the 1960s.

Donahue himself ran a radio show in Dayton, Ohio before premiering his daytime television talk show. Donahue’s Dayton show, later syndicated nationally, featured audience members talking about the social issues that affected their lives. Ricki Lake Within the field of entertainment/variety talk, it was the late night talk show that assumed special importance. Late night talk picked up steam when it garnered national attention during the talk show \”wars\” of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

During this time Johnny Carson defended his ratings throne on the Tonight show against challengers Joey Bishop, David Frost, Dick Cavett and Merv Griffin. Late night talk show wars again received front page headlines when Carson’s successors, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Chevy Chase, Arsenio Hall, Dennis Miller, and others engaged in fierce ratings battles after Carson’s retirement. Within the United States these talk show wars assumed epic proportions in the press, and the impact that late night entertainment talk show hosts had over their audiences seemed, at times, to assume that of political leaders or leaders of state.

In an age in which political theorists had become increasingly pessimistic about the possibilities of democracy within the public sphere, late night talk show hosts became sanctioned court jesters who appeared free to mock and question basic American values and political ideas through humor. Throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s Johnny Carson’s monologue on the Tonight show was considered a litmus test of public opinion, a form of commentary on the news. Jay Leno’s and David Letterman’s comic commentary continued the tradition.

The ratings battle between Leno and Letterman in the early 1990s echoed the earlier battles between Carson, Dick Cavett, and Griffin. But it was not just comic ability that was demanded of the late night hosts. They had to possess a lively, quick-paced interview technique, a persistent curiosity arising directly from their comic world views, lively conversational skills, and an ability to listen and elicit information from a wide range of show business and \”civilian\” guests. It was no wonder that a relatively small number of these hosts survived more than a few years on the air to become stars.

Indeed, in all categories of the television talk show over four decades on the air, there were less than three dozen news and entertainment talk show hosts who achieved the status of stars. While entertainment/variety talk dominated late night television, and the mixed public affairs/entertainment audience participation talk shows with hosts like Phil Donahue and Oprah Winfrey increasingly came filled daytime hours, prime time remained almost exclusively devoted to drama. Talk Formats

While talk show hosts represent a potpourri of styles and approaches, the number of talk show formats is actually quite limited. For example, a general interest hard news or public affairs show can be built around an expert panel (Washington Week in Review), a panel and news figure (Meet the Press), a magazine format for a single topic (Nightline), a magazine format that deals with multiple topics (Sixty Minutes), or a one-on-one host/guest interview (Bill Moyers’ World of Ideas). These are the standard formats for the discussion of hard news topics.

Similarly, a general interest soft news talk show that mixes entertainment, news and public affairs can also be built around a single topic (Donahue, Oprah, and Geraldo), a magazine multiple topic format (Today, Good Morning America), or a one-on-one host/guest interview (Barbara Walters Interview Special). There are also special interest news/information formats that focus on such subjects as economics (Wall Street Week), sports (Sports Club), homemaking/fashion (Ern Westmore Show), personal psychology (Dr. Ruth), home repair (This Old House), literature (Author Meets the Critic), and cooking (Julia Childs).

Entertainment talk shows are represented by a similarly limited number of formats. By far the most prevalent is the informal celebrity guest/host talk show, which takes on different characteristics depending upon what part of the day it is broadcast. The late night entertainment talk show, with the publicity it received through the \”talk show wars,\” grew rapidly in popularity among viewers during its first four decades on the air. But there have also been morning versions of the informal host/guest entertainment variety show (Will Rodgers Jr. Show), daytime versions (The Robert Q. Lewis Show), and special topic versions (American Bandstand).

Some entertainment talk shows have featured comedy through satirical takes on talk shows (Fernwood Tonight, The Larry Sanders Show), monologues (The Henry Morgan Show), or comedy dialogue (Dave and Charley). Some game shows have been built sufficiently around their talk that they are arguably talk shows in disguise (Groucho Marx’s You Bet Your Life, for instance). There are also a whole range of shows that are not conventionally known as \”talk shows\” but feature \”fresh\” talk and are built primarily around that talk.

These shows center on social encounters or events adapted to television: a religious service (Life is Worth Living), an academic seminar (Seminar), a talent contest (Talent Scouts), a practical joke (Candid Camera), mating rituals (The Dating Game), a forensic event (People’s Court), or a mixed social event (House Party). The line between \”television talk\” and what formally constitutes a talk show is often not easy to draw and shifts over time as new forms of television talk emerge. How To Read a Television Talk Show There are many ways approaches to understanding a television talk show.

It may be viewed as a literary narrative, for instance, or as a social text. As literary texts, talk shows contain characters, settings, and even a loosely defined plot structure which re-enacts itself each evening in the talk rituals that take place in front of the camera. These narratives center on the host as the central recurring character who frames and organizes the talk. Literary analysis of talk shows is relatively rare, but Michael Arlen’s essay on the talk show in The Camera Age, or Kenneth Tynan’s profile of Johnny Carson in The New Yorker, are superb examples of this approach.

Talk shows can also be seen as social texts. Talk shows are indeed forums in which society tests out and comes to terms with the topics, issues and themes that define its basic values, what it means to be a \”citizen,\” a participating member of that society. The \”talk television\” shows of Phil Donahue, Oprah Winfrey become microcosms of society as cutting-edge social and cultural issues are debated and discussed. By the early 1990s political and social analysts began to pay increasing attention to these forms of television and a number of articles were written about them.

Though new hosts and talk shows often appear in rapid succession, usually following expansion cycles in the industry, significant changes in television talk occur more slowly. These changes have traditionally come about at the hands of a relatively small number of influential talk show hosts and programmers and have occurred within distinct periods of television history. Cycles of Talk: The History of the Television Talk Show The term \”talk show\” was a relatively late invention, coming into use in the mid-1960s, but shows based on various forms of spontaneous talk were a staple of broadcasting from its earliest days.

Radio talk shows of one kind or another made up 24% of all radio programming from l927 to l956, with general variety talk, audience participation, human interest, and panel shows comprising as much as 40-60% of the daytime schedule. Network television from 1949 to 1973 filled over half its daytime program hours with talk programming, devoting 15 to 20% of its evening schedule to talk shows of one kind or another. As the networks went into decline, their viewership dropping from 90% to 65% of the audience in the 1980s and early 1990s, talk shows were one form of programming that continued to expand on the networks and in syndication.

By the summer of 1993 the television page of USA Today listed seventeen talk shows and local papers as many as twenty-seven. In all, from 1948 to 1993 over two hundred talk shows appeared on the air. These shows can be broken down into four cycles of television talk show history corresponding to four major periods of television history itself. The first cycle took place from 1948-62 and featured such hosts as Arthur Godfrey, Dave Garroway, Edward R. Murrow, Arlene Francis, and Jack Paar. These hosts had extensive radio experience before coming to television and they were the founders of television talk.

During this time the talk show’s basic forms–coming largely out of previous radio and stage traditions–took shape. The second cycle covers the period from 1962 to 1972 when the networks took over from sponsors and advertising agencies as the dominant forces in talk programming. A small but vigorous syndicated talk industry grew during this period as well. In the 1960s and early 1970s three figures established themselves on the networks as talk hosts with staying power: Johnny Carson, Barbara Walters, and Mike Wallace.

Each was associated with a program that became an established profit center for their network and each used that position to negotiate the sustained status with the network that propelled them into the 1970s and 1980s as a star of television talk. The third cycle of television talk lasted from 1970 to 1980. During this decade challenges to network domination arose from a number of quarters. While the networks themselves were initiating few new talk shows by 1969, syndicated talk programming exploded. Twenty new talk shows went on the air in 1969 (up to then the average number of new shows rarely exceeded five).

It was a boom period for television talk–and the time of the first nationally publicized \”talk show wars. \” New technologies of production (cheaper television studios and production costs), new methods of distribution (satellite transmission and cable), and key regulatory decisions by the FCC made nationally syndicated talk increasingly profitable and attractive to investors. Dick Cavett Talk show hosts like Phil Donahue took advantage of the situation. Expanding from 40 markets in 1974 to a national audience of 167 markets in 1979, Donahue became the nation’s number one syndicated talk show host by the late 1970s.

Other new talk show hosts entered the field as well. Bill Moyers’ Journal went on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in 1970, and William Buckley’s Firing Line, which had appeared previously in syndication, went on PBS a year later. Both Moyers and Buckley, representing liberal and conservative viewpoints respectively, were to remain significant figures on public broadcasting for the next two decades. During this time independent stations and station groups, first run syndication, cable and VCR’s began to weaken the networks’ once invincible hold over national audiences.

The fourth cycle of television talk took place in the period from 1980 to 1992, a period that has been commonly referred to as the \”post-network\” era. Donahue’s success in syndication was emulated by others, most notably Oprah Winfrey, whose Donahue-style audience participation show went into national syndication in 1986. Winfrey set a new record for syndication earnings, grossing over a hundred million dollars a year from the start of her syndication. She became, financially, the most successful talk show host on television.

By the early 1980s the networks were vigorously fighting back. Late Night with David Letterman and Ted Koppel’s Nightline were two network attempts to win back audiences. Both shows gained steady ratings over time and established Koppel and Letterman as stars of television talk. Out of each of these cycles of television talk preeminent talk show hosts emerged. Following the careers of these hosts allows us to we see how talk shows are built from within by strong personalities and effective production teams, and shaped from without by powerful economic, technological, and cultural forces.

Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford Paradigm Shifts in Late Night Entertainment: Carson to Letterman Johnny Carson, for thirty years the \”King of Late Night,\” and his successor, David Letterman, were in many ways alike. Their rise to fame could be described by the same basic story. A young man from America’s heartland comes to the city, making his way through its absurdities and frustrations with feckless humor. This exemplary middle American is \”square\” and at the same time sophisticated, innocent, though ironic and irreverent.

Straddling the worlds of common sense and show business, the young man becomes a national jester–and is so anointed by the press. The \”type\” Johnny Carson and David Letterman represent can be traced to earlier archetypes: the \”Yankee\” character in early American theater and the \”Toby\” character of nineteenth century tent repertory. Carson brought his version of this character to television at the end of the Eisenhower and beginning of the Kennedy era, poking fun at American consumerism and politics in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Letterman brought his own version of this sharp-eyed American character to the television screen two decades later at the beginning of the Reagan era. By this time the \”youth\” revolts in the 1960s and 1970s were already on the wane, and Letterman replaced the politics of confrontation represented by the satire of such shows as Saturday Night Live and SCTV with a politics of accommodation, removal, and irony. His ironic stance was increasingly acknowledged as capturing the \”voice\” of his generation and, whether as cause or effect, Letterman became a generational symbol.

The shift from Carson to Letterman represented not only a cultural change but a new way of looking at television as a medium. Carson’s camera was rooted in the neutral gaze of the proscenium arch tradition; Letterman’s camera roamed wildly and flamboyantly through the studio. Carson acknowledged the camera with sly asides; Letterman’s constant, neurotic intimacy with the camera, characterized by his habit of moving right up to the lens and speaking directly into it, represented a new level of self-consciousness about the medium.

He extended the \”self-referentiality\” that Carson himself had promoted over the years on his talk show. Indeed, Letterman represented a movement from what has been called a transparent form of television (the viewer taking for granted and looking through the forms of television: camera, lighting, switching, etc. ) to an opaque form in which the technology and practices of the medium itself become the focus of the show. Letterman changed late night talk forever with his post-modern irreverence and mocking play with the forms of television talk.

Paradigm Shifts in the Daytime Audience Participation Talk Show: Donahue to Winfrey When Oprah Winfrey rose to national syndication success in 1986 by challenging Phil Donahue in major markets around the country and winning ratings victories in many of these markets, she did not change the format of the audience participation talk show. That remained essentially as Donahue had established it twenty years before. What changed was the cultural dynamics of this kind of show and that in turn was a direct reflection of the person who hosted it.

The ratings battle that ensued in 1986 was between a black woman raised by a religious grandmother and strict father within the fold of a black church in the South against a white, male, liberal, Catholic Midwesterner who had gone to Notre Dame and been permanently influenced by the women’s movement. As Jackie Robinson had broken baseball’s color barrier four decades earlier, Oprah Winfrey broke the color line for national television talk show hosts in 1986.

She became one of the great \”Horatio Alger\” rags-to-riches story of the 1980s (by the early 1990s People Weekly was proclaiming her \”the richest woman in show business\” with an estimated worth of $200 million), and as Arsenio Hall and Bob Costas ended their six and seven year runs on television in the early 1990s, it became clear that Oprah Winfrey had staying power. She remained one of the few prominent talk show hosts of the 1980s to survive within the cluttered talk show landscape of mid-1990s. Several factors contributed to this success.

For one thing, Winfrey had a smart management team and a full-press national marketing campaign to catapult her into competition with Donahue. The national syndication deal had been worked out by Winfrey’ representative, attorney-manager Jeffrey Jacobs, and King World’s marketing plan was a classic one. Executives at King World felt the media would pounce on \”a war with Donahue\” so they created one. The first step was to send tapes of Oprah’s shows to \”focus groups\” in several localities to see how they responded.

The results were positive. The next step was to show tapes to selected station groups–small network alliances of a half-dozen or more stations under a single owner. These groups would be offered exclusive broadcast rights. As the reactions began to come in, King World adjusted its tactics. Rather than making blanket offers, they decided to open separate negotiations in each city and market. The gamble paid off. Winfrey’s track record proved her a \”hot enough commodity\” to win better deals through individual station negotiation.

To launch Winfrey on the air King World kicked off a major advertising campaign. Media publications trumpeted Oprah’s ratings victories over Donahue in Baltimore and Chicago. The \”Donahue-buster\” strategy was tempered by Winfrey herself, who worked hard not to appear too arrogant or conceited. When asked about head-on competition with Donahue she replied that in a majority of markets she did not compete with him directly and that while Donahue would certainly remain \”the king,\” she just wanted to be \”a part of the monarchy.

By the time The Oprah Winfrey Show went national in September of 1986 it had been signed by over 180 stations–less than Donahue’s 200-plus but approaching that number. As well as refined marketing and advertising techniques, cultural issues also featured prominently in Winfrey’s campaign. Winfrey’s role as talk show host was inseparable from her identity as an African American woman. Her African American heritage and roots surfaced frequently in press accounts. One critic described her in a 1986 Spy magazine article as \”capaciously built, black, and extremely noisy.

These and other comments on her \”black\” style were not lost on Winfrey. She confronted with the issue of race constantly and was very conscious of her image as an African American role model. When a USA Today reporter queried Winfrey bluntly about the issue of race in August of 1986, asking her \”as someone who is not pencil-thin, white, nor blond,\” how she was \”transcending barriers that have hindered many in television,\” Winfrey replied as follows: I’ve been able to do it because my race and gender have never been an issue for me.

I’ve been blessed in knowing who I am, and I am a part of a great legacy. I’ve crossed over on the backs of Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman, and Fannie Lou Hamer, and Madam C. J. Walker. Because of them I can now soar. Because of them I can now live the dream…. Winfrey’s remarks represent the \”double-voiced\” identity of many successful African American public figures. Such figures, according to Henry Louis Gates, demonstrate \”‘his or her own membership in the human community and then … resistance to that community. ”

In the mid-1980s, then, the image of Oprah Winfrey as national talk show host played against both white and black systems of values and aesthetics. It was her vitality as a double-sign, not simply her role as an \”Horatio Alger\” figure, that made her compelling to a national audience in the United States. Hosts like Letterman and Winfrey played multiple roles. They were simultaneously star performers, managing editors, entrepreneurs, cultural symbols and setters of social trends. Of all the star performers who dot the landscape of television, the talk show host might have the most direct claim to the film director’s status as auteur.

Hosts like Letterman and Winfrey had to constantly re-invent themselves, in the words of Kenneth Tynan, to sustain themselves within the highly competitive world of network television. Conclusion The talk show, like the daily newspaper, is often considered a disposable form. The first ten years of Johnny Carson’s Tonight shows, for example, were erased by NBC without any thought to future use. Scholars have similarly neglected talk shows. News and drama offered critics from the arts, humanities, and social sciences at least a familiar place to begin their studies.

Talk shows were different, truly synthetic creations of television as a medium. Nonetheless, talk shows have become increasingly important on television and their hosts increasingly influential. They speak to cultural ideas and ideals as forcefully as politicians or educators. National talk show hosts become surrogates for the citizen. Interrogators on the news or clown princes and jesters on entertainment talk shows, major television hosts have a license to question and mock–as long as they play within the rules. An investigation of the television talk show must, finally, delineate and examine those rules.

Mike Douglas The first governing principle of the television talk show is that everything that occurs on the show is framed by the host who characteristically has a high degree of control over both the show and the production team. From a production point of view, the host is the managing editor; from a marketing point of view, the host is the label that sells the product; from an power and organizational point of view, the host’s star value is the fulcrum of power in contract negotiations with advertisers, network executives, and syndicators.

Without a \”brand-name\” host, a show may continue but it will not be the same. A second principle of television talk show is that it is experienced in the present tense. This is true whether the show is live or taped \”as-if live\” in front of a studio audience. Live, taped, or shown in \”reruns,\” talk shows are conducted, and viewers participate in them, as if host, guest and viewer occupy the same moment. As social texts, television talk shows are highly sensitive to the topics of their social and cultural moment.

These topics may concern passing fashions or connect to deeper preoccupations. References to the O. J. Simpson case on television talk shows in the mid-1990s, for example, reflected a preoccupation in the United States with domestic violence and issues of gender, race, and class. Talk shows are, in this sense, social histories of their times. While it is host-centered, occurring in a real or imagined present tense, sensitive to the historical moment, and based on a form of public/private intimacy, the television talk show is also a commodity.

Talk shows have been traditionally cheap to produce. In 1992 a talk show cost less than $100,000 compared to up to a million dollars or more for a prime time drama. By the early 1990s developments in video technology made talk shows even more economical to produce and touched off a new wave of talk shows on the air. Still, the rule of the market place prevailed. A joke on Johnny Carson’ final show that contained 75 words and ran 30 seconds was worth approximately $150,000–the cost to advertisers of a 30-second \”spot\” on that show.

Each word of the joke cost approximately $2000. Though the rates of Carson’s last show were particularly high, commercial time on television is always expensive, and an industry of network and station \”reps,\” time buyers and sellers work constantly to negotiate and manage the cost of talk commodities on the television market. If a talk show makes money over time, its contract will be renewed. If it does not, no matter how valuable or critically acclaimed it may be, it will be pulled from the air. A commodity so valuable must be carefully managed and planned.

It must fit the commercial imperatives and time limits of for-profit television. Though it can be entertaining, even \”outrageous,\” it must never seriously alienate advertisers or viewers. As we can see from the examples above, talk shows are shaped by many hands and guided by a clear set of principles. These rules are so well known that hosts, guests and viewers rarely stop to think about them. What appears to be one of television’s most unfettered and spontaneous forms turns out to, on closer investigation, one of its most complex and artful creations.

Religion is the Opiate of the Masses

There was once a great philosopher who stated that religion is the opiate of the masses. i believe that this holds true even today. Except what keeps people in a daze is television. Television is rarely used for any good today, for example, do you really think that full house is an intellectual stimulus? hell no. TV is designed to be brain candy for the weak-minded and ignorant. The internet is more useful and I might add, stimulating.

This is a medium in hich you can interact and communicate with others instead of sitting on your ass drooling watching itchy and scratchy. There are honestly interesting sites available on this medium. I have heard people call television the “one-eyed monster”, this simply suggests to me that this person is obviously poor-bred or simply ignorant. Television can be used to convey pornography, religion, drug use, love, or any other possible subject to be dealt with.

The actual machine itself is not bad, t is the people who provide the programming for it that are the cause of the problem. Do people really think I give a rat’s ass if Uncle Joey makes it or not? I do not want to come across as saying that televison should be abolsihed altogether, not at all. I personally love seinfeld and the occasional Beavis and Butthead, but everything in moderation and nothing to excess, so to put it simply, do not overdo it, or you will end up a moron who needs Tom Brokaw to tell them what is right and wrong.

Cable Modems: Cable TV Meets the Internet

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 opened the way for cable TV (CATV) companies to become full-fledged telecommunications companies, offering two-way voice and data communications services, in addition to television programming. After passage of the Act, the cable companies were eager to expand into the new fields of business that had been opened to them, especially the rapidly growing Internet Service Provider (ISP) business. The biggest hurdle facing the cable companies is that cable television systems were designed for one-way traffic, and must be upgraded into modern two-way networks in order to support advanced communications services.

This is an expensive and technically complex undertaking. In addition, interfaces allowing subscriber’s PCs to access the Internet via the CATV cable had to be developed. These interface devices are called cable modems. Cable modems are designed to take advantage of the broadband capability provided by the cable TV infrastructure, enabling peak connection speeds many times faster than conventional dial-up connections. Cable Modems, Cable TV Meets the Internet Cable modems have only recently been introduced for private commercial use.

Cable modems and the cable data networks they are a integral part of hold the promise of providing a great deal of communications bandwidth for the private user. Greater bandwidth equals greater speed in the realm of the Internet. The Internet has only been around for private use for a relatively short period of time, nonetheless, it has grown quite rapidly. It appears that the Internet will continue to grow at a rapid pace. People will begin to use the Internet for more and more applications. Networking will eventually be a part of the most minute parts of our daily lives.

New Internet applications will undoubtedly require greater data speeds, and cable data networks are a tremendous step forward in providing that speed. Cable modem technology is still in its infancy, but it has already revolutionized Internet “surfing”. Cable modems are providing connection speeds that people only dreamed about a short time ago. However, on a greater scale, as more and more people start using cable modem service, the cable companies will have to continue upgrading their networks to keep up with increased demand.

Eventually, fiber-optic cable will reach into individual homes. This breakthrough development will increase bandwidth by orders of magnitude, and it is cable modem that has already started this process. Method “Cable Modems, Cable TV Meets the Internet” is an informative overview of cable modems and cable data systems. Extensive research was done to investigate how cable modems work, and how cable modems fit into a cable data system. The cable industry was only allowed to enter the ISP business less than three years ago.

Because cable modems are relatively new devices, and cable data network technology has advanced rapidly, the latest up-to-date sources of information had to be used to provide accurate information. Recent magazine articles and Internet sites had the most current information. The information in hardcover books was obsolete and dated. After researching the subject, the results of the research were presented in the paper. The references used as sources of information for the paper are cited. Results Cable modems are proven technology.

Cable data networks provide tremendous speed as well as upgrade potential. Discussion The material presented here shows that cable modem technology is robust and has tremendous potential to continue growing. Cable modems are just another step to the total networking of everyday life. This development is still a long way off. But, it is bound to happen. It will happen sooner, rather than later Residential Internet usage has grown rapidly despite the frustratingly slow speeds available through conventional dial-up telephone modem connections.

These voiceband connections are limited to 56 Kbps or less. Surfing the ‘Net with a dial-up modem is usually a click-and-wait experience. There is a tremendous demand for faster Internet connections. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 opened the way for cable TV (CATV) companies to become full-fledged telecommunications companies, offering two-way voice and data communications services, in addition to television programming (Clark, 1999). Cable companies that offer these extended services are known as Multiple Service Operators (MSO).

The aspiring Multiple Service Operators realize there is a sizable market of Web surfers who feel a “need for speed”, and they want to be the ones to meet that need. Cable modems are devices that allow high-speed access to the Internet by way of a cable television network. Cable modems work much the same way as traditional dial-up telephone modems, but cable modems are much more powerful. Instead of using telephone lines as the connection medium to the Internet, cable modems use the cable that carries cable TV programming as its connection medium.

Cable modems are designed to take advantage of the broadband capability provided by the cable TV infrastructure, enabling peak connection speeds many times faster than dial-up connections. More bandwidth equals more speed. A cable modem subscriber may experience access speeds from 500 Kbps to 1. 5 Mbps or more, depending on the cable network architecture and traffic load (Halfhill, 1996). With their blazing speed, cable modems are able to rapidly download large audio and video files, providing true multimedia capability.

In addition to speed, cable modems offer another key benefit: constant connectivity. Cable modems are online as soon as the computer is turned on. This is possible because cable modems use connectionless technology, much like an office LAN (Ostergard, 1998). There is no need to dial in to begin a session, so there are no busy signals and no need to tie up their telephone line. Also, with prices ranging from $40 and $60 per month, which includes cable modem rental and unlimited Internet access, cable modem Internet service is extremely cost effective when compared to other high-speed data systems.

Unfortunately for the cable companies, it is not just a simple matter of attaching cable modems to their subscriber’s PCs and letting them surf away at light speed. To get into the high-speed Internet Service Provider (ISP) business, a CATV company must build an expensive and complex IP networking infrastructure. This network has to be able to support thousands of subscribers. Building cable data network involves addressing such items as Internet backbone connectivity, routers, servers, network management tools, as well as security and billing systems (Salent, 1999).

Furthermore, CATV data systems are comprised of many different technologies, so standards governing cable modems had to be developed which would allow products from different vendors to be interoperable. But, the biggest hurdle facing the cable companies is that cable television systems were designed for one-way traffic, and must be upgraded into modern two-way networks in order to support advanced communications services (Medin, 1999). This is an expensive and technically complex undertaking.

CATV systems were originally designed to deliver broadcast television signals to subscribers’ homes. In the cable industry, this is known as downstream traffic. The Head-end is the central distribution point for a CATV system. Video signals are received at the Head-end from satellites or other sources, frequency modulated to the appropriate channels, and then transmitted downstream through the cable medium into the subscriber’s homes. The subscriber’s television tuner, or set-top cable converter box, demodulates the signal back to a video image.

To insure that consumers could obtain cable service with the same TV sets they use to receive over-the-air broadcast TV signals, cable operators recreate a portion of the over-the-air radio frequency (RF) spectrum within a sealed cable line. The older coax-only cable systems typically operate with 330 MHz or 450 MHz of capacity (Ostergard, 1998). While the newer, more expensive hybrid fiber-optic/coax (HFC) systems can operate at 750 MHz or more (Ostergard, 1998). HFC networks combine both fiber-optic and coaxial cable lines.

About half of the cable subscribers in North America are connected to HFC cable systems. HFC networks cost much less than a pure fiber-optic network, but provide many of fiber’s reliability and bandwidth benefits. The fiber-optic portion of the HFC network is a star configuration where optical fiber feeder lines run from the cable head-end to groups of 500 to 2,000 subscribers (Van Matre, 1999). These groups of subscribers are called cable nodes or cable loops. A trunk-and-branch configuration of coaxial cable runs from the optical-fiber feeders to reach each subscriber.

Because CATV systems were originally designed primarily to send signals downstream, only a small amount of the available bandwidth was allocated for upstream transmissions. There is very little need for upstream communication in CATV system that is used solely for television signal transmission. The allocated upstream bandwidth is a narrow 5 to 42 MHz band residing at the lower end of the cable TV RF spectrum (Barnes, 1997). Downstream cable TV program signals begin at 50 MHz, which is the equivalent of channel 2 for over-the-air television signals. Each standard television channel occupies 6 MHz of RF spectrum.

So a traditional coaxial cable system with 400 MHz of downstream bandwidth can carry the equivalent of 60 analog TV channels, and a modern HFC system with 700 MHz of downstream bandwidth has the capacity for 110 channels (Salent, 1999). To deliver two-way data transmission over a cable network, one unused 6 MHz television channel, in the 50 – 750 MHz range is typically allocated for downstream data traffic. Another unused 6 MHz channel, in the 5 – 42 MHz range, is used to carry upstream data. Whenever someone clicks on a hyperlink, sends e-mail, or uploads files, they are sending data upstream.

Unfortunately, the upstream band is subject to all sorts of interference that can garble data. This shortcoming makes it close to impossible to use a coax-only cable system for two-way high-speed data traffic. Coaxial cable picks up noise from motors, CB radios, microwave ovens, and other appliances. Ham radio and VCRs can interfere tremendously with upstream data. Only CATV systems that have been upgraded to HFC plant are capable of high-speed two-way data transfer. The use of optical fiber reduces noise and increases the upstream bandwidth, facilitating upstream data transmission.

Optical fiber can also transmit signals over much longer distances before requiring amplification. To send the data over the HFC network, laser transmitters convert signals sent from the head-end into optical signals. At each cable node, a laser receiver reconverts the signals so they can again be transmitted over tree-and branch configured coaxial cable plant, which goes into each individual house. The most important factor in the deployment of two-way cable data services is the availability of high-quality two-way HFC plant. But upgrading to HFC is very expensive.

It costs a cable company $200 – $250 per home to upgrade to HFC plant (Clark, 1999). Some cable companies that have not upgraded to HFC are offering cable modems that use the RF coaxial cable spectrum for fast downstream transmission and a traditional dial-up modem to handle upstream communications over the public telephone network. However, telephone-return modems do not provide some key benefits available with two-way cable modems, such as ultra-fast upstream speeds, constant connectivity, and not tying up a subscriber’s telephone line.

The Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) is the central device for connecting the cable TV network to the Internet. The CMTS resides at the cable head-end. All the traffic to and from the cable modems in a cable data network travel through the CMTS. The CMTS connects to an IP router that sends and receives the data from the rest of the Internet. The CMTS interprets the data it receives from individual customers and keeps track of the services offered to each of them. The CMTS also modulates the data received from the Internet so that the head-end equipment can send it to a specific subscriber.

Some Cable Modem Termination Systems provide the capability to let the MSO create different service packages depending on customers’ bandwidth needs (Clark, 1999). For example, a business service can be programmed by the CMTS to receive, as well as transmit, with high bandwidth, while a residential user may be configured by the CMTS to receive high bandwidth downstream traffic and limited to low bandwidth upstream traffic. Cable data network architecture is similar to that of an Ethernet Local Area Network (LAN) (Halfhill, 1996).

Current cable modem systems use Ethernet frame format for upstream and downstream transmissions. Basically, the cable operators are building some of the world’s largest intranets. Cable operators are concentrating on providing high-speed intranet access instead of straight Internet access because a network connection is only as fast as its slowest link. The head-end at most MSOs usually connect to the Internet via a T1 line, which has a data rate of 1. 5 Mbps, significantly slower than a cable modem, which can theoretically deliver 30 Mbps (Brownstein, 1997).

But, the Internet is only as fast as the slowest server. The benefit of a 1. 5 Mbps T1 Internet connection is lost if a subscriber tries to access content stored on a Web server that is connected to the Internet though a 56-Kbps line. Thus, the bottlenecks for Internet traffic in a cable network system are usually the gateway to the Internet, as well as the Internet itself. The cable companies’ solution to this problem is to move the Internet content closer to the subscriber. Many popular Web sites are cached on the cable operator’s server.

So, when a cable modem subscriber goes to access a popular Web page, he will be routed to the server in the head-end at top-speed. If a site isn’t cached, however, the head-end server has to go looking for it out on the congested Internet, just as a conventional ISP’s server does. Cable modem subscribers should see high speeds (multiple MBit/sec) as long as they stay within the local cable network system. However, data transfer rates can slow down considerably when the user needs to venture out onto the Internet.

Like LANs, cable modem systems rely on a shared access platform (Ostergard, 1999). All the cable modem subscribers in a cable loop share available bandwidth to the head-end. Everyone on the local cable loop shares the same cable, which can carry about 30 Mbps total bandwidth. So as more subscribers hook up cable modems, more users will be sharing the same amount of bandwidth. Because of this, there are concerns that cable modem users will see poor performance as the number of subscribers increase on the network.

If congestion does begin to occur due to high usage, the cable operators do have the capability to upgrade bandwidth capacity. A cable operator can easily allocate an additional 6 MHz video channel for high-speed data, doubling the downstream bandwidth available to users. Another option for adding bandwidth is to subdivide the physical cable network by running fiber-optic lines deeper into neighborhoods. This reduces the number of cable modems served by each node segment, and thus, increases the amount of bandwidth available to subscribers.

Six Hours of Television

In looking at modern television programming there are hundreds of shows to choose from. Picking six hours of television to analyze from the prospective of an anthropologist is by no means easy. It is easy however, to talk about what our nation looks like to others who have never been here. Everyone is gorgeous, lives happily, and overcomes all problems, but more on that later. Four hours of the programming I chose is perhaps the most popular programming this year, consistently topping the Nielsen ratings.

For the remaining two hours of programming I decided to look at two police drama shows, one that was rand new this season and one not brand new, but still going strong. For the two hours of police dramas, I looked at programs with different angles. NYPD BLUE is the story of police detectives, and HIGH INCIDENT was a new show that looked at the view of policing from the beat. ‘ HIGH INCIDENT represented one of the first t. v. shows to come from the SKG works of Steven Spielberg. However, just like Spielberg’s previous AMAZING STORIES, HIGH INCIDENT has already ceased to air.

This could still change though, with the next season. Of the remaining four hours, three are on television every Thursday night, and include the tremendously popular FRIENDS, the SINGLE GUY, the hits SEINFELD and CAROLINE IN THE CITY, and the most popular show this year, ER. For the remaining hour I choose to look at THE TONIGHT SHOW, with Jay Leno. Between these shows there are many similarities and many differences. All of these shows can be directly compared with each other, having some of the same qualities. Looking at these shows in the perspective of an anthropologist some disquieting trends emerge.

I will present the information as if an outsider, from another nation, were watching American shows, and believed what he/she was eeing to be true of what goes on in America. Perhaps more realistic than the other shows, NYPD BLUE, and HIGH INCIDENT represent the closest what life is really like. To a foreigner seeing these shows, they would probably believe that America is a blood bath of crime and ill will towards other people. While this isn’t true the whole nation over, there are many cities like those portrayed in these two shows.

Like the other shows I will discuss, these two have casts made up of predominately Caucasian males and females. Other nationalities, such as Asian, Afro-American, and Latino are prinkled in just enough to make sure the shows are politically correct. To an outsider this would show that white males dominate society and life in America. While this is certainly true in some respects, it is unfair to portray it as such on television. Television influences the minds of too many people to show one class or people dominating over another, even when it isn’t obvious to everyone.

NBC’s Thursday night line up begins with the block-buster show FRIENDS, and ends with the number one show, ER. In between are sandwiched more shows that have been hits. Every Thursday begins with two hours of comedy. First on the list is FRIENDS. To an outsider FRIENDS shows the perfect male dominates female role of our society. The girls are ditsy, the blond especially so. Of the three guy friends, only one seems to not have all his brains. Two of the three guys have steady, secure jobs. For the girls it’s three steady, but perhaps unsecure jobs, and poor paying.

The character Rachel works at a coffee shop and Phoebe drives a cab, not exactly something to build careers on. The guys make more money, even the character Joey, who’s job as an actor isn’t steady. Of course each girl is drop-dead gorgeous. To those watching in other countries, America is chalk full of pretty women waiting for a man to come sweep them off their feet. The next show, SINGLE GUY, has a slightly different message. America is also full of very happy married couples. The Single Guy himself is on a mission of marriage. That’s what the entire show is based on.

So far an outsider comes to America, is gorgeous if you’re a woman, and a hunk if you’re a guy, has lots of friends, and is searching for a soul mate. Not quite America, but if you’re watching t. v. it is. Moving on there is SEINFELD. The characters n this show again have many friends. The twist to SEINFELD is that there all a little off the wall. A new angle, come to America, and still have lots of friends if you’re not completely sane. Again the show is composed mostly of Caucasian males and females, with even fewer minority appearances than NYPD BLUE.

The last show of the two hour comedy stretch is CAROLINE IN THE CITY. Here there is a difference, but only a little. This time the women have power over the guys. But, we still have a Caucasian male/female cast. Not a total transformation, but it’s a start. Okay, so now an outsider wants to come to America. After watching two hours of comedy and police drama shows he/she can make several conclusions about what America has to offer, and what he/she will find when stepping onto American soil. The cities of America are boiling with violence and aggression. There is hope though.

It’s very easy to make lots of friends, a few of whom are the off the wall type. After making friends one should get married and then it depends on what gender you are. If you’re a guy you have a well paying, steady, secure job. If you’re a woman, more than likely you work in a job that pays much less than your husband’s. If you want to be an independent woman it’s possible, but harder to attain. One of the above mentioned six shows has a woman in a position higher than a man. That still leaves the number one show to deal with, and don’t forget the late night talk show.

ER, the number one show in the nation, and probably the most diverse of these six hours of television. What does ER show to an outsider. Well, for starters the men still dominate the women. There are more men doctor’s, and they seem to have more decision making power. Minorities are represented here, but for the most part they still hold lesser positions. There only nurses and physician’s assistant’s, instead of doctor’s or surgeons. There is however, the character doctor Benton, who is a surgeon, and is Afro-American.

This program also shows some of the violence that an outsider can count on when coming to America. The biggest myth that ER shows is the level of treatment an outsider can expect to receive in any Emergency Department. While it is true that one can walk into any ER and receive prompt care for their health problem, about one-third the cases represented on the show are not treated in most Emergency Department’s in the nation. Knowing someone who works in an ER, I know this to be true. So now an outsider could come to America and expect to have anything wrong with them fixed at there local ER.

Now after the seriousness of ER an outsider would need to see the lighter side of America. Enter Jay Leno. The TONIGHT SHOW has been around for more than 30 years. If any show was to represent America this is it. Again the same old trend emerges, America is dominated by white males. The other late night talk shows are hosted by David Letterman, Tom Snyder, Conan O’Brian, and Greg Keener. It doesn’t take a nerd to figure it out. The difference between these guys and the actors/actresses from the other shows, is that they have more power, and what they say impact’s people more.

David Letterman likes to say that he is the most powerful man in broadcasting. What applies to Jay Leno and his show applies to all the late night shows. An outsider watches Jay Leno, or any late night talk show, and believes that America is an easy going place, full of good-natured, humorous people. Bob Dole and Bill Clinton are good only for jokes, so why listen when they say something important? Someone who has lived in America for most, or all f their life understands what Bill Clinton and Bob Dole represents, and the jokes are just for fun.

For an outsider Jay Leno is the guy to listen to, and Bill Clinton and Bob Dole are only good for jokes. The result is that watching a late night show could throw an outsider into a quandary, is America full of violence, good friends, or people who go around with little respect for authority figures? The debate is endless. An anthropologist comes to America and watches six hours of t. v. and then goes back home and makes a report. An outsider watches six hours of t. v. before oming here to find out what really goes on in America.

They would expect America to be full of beautiful men and women who are either married and happy, or looking for a mate and happy. They have lots of friends, and some of them are off the wall, the better to balance life. Men dominate women, and Caucasians dominate everyone else. A woman who wants to be independent needs to work hard, and even then it doesn’t happen a lot. Men have high-paying, secure and steady jobs. Women make less, have to usually do more of the grunt work (waitressing, etc. ), and aren’t guaranteed a career.

If you have a health problem, visit your local ER, and they’ll fix it in no time, no matter how serious that problem is. Lastly, life wouldn’t be complete without making fun of Bob Dole or Bill Clinton, who could be brother for all any outsider knows. Television is a powerful medium, and it needs to be used with care. As long as there are people who want to come to America they will watch American shows and conclude that America really is like FRIENDS, or ER, or NYPD BLUE. The sum of these shows does not equal what America really is. Added up, these six hours of television barely scratch the surface.

How The Simpsons Affects Kids

The Simpsons is one of Americas most popular television shows. It ranks as the number one television program for viewers under eighteen years of age. However, the ideals that The Simpsons conveys are not always wholesome, sometimes not even in good taste. It is inevitable that The Simpsons is affecting children. Matt Groening took up drawing to escape from his troubles in 1977. At the time, Groening was working for the L. A. Reader, a free weekly newspaper. He began working on Life in Hell, a humorous comic strip consisting of people with rabbit ears. The L. A. Reader picked up a copy of his comic strip and liked what they saw.

Life in Hell gradually became a common comic strip in many free weeklies and college newspapers across the country. It even developed a cult status. (Varhola, 1) Life in Hell drew the attention of James L. Brooks, producer of works such as Taxi, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Terms of Endearment. Brooks originally wanted Groening to make an animated pilot of Life in Hell. Groening chose not to do so in fear of loosing royalties from papers that printed the strip. Groening presented Brooks with an overweight, balding father, a mother with a blue beehive hairdo, and three obnoxious spiky haired children.

Groening intended for them to represent the typical American family “who love each other and drive each other crazy”. Groening named the characters after his own family. His parents were named Homer and Margaret and he had two younger sisters named Lisa and Maggie. Bart was an anagram for “brat”. Groening chose the last name “Simpson” to sound like the typical American family name. (Varhola, 2) Brooks decided to put the 30 or 60 second animations on between skits on The Tracy Ullman Show on the unsuccessful Fox network. Cast members Dan Castellaneta and Julie Kavner did the voices of Homer and Marge.

Yeardley Smith (later to star in Herman’s Head) did the voice of Lisa. Nancy Cartwright did the voice of Bart. Cartwright previously supplied the voices for many cartoons, including Galaxy High, Fantastic Max, Richie Rich, Snorks, Pound Puppies, My Little Pony, and Glo-Friends. Tracy Ullman later added Cartwright to her cast. (Dale and Trich, 11) Brooks, Groening, and Sam Simon, Tracy Ullman’s producer, wanted to turn the Simpson family into their own show. The Fox network was looking for material to appeal to younger viewers.

The only show they had that drew a young audience was Married With Children. To Fox’s pleasure, The Simpsons saved the network from near failure. (Varhola, 3) On December 17, 1989, The Simpsons got their break. The Christmas special, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” aired. (Dale and Trich, 19) In the episode, Bart got a tattoo, much to Marge’s dislike. She quickly spent all of the family’s Christmas money to remove Bart’s tattoo with a laser. At the same time, Homer, still on his morning coffee break at 4:00 in the afternoon, learns that he will not receive a Christmas bonus.

When he learns that Marge is relying on the money for Christmas, he decides that he will do the Christmas shopping for the year. He quickly buys Marge panty hose, Bart paper, Lisa crayons, and Maggie a dog toy. When he realizes that he is not doing very well, he gets a second job as a mall Santa for the extra money. On the way home from work, he steals a Christmas tree. The next day at the mall, Bart sits on his Dad’s lap and pulls down his beard. Homer responds by choking Bart and making him help make Christmas better. On Christmas Eve, Homer receives his check, $13. 70 for over 40 hours work.

Homer takes Bart to the dog track as a final chance for Christmas money. They discovered a gem in the third race, Santa’s Little Helper. How could this dog loose on Christmas Eve? The odds were 99 to 1, they were going to be rich. Homer put all of his money on Santa’s Little Helper, and to his horror, he never even finished. As Homer and Bart were scouring the parking lot for winning tickets into the night, they saw the track manager throw out a dog. It was not just any dog, it was Santa’s Little Helper. When Bart and Homer came home to their worried family, they had a good Christmas after all.

Now they had a dog. (Pond) “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” was not the typical Christmas story. It dealt with body art, sleeping in the work place, sibling rivalry, stealing a Christmas tree, a misbehaved son, and gambling. Although it was unorthodox, it was very successful. The Fox network decided to air it again on Christmas Eve. (Dale and Trich, 19) In a little over a month, The Simpsons made it’s debut as a weekly show, “Bart the Genius” was the first regular episode. In the middle of a feared assessment test, Bart switches his test with the completed one of Nelson Prince, Class Nerd.

Bart and his parents are called into Principal Seymour Skinner’s office where they are told that Bart has a 216 IQ. (Homer thought is was 912. ) Skinner requests that Bart attends The Enriched Learning Center for Children. Suddenly, Homer takes a liking to his son. They joke together, play ball together, embarrass Marge at an opera together. (“Toreador, oh don’t spit on the floor. Use the cuspidor. That’s what it’s for. ” Bart sings along with the opera Carmen. ) Soon at Bart’s old school, Springfield Elementary School, Bart’s graffiti is roped off and tagged, “The Principal.

By Bart Simpson. IQ 216. ” Bart’s friend no longer like him, they refer to him as Poindexter. The kids at his new school trick him into giving up his lunch. In frank, Bart is miserable. Then, after turning himself green in an uneducated science experiment, Bart reveals to his new principal that he cheated on the test. That night, as Homer is helping Bart clean himself off, Bart tells Homer the same. Homer instantly transforms into a murderous rampage again. The episode ends with Bart locking himself in his room and Homer trying to knock down the door so he can tear Bart into pieces.

Vitti) Soon, Simpsons merchandise was all over America. Every kid wanted an “Underachiever and Proud of It, Man” or an “I’m Bart Simpson, Who the Hell Are You? ” shirt. Hats could be seen everywhere that had Bart dressed like a devil saying “Go For It, Dude! ” or with Homer, his arms open, lunging forward saying “Why You Little. ” The most popular shirt was a family picture with Homer choking Bart. During the first week of school in 1990, two thirds of the sixth graders in America wore Simpsons paraphernalia. (Dale and Trich, 43) As the popularity of The Simpsons grew, so did parents’ fears.

To their horror, Bart Simpson became a role model. “Aye Carumba! ” was a popular expression among kids. Almost anything a child did wrong was attributed to “last Sunday’s Simpsons. ” (Dale and Trich, 45) Bad ideas continued to be broadcast into kids’ minds. In the third episode, a baby-sitter robbed the Simpson household of most of it’s belongings. In the fourth episode, Homer caused a nuclear accident, got fired, and attempted suicide. Bart stole the head off of the statue of Jebidiah Springfield, Springfield’s founder in the sixth episode.

In the eighth episode, Bart took a picture of Homer with an exotic dancer and distributed them to the entire town. Marge had an affair in the ninth episode. Homer stole cable, and almost everything else imaginable in the fifteenth episode. (Groening, 37) The Simpsons is often viewed as one of the biggest threats to Christianity. The Simpson family goes to church on a regular basis, but Bart and Homer loath it.

A typical Sunday School conversation is as follows: Child: “Will my dog, Fluffy go to heaven? ” Sunday School Teacher: “No” Other Child: “How about my cat? Teacher: “No, Heaven is only for people. ” Bart: “What if my leg gets gangrene and has to be amputated? Will it be waiting for me in heaven? Teacher: “Yes” Bart: “What about a robot with a human brain? ” Teacher: “I don’t know! Is a little blind faith too much to ask for? ” (Pepoon) The pastor, Reverend Lovejoy is a hypocrite. In “22 Short Films About Springfield” he leads his dog to the Flanders’ yard to go to the bathroom. He praises the dog until Ned Flanders comes outside. He then acts angry and threatens the dog with hell. When Ned leaves, he praises the dog again.

Swartzwelder) In one episode, Homer quits going to church and falls in love with life. He claims to have his own religion so he doesn’t have to go to work on holidays, such as the Feast of Maximum Occupancy. In a conversation with Lisa: Lisa: “Dad, I don’t understand, why have you dedicated yourself to living a life of blasphemy? ” Homer: “Don’t worry Lisa, if I’m wrong, I’ll repent on my death bed. ” (Meyer) The Simpsons is not just an enemy of Christianity, though. In one episode, where Krusty the Clown is reunited with his father, a rabbi, almost the entire episode is spent making fun of Judaism.

Homer got angry at Marge once for spending lots of money to vaccinate Maggie against diseases she doesn’t have. His advice on how to get out of jury duty is “to tell them that you’re prejudiced against all races. ” His self proclaimed, best advice is, “Sometimes the only way you can feel good about yourself is to make other people look stupid. ” (Groening, 26) Personally, I believe that The Simpsons affects children, but not necessarily in a bad way. Children never hurt themselves mimicking The Three Stooges, nor do they with The Simpsons. Almost every episode ends with a family that loves each other.

Some episodes have answered the question of them affecting children on their own. Once, Marge began to protest Itchy and Scratchy cartoons. Itchy is a psychopathic mouse who’s only purpose is to kill and torture Scratchy, a cat. Nearing the end of the episode, Marge realizes that Itchy and Scratchy is not hurting anyone. They take a satirical view to the situation when a group of mothers try to stop Michaelangelo’s David from visiting the Springfield Museum of Art by means that it is pornographic. (Koger and Wolodarsky) Unlike many sitcoms, The Simpsons is more like everyday life.

Homer works in a power plant. In many other sitcoms, the father works a popular job, such as an accountant, or with a television studio. The Simpson family is not a wealthy family living in a $300,000 house. Many children can relate to this. (Rebeck, 622) In some cases, The Simpsons is educational. Karen Brecze credits Homer Simpson with saving her 8-year-old son, Alex’s life. Bence, of Auburn, Washington, says the boy was choking on an orange when his 10-year-old brother, Chris, used the Heimlich maneuver, which he learned from “Homer at the Bat”, where Homer is choking on a doughnut.

Unlike Alex, Homer doesn’t receive help and coughs up the doughnut as his co-workers look at the Heimlich maneuver poster. (Dyer, D3) The Simpsons affects kids, just as anything around them will. Perhaps people fear The Simpsons because they can see a little of The Simpsons in themselves. We all have inner child’s trying to get out that behave just like Bart. We all do “pull a Homer” sometimes. It just happens. The show doesn’t make us do it. It just happens. If this world did not have The Simpsons children would behave in the same manner, they just might laugh quite as much.

Television Violence Paper

Television violence is a negative message of reality to the children who see it. There is an excessive amount of violence being watched in millions of peoples homes every day, and this contributes to the growing amount of violent crimes that are being committed in our communities. This cycle of more and more sex and violence being portrayed as reality on television will not stop until something is done. Not one parent that I know wants his or her children watching people getting blown away and thrown off cliffs.

But the reality of it is that parents cannot be there 24 hours a day to monitor what their children are watching. In fact the television is often used as a baby-sitter, so that the parent can do housework, have an adult conversation, or just relax after work. The types of people who are the most likely to be harmed by the surplus of violence on TV are children. Ed Donnerstein stated in the February 15, 1996 edition of the Boston Globe the following: Violence turns out to do a lot of harm when it looks harmless.

One of these lessons children learn watching television is that there are few consequences to the person who commits violence or to the victim. Add to this positive portrayal of negative behavior the fact that childrens programs were least likely to show the bad effects of violence and most likely to make it funny” (Goodman pg. 23). We are showing children that violence is humorous and it cant do harm. A researcher by the name of Meltzoff studied learning in infants. He concluded that babies start to learn even before birth. A study by Meltzoff demonstrated observational learning in 14-month-olds.

After watching an adult on television handling “a novel toy in a particular way,” the babies were able to imitate the behavior when presented with the toy 24 hours later (Wood pg. 292). This study indicates that babies learn imitation very early in life. This is why parents should be more particular with what they allow their susceptible children to view on TV. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, television show for children, is a very good example of how violence on TV can affect our children. It is one of the highest rated kids television shows today.

The Power Rangers are everywhere, on everything, from lunch boxes to boxer shorts. And kids want it all. This creates a bind for the parents who know that these items are not so good for their kids. The Power Rangers is one of the most violent shows around right now and kids love it. The violence in the show has led New Zealand and two of the major networks in Canada to ban the program from their daily schedules. Nancy Carlson-Paige of Lesley College said in the December 1, 1994 Boston Globe,” Locally, teachers see evidence that Power Rangers interferes with normal childhood development.

It threatens to undermine childrens mental health because of the way it influences their play” (Meltz pg. A1). Chris Boyatzis of California State University at Fullerton completed the first scientific study of the impact of Power Rangers on children. It showed that those who watch the show are seven times more aggressive in their play than those who dont (Meltz pg. A1). Micki Corley, head 4-year-old teacher and coordinator of the Preschool Experience in Newton Centre said in the same December 1st Boston Globe,” They are confused by it.

They mimic the movements without understanding the consequences. I see kids saying things like, If Im the Red Ranger, Im not really Joe hitting Mary. Im Tommy or Zack hitting someone evil. But its Mary who is hurt and Mary who cries. You can see the confusion on their faces. Theyll say, But I didnt do that” (Meltz pg. A1). One can see that at this stage in the preschooler life he or she is not able to distinguish between real and pretend. Kids and Power Rangers supporters will say that the Power Rangers do have good points about them also.

They say that the characters show respect for adults, they are likable people, and there is always a moral. In fact, the program labels the morals at the end of each show. What we have to ask ourselves is, “Is it really worth it? ” Marilyn Droz, director of research for the National Coalition on Television Violence, conducted a study on the Power Rangers. This is what she came up with: 1. Seventy percent of the kids who watch the show say the fighting is what they like best. 2. In an hour of Power Rangers programming, there is an average of 211 acts of violence.

A typical Saturday morning cartoon hour generally has 25 violent acts per hour. A typical hour of an adult show has six acts of violence (Meltz pg. A1). The Power Rangers are an entertaining part of our childrens day but the few minutes a day they watch may have severe circumstances. The morals, and views of reality of the kids are shattered. These children do not think that what they are doing is wrong when they hit or kick. They say,” The Power Rangers do it, why cant I? ” This makes it even tougher on the parents.

They must explain that what the Power Rangers do on the television set is make believe. This confuses the child because they see it with their own eyes, yet it is not true. We must not pin point the Power Rangers as the one show that influences our childrens violent behavior. Other violent kid TV programs have a similar effect upon children. Cartoons and child programming get most of the attention under this issue because of the damage they can do to the children, but also theatrical movies, and not prime-time series television, bear much of the blame for TVs blood-and-guts reputation.

The UCLA Television Violence Monitoring Report, as published by the September 20, 1995 edition of the Boston Globe, stated that of 121 television series airing during the 1994-95 season, 10 were frequently violent or used violence in questionable ways (Elber pg. 84). Television and the American Child by George Comstock, states on page 27, that the National Television Violence Study, which took three years to finish, shows shocking information about what we are viewing everyday.

What the analysis of 2,693 television programs from 23 channels showed is that a majority of programs contain what the researchers call “harmful violence. ” They found that in 73 percent of the scenes, the violence went unpunished. In nearly half of the programs with slug-fests and shoot-outs, the victims miraculously never appeared harmed. In 58 percent they showed no pain. In fact, only 16 percent of the programs showed any long-term problems physical, emotional or financial. We must show the children that the things that the characters do, do hurt people, and that violence is never the answer to any problem.

We must teach the next generation how to work out his or her problems with his or her “enemy” by talking the problem out with the other, and compromising. Another, more scientific, solution for the problem of violence on TV is the V-chip, technology that would enable parents to block violent programming. President Clinton said on the matter of the V-chip, as stated in the March 6, 1996 edition of the Boston Globe, “Were handing the TV remote control back to Americas parents so that they can pass on their values and protect their children” (Jackson pg. 15).

New president of Creative Coalition, a group that lobbies for First Amendment rights, and ex-actor Christopher Reeves, support the V-chip, if Legislation maintains parental control of television viewing and ensure that only the industry would rate the programs. Reeve recognizes “a serious need” to curb television violence but asserted that the industry, not Congress, was best suited for the job (Hohler pg. 11). I do not agree with the passing of the V-chip. Why should the people who want programs with good morals pay for this? Parents should not have to empty their pockets to block violence and sex.

All programming should be family friendly. If lightweight comedies, public television and weekend sports are not steamy enough, then press your code and unleash AK-47 terror and near-porn into your living room. Instead the Sesame Street viewers have to shell out the cash, instead of the Chainsaw Massacre fans. They should go to the electronic store and buy a television with a S&G-chip, for sex & guts. Let them earn their violence by paying for it. Parents of peace are about to make electronic stores rich. Fans of gutter and gore do not have to lift a finger for either their clicker or their wallet.

I do not believe that we should be trying to solve this problem by putting a mere computer chip into the TV. We need to solve the problem by going to Hollywood and telling the industry that this type of programming in not necessary. We need to tell them to be creative, and use their brains. They are taking the easy way out by showing this stuff. In the long term we all suffer for it. There probably will never be an end to the controversy of television violence. We are getting more and more information and on the effects of television violence.

Telecommunication Act Essay

Since the beginning of time, people have had the need to communicate with one and other. The most common type of communication is speech, but you could not talk to someone who lived 20 miles away. Then written language was developed, people marked symbols on paper, stone, or whatever was available. Then hundreds of years passed, and people who wanted to share their ideas with people had to do allot of writing, until someone thought to make a writing machine. This machine is called the printing press.

In this day and age we as a global community are growing at a super fast rate. Telecommunication is a vital tool, which aids us in breaking the distance barrier. Over the past decades there has been a monopoly in the telecommunications business, but now with the power of the telecommunication, and super fast data transfer rates people can communicate across the globe. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the first major rewrite of the Telecommunications Act of 1934.

Before the new act, the nation had seen the birth of television (both black and color); the increase of network, cable, and satellite broadcasting; advances in phone service; the birth and growth of cellular phone service; and the rapid increase in the use of computers and the Internet. The need for a major overhaul was long overdue. The previous act basically had to worry about what was going on with wire and radio. The 1934 act thought of communications as a natural monopoly. Communications were clearer cut back then and it was easier to think of just one organization regulating the use of that technology whether it was radio or wire.

Telecommunication now is more diverse and affects the society more directly. We have products that combine technologies like cable and cellular phone systems that provide Internet access. Telecommunications Act of 1996 In February of 1996, the U. S. Congress enacted the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The Act was one of the most substantial changes in the regulation of any industry in recent history. The Act replaced all current laws, FCC regulations, and the consent degree and subsequent court rulings under which AT&T was broken into the “baby Bells. ” It also overruled all existing state laws and prohibited states from introducing new laws.

Practically overnight, the telecommunications industry went from a highly regulated and legally restricted monopoly to open competition. Or almost open competition. It has been more than three years since the Act became law, and while we have seen some changes, they have not been as substantial as many analysts, law- makers, and regulators had anticipated. The Act addressed five major areas of telecommunications: 1) Local telephone service, 2) Long distance telephone service, 3) Cable television service, 4) Radio and television broadcasting, 5) Censorship of the Internet.

The primary goal of the Act was to promote competition for local telephone services, long distance telephone services, and cable TV services. Inter-exchange carriers (IXC) (such as AT&T, Sprint, and MCI) and cable TV companies (such as TCI and Jones Inter-cable) are permitted to offer local telephone service. The “baby Bells” or Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOC) (also called Local Exchange Carriers (LEC) such as BellSouth and Ameritech were permitted to offer long distance telephone services and cable TV services.

The RBOC were also permitted to manufacture their own equipment and to offer online information services and electronic publishing (but under tight controls until 2000). Incidentally, electric utility companies, another traditionally highly regulated industry, were permitted to enter the local telephone market. I believe that the Act made the most impact on Local telephone service. Local telephone service had been a regulated monopoly for almost 100 years. Local telephone services are currently controlled by a handful of RBOCs who have not been known for innovation or cost cutting.

Under this new Act, local service was now open for competition. Other companies are permitted to build their own local telephone facilities and offer services to customers. However, building entirely new facilities are prohibitively expensive. Under the Act, existing RBOCs would have to offer their telephone services to other companies (e. g. , AT&T) at wholesale prices. These other companies will then resell the services to consumers at retail prices in competition with the RBOC.

The wholesale prices are set by state regulatory agencies and typically are around 20% under the RBOCs current retail prices (but some states have set them as low as 40% under retail). One of the major concerns of permitting open competition were the very real fear that the profit motive would lead companies to focus on the most profitable markets and avoid the least profitable ones. For example, after deregulation of the airline industry, prices dropped dramatically for large urban centers, but steadily rose for small rural centers. Common sense suggested that the same events would occur in the telephone market.

Urban customers would benefit from increased competition while rural customers would see their prices increase sharply to accurately reflect the high cost of providing services in sparsely populated areas. Therefore, the Act contained a universal service requirement, which mandated RBOCs to provide rural and other high-cost areas with similar types and quality of services and technologies that they provide to other areas and to do so at reasonable rates. RBOCs were also required to provide special, less expensive access to schools, hospitals, and libraries.

RBOCs (with the exception of small RBOCs) were required to contribute to a universal service fund, which was used to partially subsidize the RBOCs providing services under the universal service requirements. One year after the Act was passed the expected competition for local telephone service had not materialized. The RBOCs launched several court challenges and managed to delay any real changes. Several cable TV companies have test marketed local telephone service, but none have committed to providing full scale services; most have quietly terminated plans to enter the market after unsuccessful test-marketing.

Similarly, most telephone companies have quietly terminated plans to provide video to their customers. Most analysts expected the Big Three IXCs (AT&T, MCI, and Sprint) to quickly charge into the local telephone market. Sprint has made small moves also providing cellular telephone services in five urban areas. AT&T has barely begun test-marketing the reselling of RBOC services in California — although it claims it will soon begin reselling RBOC services in all 50 states (something it has been claiming since early 1996). Only MCI has begun building its own local telephone network.

It has established fiber optic services (SONET) in 18 large urban centers and is actively trying to lure the largest corporate customers away from the local RBOCs. There has been active competition in the long distance telephone market for many years, but RBOCs have been specifically prohibited from providing long distance services. The Act permitted the RBOCs to provide long distance outside the regions in which they provide local telephone services. However, they are prohibited from providing long distance services inside their region until at one viable competitor exists for local telephone services.

To date, several RBOCs (e. g. , GTE and SNET) have moved aggressively into the long distance market. They have focused exclusively on out-of-region long distance by buying long distance services from IXCs and reselling them, usually to large corporate accounts. However, none have moved into the in-region long distance market because none face real local competition. All of the RBOCs claim to have plans to offer in-region long distance, but because they have been aggressively fighting court battles to keep competitors out of their local telephone markets.

While more competition in the long distance markets has occurred in recent years, it is still an open question whether most people will see competition in the long telephone market. Many analysts believe that local competition will focus on business customers, not the more common household customer. Even with competition reaching households, most analysts believe it will be another few years for all customers to have a viable option for local telephone service. On February 15, 1997, 68 counties signed an historic agreement to deregulate or at least lessen regulation in their telecommunications markets.

The countries all agreed to permit foreign firms to compete in their internal telephone markets. Major U. S. firms (e. g. , AT&T, MCI, BellSouth) are now permitted to offer telephone service in most of the industrialized and emerging nations in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Likewise, overseas telecommunications giants (e. g. , British Telecom) are permitted to enter the U. S. market. This increased competition in the U. S. , but the greatest effect is likely to be felt in emerging countries. Cable television and television broadcasting also met changes.

Deregulation of the cable industry meant big changes. Rate regulation requirements were removed this year also allowing cable companies to offer long distance services. The act also mandated the use of the V-chip. A computer chip installed in new TVs to censor certain programs from children. The TV companies were allowed to reach 35 percent of the nations televisions (previously 25 percent) giving them a broader audience. The terms for the licenses to broadcast were lengthened from 5 to 8 years, and were given 6MHz of digital bandwidth, which equals to an additional channel.

The Supreme Court struck down the Telecommunications Act that sought Internet censorship in June 1996. It was ruled that Internet censorship was unconstitutional. The ACLU and many civil rights activists were firmly against this policy. As Thomas Jefferson put it Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

All in all, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 brought tremendous changes into the telecommunications field. Such regulatory acts are needed to insure consumer rights in this Corporate world we live in. The gift of choice, the freedom to revel in our options is one of the foundations of how this great country came to be. We need to cherish that factfor eternity.

Television As A Medium For Modern Day Myths

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s television programming developed rapidly into more than an assortment of fact and fiction narratives; it became itself a social text for an increasing population, “functioning as a kind of code through which people gleaned a large portion of their information, intellectual stimulation, and distraction” (Danesi, 240). Since its inception in the mid-1930s, many of television’s programs have become the history of many cultures.

French semiotician Roland Barthes (1915-1980) claimed that “television shows are often based around a mythologie, in reference to the fact that the original mythic themes continue to reverberate residually in modern-day societies, especially in discourse, rituals, and performances” (Perron, 35). In other words, television is a medium through which modern day mythologies become constructed, developed, and eventually discarded.

Programs like Saved by the Bell, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Family Guy and The O. C. exemplify this concept by reinforcing or undermining traditional family structure, dictating the latest fashion, and moulding the ideal’ teenager. As a result, society plans their daily routine around these modern day values’. The mythology of fatherhood that TV constructed and developed from the 1950s to the early 2000s began with the traditional patriarchal family structure. The produced father figure was one who was in charge of the family, with his wife working at home, making the husband comfortable.

This mythology of fatherhood reflected the social mindset of the 1950s (Danesi, 229). In the 1960s and early 1970s the perspective changed drastically and the new view on the patriarchal family was that the father was an “opinionated, ludicrous character” (Danesi, 229). The deterioration of the 1950s father figure myth was most prominent in many of the sitcoms in the 80s and 90s. A typical example would be The Simpsons, “a morbid parody of fatherhood and of the nuclear family” (Danesi, 229). Homer Simpson, the father of the Simpson family, was boorish, idiotic, immature and disgusting.

His wife, Marge, was still a stay-at-home mom and his son, Bart, was a menace, whereas the daughter Lisa was a brilliant second-grader. The males of the show were portrayed as shallow and despicable. The Simpsons (1989) and Family Guy (1999) and other “similar sitcoms constituted a scathing indictment of traditional family values and roles” (Danesi, 230). The fathers on these sitcoms were pathetic and undeserving of the title of father’. The television programs of the 1950s and 1960s sugar-coated the typical family and built up the mythology of a patriarchal family.

However, this mythology was challenged by the uprising of strong, independent, working women. For example, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990) depicted a clean-cut and wealthy family that was black, with a mother that was a professor at a university. The Cohen family in The O. C. (2003) drama television series represent a wealthy, white family, with a working mother who is the major bread-winner’ of the family. These shows and many others portrayed strong, independent women who were attempting to survive, socially and professionally, in a world that was deconstructing patriarchal structures (Danesi, 230).

Strong-willed women are not the only force that is disassembling these traditions. The dysfunctional family is now also taking into effect. The show Desperate Housewives (2004) demonstrates the increasing number of families in this period that are separating and losing the traditional value of family’. This show contains cheating spouses, and generally wives who are desperately vying for attention and love. In this day and age, sitcoms and dramas deal with controversial yet honest groundbreaking discussions of current social issues.

Since the dawn of television shows, most of society select their clothes and have their lifestyle dictated by the actors and actresses of popular television shows (Thorton, 70). In 1989 when Saved by the Bell first aired, many young girls followed the wardrobe of the beautiful Kelly Kapowski, and boys kept up with Zack Morris’ taste in cars and girls. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air adopted the MC Hammer style with its colourful button-up shirts, big pants, and not to mention the high tops with untied shoelaces.

In semiotic terms, a system is a field of related things and their meaning comes from how they relate to each other. Unlaced shoelaces may mean nothing when taken by themselves, for example, but when viewed within the system of teen fashion in the late eighties – a system that included the growing popularity of the imagery of the urban street gang – they may mean a lot. Projecting an image in that system was called hip-hop (Maasik, Solomon). In the mid-90s, Friends came on the air and made a huge impact in the fashion world.

The hairstyle of Rachel Gellar created a fashion frenzy in the year of 1994-1995, marking its place in historical fashion books and in culture. The clothing worn on the show by Rachel, Phoebe and Monica were desperately sought after by many girls for the next decade. The morals, principles and ideals of this group of friends reflected the values of the society (Miller, 93). The gang’s local hangout, Central Perk, made the idea of “hanging out” in a coffee shop appealing, and the idea of living with your friends seemed easy and fun.

Because of the show’s appeal and humour, sleeping around was normal and praised. In 1998, That 70’s Show Okayed the return of bell-bottoms and confirmed the concept of sleeping around. The show also promoted “hanging out”, having fun, and hardly ever doing any homework. In the same year, the advent of Sex and the City came upon us and documenting our sex lives became the norm. The fashion of the four girls did not go unnoticed and their high class apparel was photographed in all the major magazines (Miller, 47). The O. C. no exception to this phenomenon.

The high fashion of Marissa Cooper and Summer Roberts tailored the fashion of 2000, making girls flock to the nearest Cosmopolitan-like store. The lifestyle of The O. C. is extremely laid back and compelling, making it highly coveted and mimicked. Consequently, clothing fashion is an ideological statement about the social values of the time, and the lifestyles portrayed on television represent the mythologies that will eventually be discarded and renewed by a new perspective (Thorton, 53).

Not only was the father-figure mythologically’ structured, but the archetypal teen was also identified. Since the very late-eighties did the ascension of rebellious teenagers occur and has continued to appear on all the television shows (Thorton, 86). Saved by the Bell instigated the up rise of teenage misdemeanor and light teenage angst. Its humour and coverage of social teen issues exuded the type of honesty that kids were able to relate to. Zack, the main character, and his crazy antics got him into a lot of trouble, however, he also got the girl’ and many viewers thought he was extremely cool’.

The teenagers in this show gave the impression that in order for teens to be cool’, they would need a set of friends with both the opposite sex, who were able to have fun whenever they wanted, give or take a few chores around the house. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air emitted that same type of image. However, these teens also had the perfect body, face, clothes and style. They were also very popular and were only subject to simple teenage drama. This is also apparent in the show, That 70’s Show, where being the ultimate sex-symbol was important as a teenager.

In The O. C. ll of the aforementioned stipulations of the typical show about the ideal’ teenager applied and the good, well-off lives of Orange County teenagers became the lives that most teenagers desired. All of these shows contained beautiful characters with great friends and eventful lives complete with a local hangout’ and boyfriend/girlfriend problems. A large amount of teenagers today try to incorporate these lifestyles into their own (Maasik, Solomon). The myth that these teenagers behave and live in a fantastic social world is developed through the desires of society and is reflected upon the ideals of the community.

Television, like a religious narrative, constitutes a social text that is directive of behaviour and lifestyle” which is evident through the examples of various television shows in the past century (Danesi, 228). Many television shows dictate the type of acceptable behaviour and lifestyle of the time and hinders individual thought and perception. The ideal family, life, fashion and image is indicative of the social values of society and can just as easily be constructed, developed and eventually destroyed. The social values of society must keep up with the changes that occur constantly.

The irregularity of television only emphasizes the mythological effect that television shows attain, especially the power of change. Using television as a medium of projecting history and culture, also gives opportunity for technology to dictate our lives. The social standards of our culture are represented through the glass or LCD or plasma screen of a rectangular box. It can reinvent our entire culture, as indicated through the obvious change of family structures, fashion and lifestyle requirements, and teenage ideology. Be that as it may, television functions our way of life.

Liquor Ads on TV

According to Antonia Novello, Surgeon General of the United States, in SIRS Government Reporter, the principle cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 24 are alcohol related car crashes (1). Doesn’t it make sense that we should concentrate our efforts into reducing this problem of alcohol abuse? Apparently DISCUS, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, doesn’t think so. Worsnop says that on November 7, 1996, they removed their voluntary ban of hard liquor ads on television and radio that had been in affect since 1936 (219).

He then states that the removal came right after Seagram, a liquor company, advertised for some of their hard liquor on KRIS-TV in CorpusChrist, Texas (219). This movement is definitely a step in the wrong direction and action should be taken to reinstate this ban, but this time legally. First of all, the removal of the ban gave DISCUS a bad reputation. Already the four major TV networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX) have vowed not to air ads for hard liquor (Worsnop 219). DISCUS has also lost respect in the field of politics, especially with numerous congressmen and the President, himself.

Worsnop said “Beer group representatives think DISCUS’ announcement undercut its credibility in Washington” (219). Bill Clinton referred to the decision as “simply irresponsible” (qtd in Worsnop 219). Secondly, many of these advertisements for liquor have been said to target teens. However, Seagram’s executive vice president of marketing strategy, Arthur Shapiro, said that Seagram had taken “great pains that our advertising doesn’t appeal to or aim at children” (qtd in Krantz 1). This is not so, according to Katherine Prescott, who pointed out the use of animals and a graduation theme in Seagram’s commercial.

This seems to associate the use of alcohol with academic success when the two rarely coexist (Tannert 2). Clinton also expressed his concern that the ban may cause increased drinking among minors (Facts on File 492 vol 57). Even if teens were not targeted directly in an advertisement, Froehlich says “Teenagers are three times as likely as adults to respond to ads… ” This is party due to their self-insecurity (Froehlich 1 Novello in SIRS Researcher 5). It has been suggested that in order to reduce teen response to advertisements, counter-advertising should be used.

This is when advertisements are shown that discourage illegal or abusive use or products. Research projects showed that while advertising increased consumption, counter-advertising had a successful, opposite affect (Saffer 4). While this sounds like a good idea, why would a company counter-advertise a product they are trying to sell? It would be just the same to not advertise in the first place and save a lot of money. Many believe that while ads do cause product use, they merely persuade people to change to a specific brand.

However, in a survey of 534 teens, “the percentage of teens who said the ads make smoking and drinking more appealing was greater than the percentage who said ads make then want the product. ” Teens who had at least five drinks in a row during the two weeks prior to the survey taken consisted of 16% of 8th graders, 25% of 10th graders and 30% of 12th graders (Horovitz and Wells 3-5). These ads are clearly having an affect on young adults, and even the teens, themselves, have no doubt they are the primary target of most beer and liquor ads (Horovitz and Wells 3).

Another argument made by distilled spirits advocates is that their industry should be treated just like the beer and wine industry because “alcohol is alcohol” (Krantz 1). While alcohol may very well be alcohol, it does come in different amounts. Most liquors have much more concentrated amounts of alcohol than beers and wines do. Distilled spirits companies have also complained that their business has declined because they were unable to advertise while beer and wine companies were allowed to advertise.

Beer sales have nearly doubled since the 1960’s, while liquor sales have declined 29% since 1980 (Coming to a TV Screen 1). Even though the distilled spirits industry has been obviously hurt by their inability to advertise, it doesn’t mean to say they should reduce their morals to the level of beer and wine companies. Rather than removing their own ban and using the beer and wine industry as an excuse, DISCUS should lobby for a ban on wine and beer to produce an equal mark! et in that way.

This would allow all three industries to save from not having to worry about competition in the advertising field. . It’s time to turn around and get moving back in the right direction. DISCUS should stop acting irresponsibly and reinstate their voluntary ban to prevent legal enforcement and embarrassment. We need to be aware and concerned about what kinds of advertisements are displayed on television. And as Norman Douglas once said “You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements” (724).

Television And The World

Television and other aspects of the media have such a great influence on childrens thoughts and behaviors. Media also has put stereotypes on women in the media and this also has a huge effect on the thoughts and beliefs of children. Children spend an average of 16 hours a week watching television, if you add movies to the mix they spend as many as 55 hours in front of the television. Other parts of the media play just as important roles in the lives of children. The Internet allows adolescents to view pornography with the push of a button.

Everything that a child hears and views over the course of a day give them a self-perceived notion of the way the media decides to portray women. Children have almost no chance to decide in what to believe in and what not believe in. The effect of what children learn when they are young can and probably will be harmful to them when they become older. Over the course of one year children will view nearly 15,000 sexual references. The family hour (8-9 P. M. ) contains an average of eight sexual incidents.

Studies have shown that teenagers who watch soap operas and MTV have increased amounts of sexual experiences. The same study also showed that not one person believed that their favorite soap opera stars would use any type of birth control. Shows have yet to feature any possible risks or responsibilities while being sexually active. A study of television has concluded that although two-thirds of primetime programming contain sexual content, less than one in ten feature the possible risks or responsibilities associated with sexual activity.

Lower (1999). If birth control is not shown being used in the media then why will teenagers believe in using it? Hardly ever after a sexual encounter on television does a problem come up, whether it be pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease. Children do notice this and believe that nothing bad can result from having intercourse. “Whether they mean to or not, television shows are communicating important messages about sex to their viewers,” said Vicki Rideout, director of the foundations program on the entertainment media and public health.

In addition , the united states continue to have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the western world, despite the fact that American teenagers are not having intercourse in greater numbers than their world peers. (White) The high pregnancy rate in the United States has to do with not enough access to birth control and not enough knowledge about sex. There are still people who believe that sex should be taught at home and not through the use of the media. Lower (1999).

Dick Wolf executive producer of “Law and Order” said, ” I think that the producers primary responsibility is to entertain, Im really troubled by the fact that we are supposed to send a message. ” Arguments were made after the show “Felicity” a teen oriented show featured a demonstration on how to use condoms. “There are still many people out there who believe the less said the better”, stated Jamie Kellner the network chief executive producer at Warner Brothers. So what can America do?

It seems that however the media portrays sex that there will be critics against what the media is doing. MTV, the most watched network among teenagers, constantly has shows on that have to do with sex. As of recently MTV has put on such shows as “Loveline” which discuss sexual issues and problems with callers usually between the ages of 17-25. On the spring break special MTV had a habit of showing women taking of their tops for the camera and even had a contest with a man and a women to see which couple could change into each others swimming suits the fastest in a Volkswagen bug.

The point of showing these types of things are only for ratings and gives the young Americans who watch this the wrong idea of what is out there. Wisocki (1982) found among 78 college students, that holding sexually stereotypic views of themselves was positively associated with watching programs with stereotypical sex-role portrayals, but not with over all television watching. Which proves that if sex is not on television views of young adults will be more thought out and be their own beliefs rather than what the media wishes for them to believe.

Many will argue the characters on television and their behaviors can affect the knowledge of their younger viewers. Bandura (1977) Children admire actors from their favorite shows and movies and very often will do anything in their power to look and act like them. Boys learn at a very young age that to be a man one must fight and kill in shows that they are viewing. Incidents in recent years have even led to deaths. An example would be in 1991 a young boy in Connecticut watched an episode of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and then went outside only to beat the neighbor child up until he died.

When asked why he did he said because the ninja turtles did. This could be the same reason why teenagers decide to have sex. When they see such popular teen shows as “Party of Five” and “Beverly Hills 90210” having sexual encounters and not having any sexual transmitted diseases or a pregnancy then they to believe that having sex can lead to almost nothing bad. If shows that aim them selves to the younger audience, would take a stand and incorporate sexual education into the program then teens would be more likely to be safer when deciding to or when having intercourse.

Research done by Downing (1974) found that 29. 5% of women on day time television to be playing the role of housewife. A study by Signorelli (1989) found that women are also portrayed as younger than their men counterparts and most are almost always under the age of fifty. Children can receive all the wrong messages when watching shows with these types of situations. A study done by Cordua (1981) showed preschool children and first grade students a video showing a female doctor and a male nurse. They found that the majority of the children recalled the male as the doctor.

He concluded that one of the most difficult tasks of counterstereotyping is to dissuade children out of their beliefs of the roles of males in our society. Singer and Singer (1981) conducted more research with preschool aged girls. This study showed that young girls are now all emulating the behaviors of Wonder Women, Charlies Angels, and Bionic Women. This shows that young girls now have role models to look up to that are doing the same types of things the males are doing in the media. Dominick (1992) in a study showed a noticeable consistency in gender roles published between 1970 and the early 1990s.

Results showed that more women on television in the 1980s were portrayed as working in contrast to the women of the 1960s and the 1970s. However women are still underrepresented and still appear to hold a lower status position than men. Televisions impact on children is largely based on the fact that the most American children spend a great deal of time in front of the television. The average high school graduate will have been exposed to as many as 350,000 commercial messages. Alder (1980). Some critics feel that any type of advertising towards children is unfair and unacceptable.

They say this because children should not be harmed or exploited because of advertisements. In April 1978, the FTC announced a rule regarding television advertising towards children. (Federal Trade Commission 1978). Certain characteristics of product presenters notably their sex, race, occupation, or social behavior, can contribute to children learning social stereotypes. Alder (1980). Children do notice that women are always selling the dish soap or the laundry detergent and if they are not selling a cleaning product their parading around in a bikini selling beer to a group of hollering men.

Advertisements also have a tendency to group certain races with their own race and do interchange races very often. Childrens commercials even are guilty of this. In commercials for cabbage patch dolls the African American girl is always seen playing with the African American doll, while the white girl is always playing with the white doll. This is teaching children segregation rather than equality. Children have the ability to take in all the stereotypes that they have seen and these beliefs could be with them the rest of their lives because of the influence it had on them at such a young age.

The Internet offers children of all ages to view pornography with the push of a few keys. As society becomes more dependent on computers, children too are learning the ropes and how to use them. The Internet has explicit sights that only ask to confirm that youre actually 18. Children are viewing pornography at a younger age and this could be a direct correlation to why American children are becoming sexually active at a younger age. Nothing good can come out with viewing explicit sexual acts, which is why it can only hurt children to look at this crap.

Some times it has even led to sexual violence because of what a child has seen on the Internet. Parents can block these sites from their computers but as children become more educated through the use of computers they will be able to find ways around it. Pornography does nothing good for society and until we decide to do something about it children will still be able to view it. The only safe way for children to learn about sex is through schools and by their parents, sex can not be taught through the use of vulgar pictures and stories. Ramstien (1998) Harmful stereotypes can take many forms.

They portray women as dumb blondes, childlike, ding-a-lings, obsessed with men, a housewife, a sex object and so on. All of these stereotypes are dangerous but none is more harmful then the one that promotes the “thin ideal. ” (Gustafson) Although work has been done to eliminate stereotypes, the society and life styles of women have only created new and different stereotypes. The most dangerous stereotype is the one that promotes the “thin ideal. ” This tells women that to be beautiful and fashionable one must be thin, this of course only leads to deadly eating disorders.

Mass media has been identified as a leader in the cause of anorexia nervosa. The message is sent to be attractive and successful one must be “ultraslender. ” (Gustafson) Karen Carpenter, a popular singer in the late 70s, had severe problems with anorexia, which eventually led to her death. She felt no matter how skinny she was she had to be skinner and this was all because of a manager who told her to lose a few pounds. Other famous actors have battled with this disease, for example, Tracy Gold from the sitcom “Growing Pains” has dealt with it and even come out into the public to share her story and help others.

Advertisements can be just as deadly to the beliefs of a young lady. Everyday girls are faced with beautiful super models from the magazines they read, to the makeup they use, and from the television they watch. They are faced with seeing the “perfect body” on a number of occasions everyday of the week. Among 56 high school girls between 16-18 years old, those exposed to 15 beauty product commercials subsequently attached greater importance to being popular with men and accorded beauty characteristics more importance “for you personally” than those who did not see the commercials.

Tan (1979). Everyday children and women are faced with experiences that could lead to a major change in their life. Advertisements and television programming effect the beliefs of young people whether it is sexual, racial or what ever it may be. Children must have the education to decide for themselves that it is all right to have friends of different race and it is not all right to treat women as sex objects. Young girls are faced with a life threatening decision everyday as they look at models that to them are perfect.

In a perfect world the media would be a direct correlation to that of society, until that day comes we must teach or young what is right and what is wrong, so they to have an opportunity to make an educated decision. America needs to stop worrying about them selves and start to worry about the future of the country. If the future is not put in front of the needs of others then as the young grow up they to will live in a society filled wit stereotypes, sex and racism.

Ever since the invention of the television in 1939, African Americans have been portrayed as maids, servants or clowns. These negative perceptions started to appear in sitcoms such as in Amos and Andy, who were the stereotypical blacks who never took anything seriously. All those views changed during the 1970’s when black sitcoms were becoming more reality based. Although blacks have been, and often still, portrayed in a negative way on TV, there has been some improvements of stereotypical images of African Americans on television. There were five stereotypical roles of blacks between 1940-1970, they included, the Tom, Coon, Mammy, Tragic Mulatto, and the Buck (Gray “Recognizing”). The “Tom” was always insulted, but kept to his faith and remained generous and kind. The “coon” (most used image) was always lazy, unreliable and constantly butchered his speech. The “mammy” was more distinguished than the coon only because of her sex. She was usually big and plump and full of life. The “tragic mulatto” was fair-skinned, trying to pass for white. They were well liked and believed that their lives could have been enhanced if they were not born biracial. The last stereotype was the “buck”. He was the big, oversexed black man (Gray “Recognizing”). In the late 1960’s, there were shows like “I Spy” and “The Flip Wilson Show” which had blacks starring in them. Starting in 1971, shows were premiering everywhere with black casts (Crenshaw “Cosby Show”). Sanford and Son appeared on NBC on January 14,1972, to replace another show (Booth 2). The show took place in South Central California, where Fred Sanford and his son Lamont lived and owned a junkyard. Fred was satisfied with his little business. However, Lamont, wanted something bigger and better. Fred would do any and everything in his power to keep his son from abandoning him and the business. Every time Lamont threatened to leave, Fred would do his famous act and fake a heart attack and start moaning to his late wife, “I’m coming, Elizabeth, I’m coming. ” Lamont, never fooled by his father’s scheme loved him and, despite his future aspirations and what he said about his future, really would not have left him (“Network and Cable”). They were rated the 6th most popular show during the 1971-72 season, and 10th during the 1976-77 season (“20 Most”). The stereotypes were still there, but realistic views were appearing on the show of realistic lives of black men. After Sanford and Son aired, many others followed. Good Times appeared in 1974 (Ingram “Good times”). Florida and James Evans were lower middle-class blacks, with their three children in a high-rise located in the ghetto on the south side of Chicago. J. J. , an amateur painter, was the oldest, Thelma was a year younger than he, and Michael was five years younger than she. James, who was always in and out of jobs, made their lives difficult at times, but there was always plenty of love in the family. The famous catch phrase from J. J ,”Dy-No-Mite” became very popular in the mid 1970s (Ingram 69). During its first season, Good Times was the 17th most popular show (“20 Most”). Many black families related to the characters. Each character complemented the other and you saw for the first time how black families showed their love. Moreover, this was the first black show that had controversial issues such as gun control, murder, and drug use, and abortion (“Network and Cable”). These were topics previously unexplored on television. Good times were one of the most original shows on television in its time. The Jefferson’s were seen often on “All in the Family” from 1972-1975 (“Network and Cable”). The Jefferson’s was an extremely popular TV show during the 70s and 80s. It focused on a black family making it to the top in New York City. George Jefferson was a successful dry-cleaner, who owned and operated seven stores. He and his wife “Weezy” started out with nothing, living with George’s mother. They moved to a house in Queens, NY once George’s new business hit big. As he became more successful, they moved, with their son Lionel, into the famous “dee-luxe apartment in the sky”. As their lives became more strenuous they decided they needed a maid, so they hired a black maid. She possessed wise-cracking humor which made the show much more appealing. The best friends of the Jefferson’s were the Willis’s, an interracial couple (“Network and Cable”). The Jefferson’s had in its show what no other show had. Many other shows had a few episodes with interracial relationships; yet, The Jefferson’s had an interracial couple as supporting actors on the show. There were always a variety of episodes. There were funny episodes, light episodes, and ones that almost made you cry. The Jefferson’s was not just a comedy; it was a show that taught America, and especially blacks, that if they worked hard and with diligence, they could achieve anything. The Jefferson’s were in the top 20 for seven years (“20 Most”). When the eighties rolled in, so did a new stereotype of blacks. They were no longer the “coons”, but now, people were viewing blacks as lower-class, yet still happy, content people (Booth 23). There was a new image blacks had to confront head on and crush. In the late 1970s to the early 80s, there was a famous icon and saying that came form one Pint-sized little boy. The boy was from an interracial show named Dif’rent Strokes. 8-year-old Arnold with his famous, “Whatchu talkin about Willis”, and his 12-year-old brother Willis were two black kids from Harlem who one day found themselves suddenly in the lap of luxury. Their dying mother, a housekeeper for wealthy Philip Drummond, had taken from her employer the promise that he would look after her two boys when she passed away. It didn’t matter that there were endless double takes when the rich, white Philip Drummond, president of the huge corporation Trans Allied, Inc. introduced the two spunky black kids as his “sons (“Network and Cable”). Also in the household was Kimberly, his 13-year-old daughter and the new, careless housekeeper, Mrs. Garret. There was always plenty of love to go around. Everybody learned little lessons about life and what was right and wrong in each episode. The show also tackled serious issues ranging from child abuse and the dangers of hitchhiking (“Network and Cable”). There was a huge controversy over the interracial relationships between the two boys and Philip. Critics protested that the show was not realistic. But in a study performed by US News and World Report, revealed that there was an increase of interracial adoption by 20 percent (57). Other Shows in the 1980s followed Dif’rent Strokes such as Webster. In 1984, The Cosby Show appeared on NBC (Crenshaw “Cosby Show”). The Huxtable residence, in New York City, where Cliff (an obstetrician) also maintained his office was a place where the average black loving family resided. He and his wife Clair, a legal aid attorney, had five children. Sondra, the oldest daughter was a senior at Princeton University during the first season; Denise and Theo were the know-it-all teenagers; Vanessa the rambunctious 8-year old; and Rudy the adorable and mischievous little girl (“Network and Cable”). The family held values and were proud to show their ethnic and social backgrounds. There was a positive approach to family life, values and standards (“Changing Image” 80). The Cosby Show has been watched by more people than any other situation comedy in the history of television. Having won countless awards and enjoying record-breaking success, the program has been ranked number one more times than any other TV series since its premiere (Crenshaw “Cosby Show”). People argued that The Cosby Show was attempting to break the “traditional” way of black lives, and that it did not reflect the typical black family (Booth 4). However, the show’s main goal was to abolish those exact stereotypes (Crenshaw “Cosby Show”). It was true that the show did not copy the repetitious images people saw on the news, but it did show the common black middle-class family of the 80s. In actuality, the show represented many black professionals in America (Crenshaw “Cosby Show”). Not only did they make an effort to eliminate the stereotypes people saw of blacks, but purposely created positive roles of blacks. The 90s perspective was different from how it was in the 1960s. The Cosby Show changed the stereotypical view of the black family on television. It introduced real African Americans on TV. Other shows came along in the 90s that were affected by The Cosby Show. The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air premiered on NBC on September 10, 1990 (“20 Most”). The series is about a young man named Will from Philadelphia who gets sent by his mother to live with his aunt and her family in Bel Air, California. Will had to adjust to a totally different lifestyle and to having new relatives around. He now had an aunt, uncle, and three cousins (“Network and Cable”). Having a black family in upper-class but still humble was a huge sensation. Fresh Prince had many similarities of the Cosby Show. Both were of well-to-do families that were proud of their heritage. Fresh Prince had episodes where it was impossible to stop laughing, and some episodes that had you on the verge of your seats. They dealt with situations that happened to everyday people, from trying to make the cheer squad to burglary. It was number 10 on the “Top 20 shows in the 70s, 80s and 90s” in 1992-1993 season, and number six in 1993-1994 season (102). Family Matters was a show that focused on a middle-class black family living in Chicago. The family included a blustery father, Carl, a Chicago cop, Harriette, his sharp-tongued wife and Eddie, Laura and Judy, their loud and crazy children. Hanging around is Grandma Winslow, Carl’s and Harriette’s recently widowed sister, Rachel, who moved in with her infant son, Richie (“Network and Cable”). The real star of the show emerged halfway through the first season. Steve Urkel, the pestering nerd, was a neighborhood kid who possessed a huge, yet serious crush on an uninterested Laura. With his oversized glasses, hiked-up pants and high-pitched voice, Steve Urkel made the show almost irresistible and always gave you a needed laugh. Network and Cable”). They were portraying the average black family we see today in society, and did so quite well. Today, many black roles in television avoid much of the racial stereotyping that was characteristic of shows in the 1970s-present. There is a definite change in America’s view of the “typical” black family that widely opened the doors for other shows that came along after the 1970s. Although there still are stereotyping of minorities (especially blacks), there has been improvements overtime that will continue to aid in the taking away of all stereotypical images of blacks on television.

Ever since the invention of the television in 1939, African Americans have been portrayed as maids, servants or clowns. These negative perceptions started to appear in sitcoms such as in Amos and Andy, who were the stereotypical blacks who never took anything seriously. All those views changed during the 1970’s when black sitcoms were becoming more reality based. Although blacks have been, and often still, portrayed in a negative way on TV, there has been some improvements of stereotypical images of African Americans on television.

There were five stereotypical roles of blacks between 1940-1970, they included, the Tom, Coon, Mammy, Tragic Mulatto, and the Buck (Gray “Recognizing”). The “Tom” was always insulted, but kept to his faith and remained generous and kind. The “coon” (most used image) was always lazy, unreliable and constantly butchered his speech. The “mammy” was more distinguished than the coon only because of her sex. She was usually big and plump and full of life. The “tragic mulatto” was fair-skinned, trying to pass for white. They were well liked and believed that their lives could have been enhanced if they were not born biracial.

The last stereotype was the “buck”. He was the big, oversexed black man (Gray “Recognizing”). In the late 1960’s, there were shows like “I Spy” and “The Flip Wilson Show” which had blacks starring in them. Starting in 1971, shows were premiering everywhere with black casts (Crenshaw “Cosby Show”). Sanford and Son appeared on NBC on January 14,1972, to replace another show (Booth 2). The show took place in South Central California, where Fred Sanford and his son Lamont lived and owned a junkyard. Fred was satisfied with his little business. However, Lamont, wanted something bigger and better.

Fred would do any and everything in his power to keep his son from abandoning him and the business. Every time Lamont threatened to leave, Fred would do his famous act and fake a heart attack and start moaning to his late wife, “I’m coming, Elizabeth, I’m coming. ” Lamont, never fooled by his father’s scheme loved him and, despite his future aspirations and what he said about his future, really would not have left him (“Network and Cable”). They were rated the 6th most popular show during the 1971-72 season, and 10th during the 1976-77 season (“20 Most”).

The stereotypes were still there, but realistic views were appearing on the show of realistic lives of black men. After Sanford and Son aired, many others followed. Good Times appeared in 1974 (Ingram “Good times”). Florida and James Evans were lower middle-class blacks, with their three children in a high-rise located in the ghetto on the south side of Chicago. J. J. , an amateur painter, was the oldest, Thelma was a year younger than he, and Michael was five years younger than she. James, who was always in and out of jobs, made their lives difficult at times, but there was always plenty of love in the family.

The famous catch phrase from J. J ,”Dy-No-Mite” became very popular in the mid 1970s (Ingram 69). During its first season, Good Times was the 17th most popular show (“20 Most”). Many black families related to the characters. Each character complemented the other and you saw for the first time how black families showed their love. Moreover, this was the first black show that had controversial issues such as gun control, murder, and drug use, and abortion (“Network and Cable”). These were topics previously unexplored on television. Good times were one of the most original shows on television in its time.

The Jefferson’s were seen often on “All in the Family” from 1972-1975 (“Network and Cable”). The Jefferson’s was an extremely popular TV show during the 70s and 80s. It focused on a black family making it to the top in New York City. George Jefferson was a successful dry-cleaner, who owned and operated seven stores. He and his wife “Weezy” started out with nothing, living with George’s mother. They moved to a house in Queens, NY once George’s new business hit big. As he became more successful, they moved, with their son Lionel, into the famous “dee-luxe apartment in the sky”.

As their lives became more strenuous they decided they needed a maid, so they hired a black maid. She possessed wise-cracking humor which made the show much more appealing. The best friends of the Jefferson’s were the Willis’s, an interracial couple (“Network and Cable”). The Jefferson’s had in its show what no other show had. Many other shows had a few episodes with interracial relationships; yet, The Jefferson’s had an interracial couple as supporting actors on the show. There were always a variety of episodes. There were funny episodes, light episodes, and ones that almost made you cry.

The Jefferson’s was not just a comedy; it was a show that taught America, and especially blacks, that if they worked hard and with diligence, they could achieve anything. The Jefferson’s were in the top 20 for seven years (“20 Most”). When the eighties rolled in, so did a new stereotype of blacks. They were no longer the “coons”, but now, people were viewing blacks as lower-class, yet still happy, content people (Booth 23). There was a new image blacks had to confront head on and crush. In the late 1970s to the early 80s, there was a famous icon and saying that came form one Pint-sized little boy.

The boy was from an interracial show named Dif’rent Strokes. 8-year-old Arnold with his famous, “Whatchu talkin about Willis”, and his 12-year-old brother Willis were two black kids from Harlem who one day found themselves suddenly in the lap of luxury. Their dying mother, a housekeeper for wealthy Philip Drummond, had taken from her employer the promise that he would look after her two boys when she passed away. It didn’t matter that there were endless double takes when the rich, white Philip Drummond, president of the huge corporation Trans Allied, Inc. introduced the two spunky black kids as his “sons (“Network and Cable”).

Also in the household was Kimberly, his 13-year-old daughter and the new, careless housekeeper, Mrs. Garret. There was always plenty of love to go around. Everybody learned little lessons about life and what was right and wrong in each episode. The show also tackled serious issues ranging from child abuse and the dangers of hitchhiking (“Network and Cable”). There was a huge controversy over the interracial relationships between the two boys and Philip. Critics protested that the show was not realistic. But in a study performed by US News and World Report, revealed that there was an increase of interracial adoption by 20 percent (57).

Other Shows in the 1980s followed Dif’rent Strokes such as Webster. In 1984, The Cosby Show appeared on NBC (Crenshaw “Cosby Show”). The Huxtable residence, in New York City, where Cliff (an obstetrician) also maintained his office was a place where the average black loving family resided. He and his wife Clair, a legal aid attorney, had five children. Sondra, the oldest daughter was a senior at Princeton University during the first season; Denise and Theo were the know-it-all teenagers; Vanessa the rambunctious 8-year old; and Rudy the adorable and mischievous little girl (“Network and Cable”).

The family held values and were proud to show their ethnic and social backgrounds. There was a positive approach to family life, values and standards (“Changing Image” 80). The Cosby Show has been watched by more people than any other situation comedy in the history of television. Having won countless awards and enjoying record-breaking success, the program has been ranked number one more times than any other TV series since its premiere (Crenshaw “Cosby Show”). People argued that The Cosby Show was attempting to break the “traditional” way of black lives, and that it did not reflect the typical black family (Booth 4).

However, the show’s main goal was to abolish those exact stereotypes (Crenshaw “Cosby Show”). It was true that the show did not copy the repetitious images people saw on the news, but it did show the common black middle-class family of the 80s. In actuality, the show represented many black professionals in America (Crenshaw “Cosby Show”). Not only did they make an effort to eliminate the stereotypes people saw of blacks, but purposely created positive roles of blacks. The 90s perspective was different from how it was in the 1960s. The Cosby Show changed the stereotypical view of the black family on television.

It introduced real African Americans on TV. Other shows came along in the 90s that were affected by The Cosby Show. The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air premiered on NBC on September 10, 1990 (“20 Most”). The series is about a young man named Will from Philadelphia who gets sent by his mother to live with his aunt and her family in Bel Air, California. Will had to adjust to a totally different lifestyle and to having new relatives around. He now had an aunt, uncle, and three cousins (“Network and Cable”). Having a black family in upper-class but still humble was a huge sensation.

Fresh Prince had many similarities of the Cosby Show. Both were of well-to-do families that were proud of their heritage. Fresh Prince had episodes where it was impossible to stop laughing, and some episodes that had you on the verge of your seats. They dealt with situations that happened to everyday people, from trying to make the cheer squad to burglary. It was number 10 on the “Top 20 shows in the 70s, 80s and 90s” in 1992-1993 season, and number six in 1993-1994 season (102). Family Matters was a show that focused on a middle-class black family living in Chicago.

The family included a blustery father, Carl, a Chicago cop, Harriette, his sharp-tongued wife and Eddie, Laura and Judy, their loud and crazy children. Hanging around is Grandma Winslow, Carl’s and Harriette’s recently widowed sister, Rachel, who moved in with her infant son, Richie (“Network and Cable”). The real star of the show emerged halfway through the first season. Steve Urkel, the pestering nerd, was a neighborhood kid who possessed a huge, yet serious crush on an uninterested Laura. With his oversized glasses, hiked-up pants and high-pitched voice, Steve Urkel made the show almost irresistible and always gave you a needed laugh. Network and Cable”).

They were portraying the average black family we see today in society, and did so quite well. Today, many black roles in television avoid much of the racial stereotyping that was characteristic of shows in the 1970s-present. There is a definite change in America’s view of the “typical” black family that widely opened the doors for other shows that came along after the 1970s. Although there still are stereotyping of minorities (especially blacks), there has been improvements overtime that will continue to aid in the taking away of all stereotypical images of blacks on television.

Gender Stereotypes Report

Today, every one of us is spending more of his leisure time watching TV, listening to the radio or reading newspapers and magazines. The shows on the TV and the articles in the newspapers influence our decision process, shaping our perceptions for the world. Besides the positive fact that we are better informed and in touch with the latest news, we should be aware that accepting this enormous flow of information and allowing it to make our mind can be dangerous. The TVs infiltrate our lives, guiding us what are we supposed to wear, how are we supposed to look and act.

Children, because of lack of mature judging values, re more susceptible to the influence of the television. They tend to accept everything they see on TV as real. Kids often identify with movie characters and comics figures much more than the elder generation does. It is the role of the parents to teach them that not everythink that glitters is gold and to give them a better perception of the world. That of course does not mean that parents are affected less by the TV. On the contrary, they are often more affected than their kids, of course not by cartoons, but by shows that contain information about serious subjects such as parenthood.

Concerned with being good parents, people are accumulating a lot of information on the subject. As the information can be very helpful, sometimes it can be destructive. That is the case when it comes to the problem of “tomboys” and “sissies. ” What are these two terms used for? The term “tomboy” is used when referring to a girl who is masculine, and the term “sissy” is used when referring to a boy who is feminine. We need to state what we consider feminine and what is masculine. According to the established sense in the society, femininity and masculinity are tightly bound to gender.

Men are supposed to be masculine. They are expected to be strong, rough, to have high stamina. They are not supposed to wear skirts(the Scots are an exception) but trousers, and should avoid colors like pink and violet. These are “feminine” colors. The man in the family is usually the person who should provide money and build a career. On the othere hand, women are supposed to be tender and loving mothers and wives, to wear skirts and to walk on higheels. They are should not have a career, but should take care of the kids and the house. It seems that these perceptions have been existing forever.

That is ecause from early childhood, we are thought by our parents that pink is for girls, and blue is for boys. The trucks and weaponry toys are for boys and the dolls are for girls. Than, it is not surprising that we accept gender stereotyping and try to fit in the rigid models of feminine and masculine. For example, women athletes and especially tennis players and basketball players are afraid of losing their femininity. These sports are famous for the large number of gay players that are involved. Because of that, the hetero athletes are a subject of suspicion of being gays. To avoid this they are trying to look more eminine.

A basketball coach even had developed a term for this phenomenon– “hetero-sexy. ” We are not only trying to fit in the models, but we are prone to pass our perceptions to our children. In this way, we are trying to protect them from the society. However by doing this, we are causing them more harm than if they were to become gays. A recent show on NBC Superchannel was dedicated to the problem of “tomboys” and “sissies. ” In it, light was shed on the life of some tomboys and sissies, as well as on the anxiety of their parents. A girl at an age of three was shown, dressed with a skirt and playing with dolls.

The next shot was at an age of four, revealing the changes that the attitude of the girl towards the dolls and dresses has been totally changed. Now she preferred to hang out in jeans rather than in dress. When she was asked by her mother to try a pink dress, she refused with the words “Pink sucks! ” The girl participated actively in sports such as basketball and baseball, demonstrating good technical skills at both. Why then her parents were worried and had searched psychological advice? The answer to this question is in the assumption that when such kids grow up, they inevitably will turn to be gay.

The fear of the parents is raised by the fact that their girls or boys ignore the existence of their gender and prefer to communicate only with the opposite one. A girl on the show, when asked about her friends, revealed that she hang out only with boys. Her mother explained that, when she was introducing her to friends and calling her “my little girl,” the kid argued with her that she is in fact a boy “You have two boys mom, not a boy and a girl, ” she replied. The girl was involved into a test the nature of which was to determine her affections toward some pictures that were shown to her.

From the results could be inferred that the girl was prone to accept her as a boy and to accept boys as her friends A recent show on NBC Superchannel was dedicated to the problem of “tomboys” and “sissies. ” In it, light was shed on the life of some of them, as well as on the anxiety of their parents. A girl at the age of three was shown, dressed with a skirt and playing with dolls. The next shot of her was at the age of four, revealing that the attitude of the girl towards the dolls and dresses has been totally changed. Now she was preferring to hang out in jeans rather that in a dress.

When she was asked by her mother to try a pink dress, she refused with the words “Pink sucks! ” The girl participated actively in sports such as basketball and baseball, demonstrating good technical skills at both. She revealed that all of her friends are boys. Her mother explained that when she was introducing her to friends and calling her “my little girl,” the kid argued with her that she is in fact a boy. “You have two boys mom, not a boy and a girl. ” This attitude of the girl did not appear to be normal for the parents and that is what scared them.

They were scared because hey were not pleased with the possibility of raising a gay. This underlines an important tendency in our society. Most of the people are still uncomfortable with gays. They tend to associate gays only with negative things such as AIDS and other diseases. Gays are not allowed to serve in the army and to occupy high decision-making positions. That’s why, it is not surprising that parents are concerned with the problem. They are trying to protect their kids from the society, large portion of which does not tolerate “deviations” from the established norms of behavior.

The assumption that when such kids grow up, they inevitably will be gay. This paranoia was further expanded by studies which appeared to be dealing with the problem. The results from them were striking, 25% of all “tomboys” will inevitably be lesbian when they grow up, and 35% of the “sissies” will be gay. The parents were trying to prevent that to happen by every mean. Some of them even went extreme and oppressed their kids by using punishment. However, as later was discovered, the studies were conducted on extreme cases.

For example, all of the participants in the study on “sissies” ere boys who not only played with dolls, but dressed themselves as girls. Most of them were raised by single mothers and in an environment where their contacts with men were limited. Recent studies discovered that you do not become a gay, you are born one, contrary to the assumption that sexuality is formed in the childhood. In this case, the parent’s desire to fit their children into the stereotypes backfired and resulted in harming their children. The parents were a victim also, by following the rigid path of stereotyping they wounded the one that they love most–their children.

Watching The Box Watch Peter Hamill

The medium of television is perhaps the most prevalent leveling factor in American society today- almost every household in America owns a television set, a device centered around a cathode ray tube which is designed to bring two-dimensional illusionary sights and sounds to its viewers. As seen in articles such as Peter Hamill’s “Crack in the Box”, or in the collection of letters called “Watching TV”, there are many strong and contradictory takes on the role television plays in society today.

It would appear from a cursory look at the text that there is currently a debate raging across the United States of America centered upon defining the virtues and vices exhibited by television. One side says television is an important communicator of ideas at best, and a harmless amusement at worst. The other claims that television is a trap, a snare which can corrupt the minds of America. Most people, I believe (without any great mass of conclusive evidence), do not take any part in this debate.

They’re much too busy watching Julia Child teach how one should choose the ingredients for Beef Wellington or enjoying the high humor and quick wit of some cartoon or comic opera. In “Watching TV”, three citizens share their personal experience with television and conception of the medium and its role in their individual lives. The writers are not professional journalists or professional commentators. Instead, they are members of the general public who felt the need (in response to a segment in The Sun magazine) to share their view with others.

The opinions expressed are written in a straightforward manner, and hopefully reflect the true thoughts of the writers. Two general positions are supported by the letters, which oppose each other: 1)television is basically good for people, 2)television is basically bad for people. The first letter comes from R. Lurie, of Santa Fe, New Mexico. She or he relates to the reader how television allows a great level of intimacy between viewer and viewed, without the complications of real life.

This openness is contrasted to the “real” relationships which she or he has had, where pain and emotional exhaustion play a great part in limiting intimacy (603). Lurie explains how the appearance given by television that life can be conclusive, can have carefully delineated stages, contrasts with her own reality, where such conclusiveness is lacking, and gives her comfort (603). Allegreta Behar-Blau of Woodland Hills, California is somewhat less enthusiastic in her support of television. She appreciates television as a place where she can retreat to from the daily grind of life.

She explains how television offered her company when she was living alone (604) Television was “her best friend”, though she was ashamed at being so enamoured of something which many consider “stupid and banal” (604). Once she became married, television no longer was her main companion in life. Television took the back seat, as a personal place which she could escape to when the pressures of the world, of her family, becomes too much to bear (604). In sharp contrast to these positive views of television is the observations of Theresa Lenexa.

She looks at the rather important role that television had played in her family life, and its disturbing (to her) place in the life of her elderly mother (604). While she was growing up, television played an important role in the daily entertainment of her family (604-605). After she grew up, the television set played a smaller role in her life. Television does, however, play an important role in the life of her now elderly mother; instead of having positive human connections, her mom has television.

Personal contact with other people has faded away with the death of her husband and other major life changes, but he connection to television remains. For her, “TV is good company” (604). My own experience with television is rather ambivalent. Looking back on my childhood, I watched a lot of television, though when comparing my habits with my peers, it appears that my experience with television was fairly normal. My parents were conscious of my viewing habits, and determined what I could and could not watch. Compared with the viewing habits of my peers, I led a sheltered life.

As I grew older, I gradually came to the point where my television viewing became selective and much less frequent. Except as a cure for insomnia, or in my periods as a political junkie, I do not watch television indiscriminately. I do not own a television, and probably will not purchase one for some time, if ever. I have never had a television in my bedroom. Most of the programs which are on television do not appeal to me, and there a are wide array which are, in my ever humble opinion, swill fit for the consumption of the fatted calf.

The news/information gained from television can easily be found elsewhere, in greater detail and scope, with better profit for the individual because there is no time limit in reading save for that imposed by the reader. Television is most effective as an empty escape, as a glittering box which can take away the viewer to a land where their problems can be put to the side for one moment, and as an ingestor of quick and vital news to the greatest number of people possible at one time from a single medium.

In my view, each medium has certain characteristics, both assets and flaws, which bind the medium from being all things to all individuals. Television is naturally stupefying; if it is to be an effective communicator, it needs a great deal of the attention of the individual. Perception of what is going on prevents deeper thought and reflection on the events. In his essay, “Crack and the Box”, Peter Hamill makes two broad claims, which have far-reaching tendrils which reach to the core of our society. His major claim is that television is bad for the individual and for society.

This is based on the claim that television is addictive, like some legal and illegal drugs. And like said drugs, television is harmful to its adherents in many ways (600). Television makes people asocial, and takes people out of the “real” world and into an “unreal” plane of existence (601). Television, Hamill claims, allows one to have emotional shifts without any kind of effort. It is passive escapism. He believes that television allows people to escape from the world and its demands, and makes them feel as if they have no control over their surroundings (601).

His second claim is that television is in many ways responsible for the change of the drug culture into a mass “problem” (600). Before television. , the use of hard drugs was restricted to a small minority of citizens on the outskirts of civilization (600). After television became universal, Hamill tells us that hard drug use became much more prevalent. He says that this is because television made people addicts, made people seek escape from “reality” (601-602). He goes on to say that it is easy to understand how someone could jump from television addiction to drug addiction (602).

In looking back at the texts, I come away with a better understanding of Hamill’s main argument, and how it can work on a case by case basis. There are, however, major flaws in his reasoning. Just because two events occur consecutively, it does not mean that the prior event caused the latter. To claim that the rise of television in America is directly responsible for the increase in the use of hard drugs, is frankly faulty logic, unworthy of Hamill’s impressive essay.

The second major claim, that television caused the hard drug climate of the 1960’s and later still, must be pushed to the side for now, as there is no conclusive evidence supplied by Hamill to convince me that A) the addictive strain in American society was introduced by television and that B) there are major causes for the changing drug scene which may be found outside of television. His primary claim, that television is addictive, and dangerously so, is easier to dissect and, in my case, accept.

My personal experience with television has left me with a picture of television as an escapist trap, which can dull the wits and cloud the mind. Looking at “Watching TV”, I see nothing which would cause me to reform my opinion. It is possible for addiction to television to occur, and the preponderance of the media in society today makes it quite likely that wide swaths of people are in fact addicted to television. That this addiction can be dangerous is obvious. By choosing to watch television above other activities, people are neglecting opportunities to build a better society and better themselves.

All addictions are dangerous, even addiction to watching light and sound spill forth from a rectangular box-like device, ostensibly for the amusement of the viewer/hearer. Looking again at the letters from “Watching TV”, I notice two things in particular. All three letter writers mention television in terms of escaping from reality- from true human relationships, family life, and the reality involved in living. Television, as opposed to life, needs no thought by those who seek to participate in it. It is, quite literally in some respects, a no-brainer.

Seeing in the letters much of what he finds wrong with television’s role in modern American society, I believe Hamill would have a field day with the three responses The Sun magazine received. Each, consciously or unconsciously, relates in some way to his main theme of television as a bringer of anti-social tendencies to the American population. The portrayal of the mother of Theresa Lenexa (the negative respondent), makes her appear as one of Hamill’s television junkies; it is unclear whether any deeper conclusion may be drawn from this.

Lenexa, 604) My own experiences with television make me agree, to a degree, with Mr. Hamill- television can be harmful both to society and the individual, and it is clearly used by many as an escape from the troubles of the world. How truly evil this is, I cannot say. What should be done, I cannot say. Serious inquiry should be launched into the way television is presented to the young, perhaps not in a formalized class as Hamill suggests, (602-603) but in a manner which will eventually allow them to get a grasp on the medium, and allow them to guide their use of the medium responsibly.

Effects of Different levels of T.V Violence on Aggression

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of different levels of television violence on grade school children. Since some studies show that younger children are more prone to aggression than older children. This study is designed to show how violence plays a role in aggression. The intention is to show that violence causes different aggression levels between males and females. The second purpose of this study is to show if there are any significant differences between males and females and aggression induced by violence.

The information on gender difference and aggression is controversial. All the children were mixed in this experiment combined the male and females children in mixed groups. Each group randomly received 10 males and 10 females. One of the groups was the control group which viewed the non-violent video and the second group was the experimental group, which viewed a violent video. Girls and boys who had about the same level of aggression were chosen for the experiment. Two televisions shows that contained different levels of violence were used in this study.

Two volunteer teachers were present while the children viewed the videos. Measurement of aggression will be gathered from each student using a picture aggression test. Aggression levels were rated on a scale of 1 though 11, 11 being the highest level of aggression. The statistical results from group A, the boys who viewed Power Rangers, showed the mean of their level of aggression was 8. 4. The variance, the precise measure of variability, of this group (1. 64) was a significant difference. Group B for girls, who viewed Sesame Street, their mean was 1. nd their variance was 0. 16, also another significant difference.

When comparing the numbers between the boys and girls in group A, the boys did appear to have a higher aggression level, than the girls in the same group, when they viewed the Power Ranger. In group B, the aggression level was higher for the girls than for boys in the same group, when they viewed Sesame Street. Effects Of Different Levels Of T. V Violence On Aggression: Potential Gender Differences Violence in the United States has risen to alarmingly high levels.

Whether one considers assassination, group violence, or individual acts of violence, the decade of the 1960s was more violent than the several decades preceding it and ranks among the most violent in our history. The United Sates is the clear leader among modern, stable democratic nations in its rates of homicides, assault, rape, and robbery, and it is among the highest in incidents of group violence and assassinations. This high level of violence is dangerous to our society. It is disfiguring out societymaking fortresses of portions of our cities and dividing our people into armed camps.

It is jeopardizing to some of our most precious institutions; among them our schools and universitiespoisoning the spirit of trust and cooperation that is essential to their proper functioning. In the past years until now, violence among children has increased dramatically. Cases have been reported where grade school students take guns and other weapons to school and use them against their teachers and classmates. Things of that sort are very much a reality for schools around the country. Is the reason for these acts of violence that children are becoming more aggressive at younger ages?

Does, the media have to do something with the increase in violence of young children, the fact that the media has more violence in it than any other point in history? It could be a combination of things, including work, single parents, peer pressures, etc. The true concern is that the media entertains children with violent shows, which are aimed at them. Some networks agreed to place advisories warning before and the prime-time television programs which they determined as violent (Molitor & Hirsch, 1994).

The problem here is that the networks decide what violence is and what is not. The purpose of this study is to establish a guideline as to what is enough violence for a child to watch without increasing their aggression. The hypothesis at stake is that males will be more significantly aggressive that females and the females that are exposed to different levels of television violence will show different levels of aggression. Most people look at television as an entertaining and education ional way of spending time.

Some believe though there is currently too much violence in television and that it is influencing our young into becoming aggressive in nature and tolerant to violence. Children’s viewing of violent TV shows, their identification with aggressive same-sex TV characters, and their perceptions that TV violence is realistic, are all linked to later aggression as young adults for both males and females. These findings hold true for any child from any family, regardless of the child’s education or occupation, their parents’ aggressiveness, or the mother and father’s parenting style.

The age in which television violence starts to affect children is when they are 3 years old. Just as soon as they reach their mid-teens they will have seen thousands of violent incidents and deaths in cartoons and with real people according to research. However, these finding are restricting since if these studies had chosen two different age groups, the results would have told us more about the effect of television, videotape and videogame reduced exposure across different age groups.

To begin our experiment, we must first define what aggression is. Aggression is the first attack, or act of hostility; the first act of injury, or first act leading to a war or a controversy; unprovoked attack; assault; as, a war of aggression. “Aggressions of power” action. It is intended to harm someone. It can be verbal attackinsults, threats, sarcasm, or attribution nasty motives to themor a physical punishment or restriction (Scott, 1975).

What about thoughts and fantasies in which we humiliate or brutally assault our enemies? Is that aggression? What about violent dreams? Such thoughts and dreams suggest anger, of course, but are not aggression as defined earlier. While aggression is usually a result of anger (is feeling mad in response to frustration or injury), it may be “cold” and calculated, for example, the bomber pilot, the judge who sentences a criminal, the unfaithful spouse, the merchant who overprices a product, or the unemotional gang attack.

To clarify aggression, some writers have classified it according to its purpose: instrumental aggression (to get some reward, not to get revenge), hostile aggression (to hurt someone to get revenge), and annoyance aggression (to stop an irritant). When our aggression becomes so extreme that we lose self-control, it is said that we are in a rage (Berkowitz,1993). Aggression must be distinguished from assertiveness, which is tactfully and rationally standing up for your won rights; indeed, assertiveness is designed not to hurt others.

There can be internal and external reasons for aggression. An internal cause of aggression can be testosterone. External cause of aggression can be ones physical environment, individual characteristics and it can even be caused by some drugs. Psychologists have learned by experiments that by the age of three, boys wrestle, hit, kick, tussle, push, and pull far more than girls do (Boyatzis& Maitllo, 1995). Aggression is clearly an antisocial behavior to most women, and many mothers of boys sense that psychologists blame them for their son’s behavior.

But research now shows that mothers are equally intolerant of aggression in sons and daughters and they use the same verbal reprimands and punishment for both. This is part of a bigger picture that suggests that mothers are relatively sex-blind when it comes to raising their children (Fox, 1977). Should we conclude, then, that boys are born violent? Genes may explain the sex difference in rates of aggression, but the distinct pattern that characterizes men’s aggression is acquired from a culture that rationalizes and even glorifies male violence.

Boys are not simply more aggressive than girls; they are aggressive in a different way. They fight to take possession of toys and territory, to compete and win socially, to be recognized as though guys. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of different levels of television violence on grade school children. Since some studies show that younger children are more prone to aggression than older children (Surbeck & Endsley, 1979; Ridley-Johnson, Surdy, & O’Laughlin. 1991). This study is designed to show how violence plays a role in aggression.

The intention is to show that violence causes different aggression levels between males and females. The second purpose of this study is to show if there are any significant differences between males and females and aggression induced by violence. The information on gender difference and aggression is controversial. Some studies indicate that there were no true significant differences in aggression for females (Bartholow & Anderson, 2002). The results expected are different in gender and their levels of aggression with in different levels of T. V. violence.

B.Y.U. Student Gets Booted

Could you imagine being twenty years old , trying to discover yourself, and then being punished for it? Weather you saw it happen on MTV or you heard about it in the news most of us have heard about ex-Real World cast member Julie Stoffer, and the controversy surrounding her appearance on the popular MTV reality show. Julie Stoffer was born on July 11th 1979 in Provo, Utah. The daughter of devote members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Julie followed in her parents footsteps and decided to attend Brigham Young University.

A business major and straight A student Julies responded to an advertisement to audition for MTV’s The Real World printed in the university newspaper during her junior year. Julie told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that she never really thought she would be picked for the show and the free trip to Los Angeles for the audition finals was what she was really after. ” When I went to L. A. it was just life-changing. I got out there and I saw a whole new world I’ve never seen before. I met some really cool people, and I realized, if this experience could be this cool in a couple of days, imagine four months in a new place with new people.

I just wanted to see new things, see what I wasn’t seeing in Provo. Julie also admitted that she hadn’t had that much exposure to MTV. ” I’d seen a couple of episodes of “The Real World” at a friends house, but that was it” she told the Deseret News. Upon entering Belfort Mansion, in New Orleans Julie was immediately faced with the change she had been looking for. Among her roommates Julie found two minorities, and an openly gay male. Most of whom had a set of moral values that were considerably different than hers.

From the moment she stepped into the Real World house Julie began dispelling stereotypes associated with Mormonism. During the first hour she is asked if she is married and about weather or not she can drink caffeine. Although it seemed she was uncomfortable answering these questions she did anyway. Julie has said that ” I went into this saying that I was not going to be a representative for Mormonism” however she later recognizes that ” .. in being my religion I am a representative of it. ” Julies roommate also had some views on her religious beliefs.

One of her housemates, Jaime a 22 year old graduate of Cornell University, reacted to the rules imposed on Julies through her religion by telling her ” If you want a cup of coffee, have a cup of coffee. ” Jaime has also said that his first reaction to his Mormon roommate was that ” she’s very sheltered, that she was ignorant to a lot of things that to a lot of other people was just common knowledge” and although Jaime has acknowledged the power of Julies ” spiritual connectedness ” he also concedes that ” I haven’t come completely to terms with her community, and I think in some cases it doesn’t let her shine.

While theses statements may have been true at the beginning filming the show, Julie did learn to loosen up during her stint in the house. During the season Julie drank Mountain Dew and opened herself up to the more mainstream ideas of her roommates. However this newfound life experience led Julie into unfriendly territory with her university. Aware of Brigham Young’s Honor Code Julie contacted the Honor Code Office prior to signing on with MTV. According to The Daily Universe Julie left under the impression that as long as she behaved herself she would have no problems. However Julie’s belief was wrong.

Her involvement with MTV led to BYU suspending her on the grounds of violating the Honor Code which each student must sign upon entering the Mormon church owned private university. At the time of The Real World taping BYU was faced with the dilemma of weather or not to take action against Stoffer. The New York Post’s Don Kaplan pointed out that ” if BYU tosses her out, the school could face a wave of negative publicity. If they allow Julie to return to her classes in the fall other students may protest that the school was overlooking conduct that would have gotten her expelled had it not happened in national television. ”

BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins stated that their concerns were ” what happened in that environment, what were the male female interactions, and what was the appropriateness of those actions” BYU officials also maintain that this ” is not a decision about weather she is a good or bad person, but about her commitment to the Honor Code” But what exactly does this Honor Code entail? The BYU honor code prohibits sexually oriented joking, flirting, or comments, premarital sex, homosexual behavior and cross-dressing. It also stipulates that members of the opposite sex should never enter the bedroom or other private area of an apartment.

Entering the bedroom of a person of the opposite sex to study, type a paper, talk privately or for any other reason never justifies a breach of the Honor Code. B. Y. U. ‘s final decision was to suspend Julie for one year. Stating in a final letter that ” The reason for this action is your violation of the Honor Code, specifically your relationships with the opposite sex, including sleeping in the same together with them on multiple occasions” I addition to the suspension BYU laid out a five step program for Julie to carry out before she could be readmitted.

These steps included developing a plan with a bishop to change her lifestyle, reporting monthly to the school on her actions, completing specific assigned tasks, and acknowledging her violations. In response to this Julie has said ” I can have no respect for the Honor Code after this. For them to suggest that I need to meet with church leaders or go through a repentance process in order to return to BYU is totally uncalled for. I cannot respect an institution that would assume that I was guilty of immoral conduct when the T. V. footage supports my repeated denials of these actions.

I have totally stayed true to my morals, and if that is not enough then there are plenty of other good schools out there that have people with open minds. ” Although most people applaud Julies adventure in self discovery some Mormons are infuriated at her actions Julie has even been slapped in the face by a girl on the sidewalk of her hometown. Since receiving B. Y. U. ‘s final decision Julie has moved into her own apartment on the beach of Southern California.

An adventure that she speaks enthusiastically about in her journal at www. planetjulie. com She has also been busy speaking at universities all over the U. S. and actively searching for a new University. In reading some of Julies journal entries you get the sense that she is someone who is not only discovering the world, but herself for the first time. She is introspective, thoughtful, and at times insecure. Even though there is still debate over weather or not Julie actually did violate the BYU Honor Code since she was not attending the school at the time of her alleged misconduct, Julie appears to have left all of that behind her. And although I personally believe that B. Y. U s decision was wrong it seems that Julie is all the stronger because of it.

Talk Shows Essay

If social order is not a given, if it is not encoded in our DNA, then to some extent we are always in the process of producing “virtual realities,” some more functional than others. Habits, routines, and institutions are the patterns that create the “world taken for granted. ” Knowledge of how to behave is contained in cultural scripts that are themselves products of human interaction and communication about the nature of “reality. ” Shame, guilt, embarrassment are controlling feelings that arise from “speaking the unspeakable” and from violating cultural taboos.

Society is a result of its boundaries,of what it will and won’t allow. As we watch, listen, and are entertained, TV talk shows are rewriting our cultural scripts, altering our perceptions, our social relationships, and our relationships to the natural world. TV talk shows offer us a world of blurred boundaries. Cultural distinctions between public and private, credible and incredible witnesses, truth and falseness, good and evil, sickness and irresponsibility, normal and abnormal, therapy and exploitation, intimate and stranger, fragmentation and community are manipulated and erased for our distraction and entertainment.

A community in real time and place exhibits longevity, an interdependence based on common interests, daily concerns, mutual obligations, norms, kinship, friendship, loyalty, and local knowledge, and real physical structures, not just shared information. If your neighbor’s house is on fire, you are motivated to help put it out, or at least interested in having it put out, because you care about your neighbor and the fire is a threat to your own house. Television talk shows create an ersatz community, without any of the social and personal responsibilities that are attached to real life. Therapy as entertainment is the appeal of these shows.

The so-called hosts rely on the cynical use of the therapeutic model for psychological sound bites. The need to educate and inform the audience is the voiced rationale for getting the so-called guests to give ever more titillating details of their misdeeds, or of the misdeeds done to them by family or friends (often not on the show). The underlying assumption — that most social pathology is the result of a medical problem beyond the control of the so-called “victim” — encourages, at least indirectly, people to come on to these shows confessing outrageous stories of anti-social behavior to millions of strangers.

Rather than being mortified, ashamed, or trying to hide their stigma, “guests” willingly and eagerly discuss their child molesting, sexual quirks, and criminal records in an effort to seek “understanding” for their particular disease. Yet these people remain caricatures, plucked out of the context of their real lives, unimportant except for their entertaining problem. (In real life someone might question the benefits of publicly confessing to people who really don’t care about you or don’t have the expertise to give advice. Exploitation, voyeurism, peeping Toms, freak shows all come to mind. )

The central distortion that these shows propound is that they give useful therapy to guests and useful advice to the audience. And that they are not primarily designed to extract the most riveting and most entertaining emotional displays from participants. This leads to such self-serving and silly speeches by hosts as: “I ask this question not to pry in your business but to educate parents in our audience” (Oprah, trying to get graphic details from a female guest who claims to have been sodomized by her father) and “Do I understand, Lisa, that intercourse began with your dad at age 12, and oral sex between 5 and 12?

Do I understand that you were beaten before and after the sexual encounters? (Phil, reading from prepared notes, to a crying teenager). The audience at various points in the hour has a chance to get on television too. Their questions are often rude by conventional standards and reinforce the host’s requests for more potentially entertaining details. Their advice ranges from merely simplistic, under the circumstances, to misleading and erroneous.

For example, in a recent Sally Jessy Raphael Show entitled “When Your Best Friend Is Sleeping With Your Father,” the daughters on stage were advised to “just love them both and accept the situation. ” The most problematic part of this is the generally nonjudgmental tenor of the dialogue. Society’s conventions are flouted with impunity, and the hidden message is that the way to get on television is to be as outrageous and antisocial as possible. The 20 million home viewers have no direct contact, physically, with the social situation in the studio.

Home viewers can be listening to people recounting concentration camp horrors while popping a frozen dinner into the microwave. The ordinary, everyday world of the home audience is made bizarre by the contrasting tales of horror and woe they are only half listening to. The viewer has two basic options: He or she can, like the hero of Nathanael West’s tragic Miss Lonelyhearts, go crazy listening to these stories of hideous pain and pathology. Or he or she must become inured, apathetic, or amused, or, to use the darkly delicious German word schadenfreude, he or she may get a deep sense of glee at another’s misfortunes.

People come into view, talk, cry, disappear, and in between we watch the commercials for consumer products that promise to improve our lives. Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? revolves around the seemingly out-of-place confessions by a husband and wife of their most private life together to two guests in their home who are virtual strangers. Traditional expectations of polite formalities and barriers are constantly breached within the action of the play. The husband, at one point says, “Aww, that was nice, I think we’ve been having a, a real good evening, all things considered.

We’ve sat around, and got to know each other, and had fun and games . . . ” Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , however disconcerting to the audience, is just a play with actors. Television talk shows are arenas for real people. Their manipulation by “hosts,” who alternate between mocking, a patronizing cynicism (“I want to be as smart as you someday” — Phil), and a carefully constructed verisimilitude of caring (“Thank you for sharing that with us” — Oprah) must have repercussions for the “guests” after the show is over.

These people may really be seeking help or understanding. Appropriate reactions seem virtually impossible under the circumstances. We the viewing audience have entertained ourselves at the disasters of real lives. This is one of the more shameless aspects of the talk show spectacle. As passive witnesses, we consume others’ misfortunes without feeling any responsibility to do anything to intervene.

Violence on television Cause Aggressive Behavior

An 18-year-old boy locks himself in his room, mesmerized for hours by the corpse-filled video game Doom, while shock-rocker Marilyn Manson screams obscenities from the stereo. Shelved nearby are a video collection, including the graphically violent film Natural Born Killers, and a diary, replicating the unrestrained expressions of hate and death, published on the boy’s personal website. Should this boy’s media preferences be cause for alarm? The question is not new, but the April 20,1999 massacre of 12 students and a teacher by fellow Columbine High students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold has added urgency to the search for answers.

The Littleton, Colorado teenagers reportedly immersed themselves in the same media described above, even producing and starring in their own murderous video before gunning down their classmates, and apparently taking their own lives. We live in a world of violence — Kosovo, Bosnia, the West Bank, and abortion clinics. The value of human life has reduced to, simply, a few vital organs in a hollow body. Life is no longer viewed as the sacred and amazing gift that it is. Human life is now only a temporary, useful commodity. And, when it is no longer useful? Well, it can be thrown away, like used Kleenex.

This irreverence for life has been a result of numerous hours of senseless violence society feeds into their brains every day. Yet, media representatives defend the entertainment industry, denying any direct link between violent media and violent behavior. In many peoples’ living rooms, there sits an outlet for violence that often goes unnoticed. It is the television. The children who view it are often pulled into its realistic world of violent scenes with sometimes devastating results. Much effort has gone into showing why this glowing box, and the action that takes place within it, mesmerizes children.

Research shows that it is definitely a major source of violent behavior in children. The statistics prove time and time again that aggression and television viewing do go hand in hand. Research shows the truth about television violence and children. Some are trying to fight this problem, while others are ignoring it, hoping it will go away with yesterdays trash. Still, others do not even seem to care. However, the facts are undeniable. The experiments carried out, all point to one conclusion: television violence causes children to be violent, and the effects can be life-long.

Here is the scene: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and a well-armed Elmer Fudd are having a standoff in the forest. Daffy, the ratfink has just exposed Bugs latest disguise. Bugs then, takes off the costume and says, “Thats right, Doc, Im a wabbit. Would you like to shoot me now or wait until we get home? ” “Shoot him now! Shoot him now! ” Daffy screams, “You keep out of this,” Bugs says, “he doesnt have to shoot you now. ” “He does so have to shoot me now! ” says Daffy. Full of wrath, he storms up to Elmer Fudd and shrieks, “And I demand that you shoot me now!

This is an example of the violence on television that “experts” speak. One study done by Feshbach and R. D. Singer (1971), suggested that watching television actually decreases the amount of aggression in the viewer. The experiment supposedly proved that the violence on television allows the viewer to relate with the characters involved in the violent act. In doing so, the viewer is able to release all aggressive thoughts and feelings through that relation, causing them to be less aggressive than they would have been without watching the violent television.

This is like saying, for example, that a medical student, in his final years at Harvard Medical School, would simply give up studies and say, “Oh, well, whats the point in going to school to be a doctor, when I can simply watch General Hospital and get the same satisfaction. ” This of course is absurd, as are the above theologies. These experiments do not live up to good, empirical research. If one were to ask a child what their favorite television show is, very often the child would respond with a television show that contains a lot of violence.

For example, “The Mighty Morphine Power Rangers” and “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” seem to have become role models worthy of imitation by children. One simply has to walk through a playground during recess, to see these children portraying their favorite violent characters. This aggressive behavior is further demonstrated in classrooms and in the home. Playing “make believe” is really a demonstration of aggressive behavior, because of watching violence on television. Many studies done, suggest that violence on television does influence the behavior of children.

When viewed individually, these studies might seem insignificant, but together they form a powerful giant that indicates aggressive behavior is a result of violence on television. Children are sponges during their beginning years, and soak up their surroundings. A study done by Albert Bandura (1963) , demonstrates how easily viewing aggression can influence a child. He and his colleagues observed preschoolers in a contrived situation, which included aggressive behavior. His study consisted of four groups.

A control group set up for this experiment, contained children who had not witnessed any events involving a Bobo doll, a toy clown. The other three groups had witnessed Bobo being verbally and/or physically abused by different figures. These figures included a live model, a filmed model, and a female dressed in a cat costume. All the children had been irritated, by taking away their toys. This made the children more prone to use aggressive behavior. The children were than put in a playroom with the Bobo doll. Out of the four groups that were involved, three exemplified aggressive behavior toward the Bobo doll.

The exception was the control group that had not witnessed any violence. This experiment supports the theory that after observing violent behavior, children are more likely to imitate the aggressive acts of the characters involved. In addition, a study conducted, demonstrated how children become desensitized to violence. Divided into two groups were forty-four boys and girls, in third and fourth grade. One group saw a violent western movie, and the other group did not see any movie. Afterwards, the children were asked to “baby-sit” two younger children by watching them on television.

The two children on the television became progressively violent toward each other, and this is where the experiment gets interesting. Researchers found the children who had seen the western movie waited longer to get an adult to help the two violent children, than did the children who had not seen a movie. This suggests that the children who had been predisposed to violent behavior, accepted the behavior they witnessed between the two children they were baby-sitting, as more “normal. ” Think of a large tub filled with steaming, hot water. If you tried to jump in all at once, it would be unbearable and you would get out quickly.

We have learned to start out slow, dip only our toe in, until we have slowly submerged our entire body. We become desensitized to the hot water, by slowly exposing our sensitive body to the water a little bit, slowly, over a long period. This type of desensitization shows in society today. Every night on the news, we are plagued with horrible pictures and gruesome stories of violence and terror, but we rarely become shocked by any of it. This could very well be because exposure to so much violence on television in the past, especially during childhood, has caused us to be immune to this disease.

Children who witnessed violence may then come away from the experience thinking that violence is acceptable, and they may be more likely to re-enact televised situations in the future. The other side may say that effects on childrens behavior are limited and temporary, but there is strong evidence supporting quite the opposite. Studies done by the top networks on television, demonstrate the negative, long range, effects excessive television watching has had on children, by citing how they behave as adolescents.

Just as a baby robin observes its mother to learn how to fly, children copy the actions of their favorite television character. Children emulate these “heroes” as a result of this admiration. By viewing violent television programs as real and acceptable, children are extremely likely to re-enact violence in their own lives. Unfortunately, society seems to condone these aggressive characteristics, which further confuses children. Until regulations ban these violent programs, children will continue receiving negative influence and eventually, “fall from the nest. ”

Television is not the sole factor in causing aggression; there are many factors. However, television is one of the greatest factors that cause aggressive behavior in children. A violent home, that includes two parents fighting twenty-four hours a day, can influence a child’s behavior. If a child is constantly beat with scenes of aggression between adults, that are his/her role models, then he/she may also exhibit aggressive behavior. Children can witness violence in many places besides television. A child can witness an argument between two people in a public place, and then re-enact the scene at home.

Even in a simple supermarket parking lot, violence is evident. Two adults fighting over a parking place could be violent towards one another. All of these instances could affect a child’s behavior and cause them to act aggressively. None of the actions that the child witnessed was on a television screen. The Social Learning theory is the main argument for the side arguing that violence on television leads to aggression in children. The social learning theory claims that children copy violent scenes from television, believing that this type of behavior is acceptable.

All people are individuals; therefore, it is difficult to characterize behavior. Obviously not every child who watches “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” will act aggressively after the show. However, research has provided that they are likely to act in an aggressive manner. It is impossible to ignore the enormous mountain of data supporting television leading to violence. Violence on television can create aggressive behavior. Fixing the problems of children and television violence is not easy. They are many factors to consider and people to convince.

This raging fire will, no doubt, never go away and continue to grow as the years go by. However, there are measures that can be taken to prevent the children from ever being exposed to such things. The entertainment industry should be held accountable for the images they choose to air. Our government needs to pass stricter regulations and harsher censorship on the content, shown on television and movies. After all, what is the world going to be like when the people, who are now children, are running the world?

The Evolution of the Family on Television

Television is not just a form of entertainment, it is also an excellent way to study societys ever-changing families. From the beginning of the history of television in the early 1950s to present day, there have been many television shows and sitcoms about the common North American family. Todays sitcoms have single-parent households, several friends and roommates, gay relationships and unmarried adults whose lives revolve around the workplace (Terry). This is very different compared to the old-fashioned nuclear family unit of mom, dad, and the kids in past decades.

The stories or themes are a reflection of societal beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of the typical family of the time. Television is often evolving with North American families to better portray or resemble them on TV. This can be seen through the different family shows throughout the decades, from Leave it to Beaver in the pre-1970s to The Brady Bunch, to The Cosby Show in the 1980s and finally to Malcolm in the Middle in present day. Significant change among family shows can be clearly shown in these selected programs.

Although the typical North American family has constantly transformed over the years, television sitcoms have reflected and met this change. Leave It to Beaver (Pre-1970s) A classic among classics, Leave it to Beaver appeared on television in 1957. The show is family-oriented with themes revolving around moral messages, parenting, and relationships. There is one or more moral messages often included in an episode, such as when the boys disobeyed their parents and then lied.

However, regardless of the circumstances, the program consistently delivered strong advice to children respecting their obligations to their family in particular and society in general. When the boys need advice or did something wrong, the parents are the two most important figures they can turn to. Teaching children proper moral behaviour required input from the parents. This program was intended for adults seen through the eyes of a little boy. It provided advice to parents to help them establish proper parenting techniques. There is also a lot of emphasis on different relationships between the characters.

Examples of this include Beaver, a youngster who sees girls as the enemy, as well as the relationships within the family. Leave it to Beaver cleverly portrays the innocence and traditional North American family of the pre-1970s. The Brady Bunch (1970s) The Brady Bunch is one of the most beloved and talked about programs in television history. The concept of “The Brady Bunch” started back in 1966 when Sherwood Schwartz (the creator and producer of the show) heard that somewhere between 20-30% of all families had at least one child from a previous marriage.

The show was about a mother with three daughters by one marriage, marries a widower with three boys, a maid and a dog. The first season of The Brady Bunch focused on the newly blended family and the conflicts that arose from the merger. The family eventually learned to get a long as they knew more about each other. They all helped each other with their individual problems and went through their difficulties as a family. The remaining years were more about a wholesome, but large, family with universal plotlines that were familiar to anyone growing up in astro-turf covered, suburban, middle-class America (TV Land).

The Brady Bunch endured because it spent little or no time on actual current events or fads, but focused on topics that were significant to any generation of kids. The Brady Bunch is a touchstone of American pop culture and is a pure example of classic TV. The Cosby Show (1980s) Prime-time soaps and action dramas dominated the early 1980s until The Cosby Show made its debut in 1984. The show concentrated on the day to day lives of the upper-middle-class Huxtable family. This was both a throwback to earlier sitcoms and a fresh new perspective on family life.

Dr. Cliff Huxtable, who was an obstetrician-gynecologist, and his wife Clair, an attorney, headed the Huxtable family. Both parents never struggled with money but did have more than their share of troubles with their five active children. Each child brought its own special characteristics and personalities into the family mix. As the series continued its eight-year run, the Huxtable brood grew larger and larger as the kids grew up and brought friends, spouses, and extended family members into the group (Nick at Nite).

Some critics argued that the Huxtable family’s troubles were far from typical because the show avoided most controversial issues, including race. Nevertheless, The Cosby Show was an instant ratings smash. Its popularity was due to a variety of factors, such as humour, but also because of Bill Cosbys calm yet goofy behaviour. The parents of the show solved the familys problems with love, humour, and patience, although Cliff’s constant remark was “I just hope they get out of the house before we die” (The Cosby Show). Malcolm in the Middle (1990s/2000s)

Malcolm in the Middle, created by Linwood Boomer (3rd Rock from the Sun), is the story of a middle-class family comprised of four squabbling brothers and their parents, who are just trying to hold on until the last one turns eighteen” (Dawson). The show features an odd family made up of parents Lois and Hal, and their four sons, including 11-year-old Malcolm, played by Frankie Muniz, who has a genius IQ and often turns and speaks into the camera as a way to address the chaos around him (Terry). Hal and Lois do not have the best-kept lawn, the cleanest house or the most well behaved children in the neighbourhood.

But despite being overwhelmed by the daily uproar, at the end of the day Malcolm and his brothers know they are loved. Aside from the near-constant chaos occurring, it’s also filled with scenes of kindness and support for each other. These range from Lois’s unconditional support for her husband when he takes an unpaid leave from his job to pursue his dream of painting, to the discovery that Reese has a hidden talent for gourmet cooking. Money is always a need for the family, as both parents sometimes struggle to give their children the basic necessities.

Malcolm in the Middle already has taken its place in family television history for the shows production and for its unique portrayal of the relationships that define family relations. With his appeal and intelligence, Malcolm goes through his childhood like any other person. But as he says, “the best thing about childhood is that at some point it stops” (FOX Network). Conclusion Televisions portrayal of the family has undergone a significant transformation in the fifty years of its existence, as stated in this research report. The families seen on television today are almost opposite of those seen in the early 1950s.

The relationship between the parents and the children has gone from the perfect family in Leave it to Beaver, to the dysfunctional one in Malcolm in the Middle. But it is the dysfunctional relationships that better portray the typical North American family of today (Embry). Many things have changed in television as racial and ethnic lines have been crossed. When TV sitcoms began, mostly whites dominated the shows. Today, there are more types of sitcoms with minorities such as African-Americans or Jews. If anything, television families have been teachers, showing the viewing audiences how to act and how things truly are in society.

Television and Commercialism

Television is populated with images which are superficial and lack depth. Programs look more like ads and ads look more like programs. All this leads to a close circle of consumerism. The three excerpts relate to these unifying ideas thus the validity of their argument. “Surface is all; what you see is what you get. These images are proud of their standing as images. They suggest that the highest destiny of our time is to become cleansed of depth and specificity altogether. ” (1). We live in a world populated by images.

Children’s television has concocted small, preset roups of images such as rainbows for happiness, red hearts for warmth, unicorns for magical regeneration, and blondness to indicate superiority ( 2). Images are just thatimages which keep the viewer on a superficial level. For instance, in the program Sailor Moon, little girls are kept on a level of clothes and being cute for boys. This is a very unrealistic outlook and short circuits any thoughts of importance in their lives. Barbie, the Mattel doll, also portrays a false image.

With her petite, fragile figure, large bust, tiny waist, long legs, big eyes, and vast career ranging from a lifeguard to a doctor, Barbie wins the earts of many innocent little girls who become subjected to her unrealistic image. Most often in television there is no depth beyond the surface, what you see is what you get. This is very prominent in children’ s television, where without the special effects in action- adventure shows, all that is left are shows that lack enthusiasm. For example, many children’s programs are alike.

They often involve very innocent, sweet, high-voiced creatures that live in happy land. They are threatened by bad people who capture one of the happy creatures. However they are rescued on the end and everyone lives happily ever fter. In response the viewer experiences the emotion of feeling “happy. ” These programs allow for a quick emotional response but no deep response that permits you to go past the surface. However, television allow us to see further at times such as a program about black Americans discovering their roots.

Yet shows like this are far and few between. Most of the time, we only see what’s on the surface which focuses on what society already knows or what they (writers) think we need or want to know (3). “Television, with all its highly touted diversity, seems to becoming ore of a piece, more a set of permutations of a single cultural constant: television, our debased currency. ” (4). TV looks like TV and when you look at it deeper it takes you back to itself, this is referred to as homogeneity. But even as television becomes televisionplus, it remains the national dream factory, bulletin board, fun house mirror for distorted images of our national desires and fears… And yet non of the metaphors seems quite right, because finally television is not quite anything else. It is justtelevision. ” (5). Ads are becoming to look more like programs with the use of narrative trategies called “mini- narratives. ” This strategy is used in a particular Pepsi commercial which models the TV show Miami Vice. It features Don Johnson and the music of Glenn Fry.

It is almost as if the commercial is a three minute episode of the show. Similarly programs are beginning to look like ads. When Price Adam pulls out his sword in the show He-Man, he is encircled with lively, lightning flashes as he shouts in a deep, echoing, voice, “By the power of Grayskull… I have the power! ” He then transforms into He-Man . This appears to be a commercial for the He-Man action figure and sword of power. There is a istory behind programlength commercial. A cartoon Hot Wheels , which is also the name of a line of cars made by Mattel, was aired on ABC in 1969.

One of Mattel’s competitors, Topper, filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) stating that the show was a thirty- minute commercial. The FCC agreed stating that during the program, Mattel was receiving a commercial promotion for its product beyond the allowed time for commercial advertising. (6). Both ads and children’s television generally have minimal plots which contribute to the lack of depth . In kids TV there is more focus on visual and ound effects, pyrotechnics and a recognizable theme song. Plots repeat each other from one show to another, no matter who produces them.

Whether aimed at little girls and syrupy sweet, or at little boys and filled with “action” sequences in which the forces of Good triumph, however provisionally, over the forces of Evil, they involve an obsession with theft, capture, and kidnapping (emphasis on “kid” ), with escape, chase, and recapture, with deception and mechanical transformation from one shape or state of being to another all stung together to make each show a series of predictable permutations. (7). … TV now exalts TV. Spectatorship by perserving a hermetic vision that is uniformly televisual. Like advertising, which no longer tends to evoke realities at variance with the market, TV today shows almost nothing that might clash with its own busy, monolithic style. This new stylistic near integrity is the product of a long process whereby TV has eliminated or subverted whichever of its older styles have threatened to impede the sale of goods; that is, styles that might once have encouraged some nontelevisual type of spectatorship. ” (8).

Authorship” as a business concept has moved from elevision studios to the toy industry, greeting card companies, advertising agencies, and cereal companies. In only a short time, a small scale business of licensing popular kids characters to appear on products has been turned into a multibillion dollar industry. Through the “licensed character” and the program length commercial. Originally the idea of character licensing came about in 1904 when the Brown Shoe Company purchased the rights to use the name of a popular comic strip character, Buster Brown, to promote its children’s shoes. 9). At first, licensers thought it was a good idea to simply get free dvertising value of having their “image” on a product with no payment required. (10). Character licensing was made for children’s television and started to get out of hand. The 1950’s were a golden age of kids TV. Announcers like Buffalo Bob of Howdy Doody who did ads themselves would pressure the viewers by saying things such as “have your Mom or Daddy take you to the store where you get Poll Parrot shoes, and ask for your Howdy Doody cut out! ” (11).

Thus popular characters in kids TV lead to huge lines of products to which their images are attached. The process of TV merchandising began with a successful show. Then long came a toy company who had paid for the right to make a doll of the show’s main character. Then a clothes company paid to make clothing featuring the character and on the story goes. (12). More importantly, this created a new framework for not only marketing a toy, but an image.

Thus leading to children surrounded by advertising images which were mirrored off every object that caught their eye. 13) Cartoons are often about multiply groups so that there are more characters to sell. The more they sell the more money they make. “What better than urging kids to get into sharing and togetherness and cooperation by buying hole integrated, cooperative, loving sets of huggable, snugglable, nurturing dolls? ( “Ten Care Bears are better than one, ” as one Care Bear Special put it. )” (14). Kids have enormous imaginative capacities which leads to highly structured play which requires highly structured toys.

For instance, in the cartoon Sailor Moon, the characters wear rings to give them power. What better marketing strategy than to create gadgets which will increase sales. After all, Sailor Moon is not Sailor Moon without her ring, and Price Adam is only He-Man with his sword. Children’s television is “intimately linked to the seasonal launching nd selling of new lines of dolls and other licensed products not singly, but in bonded groups: ten or more Care Bears; scads of My Little Ponies; eight Hugga Bunch plush dolls with their baby Hugglets in their arms. (15). These shows focus on the need for teamwork. Most often in children’s television one of the worst crimes you can commit is to be alone. Consumerism becomes a naturalized act since all you see is superficial and fake. You begin to believe what you see is real because that is all you see, so it seems natural. The ideas of superficiality and lack of depth, as well as omogeneity combine to promote consumerism. Ads portray utopias which convey that we are supposed to think it is the magic of things.

Such that if we buy these things they will transform our lives. For instance, if a child has a He- Man sword he too will have the ” Power of Grayskull. ” These images try to place the product’s image onto the image of this transformation and eventually lead to a purchase. (16). ” If we want a different set of images on the screen, we’ll have to produce not just better plots, but a different production system with different goals in a different world. ” (17).

Stay Tuned: The Exploitation Of Children In Television Advertisements

Across America in the homes of the rich, the not-so-rich, and in poverty-stricken homes and tenements, as well as in schools and businesses, sits advertisers’ mass marketing tool, the television, usurping freedoms from children and their parents and changing American culture. Virtually an entire nation has surrendered itself wholesale to a medium for selling. Advertisers, within the constraints of the law, use their thirty-second commercials to target America’s youth to be the decision-makers, convincing their parents to buy the advertised toys, foods, drinks, clothes, and other products.

Inherent in this targeting, especially of the very young, are the advertisers; fostering the youth’s loyalty to brands, creating among the children a loss of individuality and self-sufficiency, denying them the ability to explore and create but instead often encouraging poor health habits. The children demanding advertiser’s products are influencing economic hardships in many families today. These children, targeted by advertisers, are so vulnerable to trickery, are so mentally and emotionally unable to understand reality because they lack the cognitive reasoning skills needed to be skeptical of dvertisements.

Children spend thousands of hours captivated by various advertising tactics and do not understand their subtleties. Though advertisers in America’s free enterprise system are regulated because of societal pressures, they also are protected in their rights under freedom of expression to unfairly target America’s youth in order to sell to their parents, regardless of the very young’s inability to recognize the art of persuasion. In the free enterprise system, the advertiser’s role is to persuade consumers to buy their products/services.

They are given a product/service and re required to use their best creative effort to make this product desirable to the intended audience (Krugman 37). Because of this calculated and what many deem as manipulative way of enticing the target audience, the advertising industry is charged with several ethical breeches, which focus on a lack of societal responsibility (Treise 59). Child Advocacy groups and concerned parents, among others, question the ethicality of advertising claims and appeals that are directed towards vulnerable groups in particular, children (Bush 31).

The fundamental criticism is that children are an unfair market. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates the advertising industry to ensure consumers’ protection from false or misleading information. The question many assert is should the government be allowed to monitor what is legitimate simply because some do not approve (Hernandez 34). This question requires value judgments that can only be answered through constructing public policy (Kunkel 58). Most people in society recognize that television advertising directed towards children is excessive, manipulative and takes unfair advantage of children (Kunkel 60).

In a recent survey from the researcher, it was documented that 80% of dults with children wanted governmental regulation to protect children from television advertising (See Appendix 1). Research in the social science fields such as psychology and communication documents how the child interprets a given television advertisement. Findings indicate for one, the majority of children up to age five “experience difficulty distinguishing perceptually between programs and commercials” (Kunkel 62). It is noted that children at this young age tend to treat all television content as a unidimensional type of message.

For instance, child viewers do not begin to discriminate between antasy or reality dimensions of television content at the most basic levels until grade school. Advertisers compound this issue by using perceptual similarities in program content and commercial content which adds to the difficulty children already have in distinguishing between the two variables. Secondly, the study substantiates that, “A substantial proportion of children, particularly those below age eight, express little or no comprehension of the persuasive intent of commercials” (Kunkel 63).

This is a crucial argument in regards to the legality of unfair advertising. Children eight and younger are n unfair market, for they do not understand the intent of the advertisement. For the child to recognize and appreciate the persuasive intent of television advertising, he/she would be able to identify the following characteristics: “the source of the advertisement has perspectives and interests other than those of the receiver, the source intends to persuade, persuasive messages are biased, and biased messages demand different interpretive strategies than do unbiased messages” (Kunkel 64).

Thirdly, research has found “younger children who are unaware of the persuasive intent of television advertising tend to xpress greater belief in commercials and a higher frequency of purchase requests” (Kunkel 64). Children are an unfair market in this regard because they simply do not understand the commercial claim may be exaggerated and biased. The child often does not understand that when he/she gets the product , it may not be as spectacular as it was made out to be in the advertisement (Kunkel 64).

Popular studies give evidence that children are often mesmerized by television (Signorielli 34). Children fixate upon television and become hypnotized by watching. The attention level of young viewers is elevated in he presence of children, eye contact, puppets, and rapid pacing (Van Eura 23). Television advertisements target younger audiences by using colorful images and rapid movement often in the form of animation (Brady). The advertisements primarily directed towards the childrens’ market are for toys and foods (Pediatrics 295).

Studies show that children see the images on television as a window of the world, these images affect their thoughts and ideas (Pingree 253). Therefore, advertisers are manipulating children by predominantly showing advertisements that encourage materialism and eating. Research findings on how children interpret television commercials are not the only indicator of what constitutes a fair market. Public opinion, along with the observations of other regarded professionals, observe the exploitation of the children’s market.

According to Cynthia Schiebe, assistant professor of psychology at Ithaca College and director of The Center for Research on the Effects of Television, has the following to say in relation to children as an unfair market: “The point is not that advertising is wrong, but it often plays unfair… Children can’t distinguish the persuasive intent of ommercials. There is enormous evidence that young children have various difficulties in understanding the nature of commercials. They give more credibility to the person speaking than they should, especially if it’s someone like Cap’n Crunch or Ronald McDonald, or someone who is a role model. Ms. Schiebe, through her work as a psychologist and a researcher, asserts that adults have the capabilities to detect persuasive strategies where children do not have the same capabilities. Peggy Charren, leader for 25 years of Action for Children’s Television (ACT), believes that advertising takes advantage of mpressionable youngsters. Charren states, “Children are the only unpaid sales force in the history of America. Advertisers don’t expect kids to buy the product. The kids are being used to sell the product to the parent. ” According to James U.

McNeal, a Texas A&M University Marketing professor , states, “What distinguishes children from other viewers is not so much what advertiser’s show them, but how they interpret it. Children are literalists, which makes them more vulnerable to advertising’s message. For them seeing is believing” (Guber). Though questions of ethicality are denounced extensively, advertising to hildren persist on the forefront of American culture. Advertisers continue to focus on the children’s market because children have become a tremendous source of revenue and an increasingly important commodity for the advertising and marketing industry.

In 1993 alone, children between the ages of four and 12 in the United States had a disposable income of 17 billion dollars. Not only do children have their own money to spend, but children with two working parents influence their parents to spend annually 155 billion dollars (Collins 4). Advertisers do not only see children in terms of immediate discretionary ncome that is available to spend, but perhaps even more valuable to the marketer is the brand loyalty potential.

The advertiser’s mission is to convince the child to want a particular brand, to then have a preference and liking for the brand and therefore to purchase the product again and again which then implies a brand loyalty has been established (Sissors). Advertisers do not only employ this brand loyalty tactic in commercials aimed at the child, but they also implicitly target other campaigns to meet the appeals of children. For example, children surveyed had a particular fondness for the Michelin tire campaign which features babies.

Though these children will not be buying tires for awhile, the implication that brand loyalty has been established seems great (Wujtas 50). Research has confirmed that children establish brand loyalty as early as the age of two years old. An older audience has an awareness of close to 1500 brand names where as a young child has little preconceived preferences. (Guber) With a combination of money to spend and an open mind for the potential to create a brand loyal consumer at an early age, children are an irresistible market to American businesses.

With such tremendous potentiality for revenues and brand loyalty, dvertisers target the children’s market with vengeance. Advertisers annually spend close to 471 million dollars on advertising to children. While the rest of the advertising industry is suffering from a three year decline, the amount of money spent on children’s advertising continues to increase despite heated controversy over the ethicality of targeting a vulnerable and unfair market (Wartella 461). Contemporary advertisers flood the marketplace in practically every outlet daily with their claims and appeals. Advertisements can be found virtually everywhere.

Common media vehicles used for the children’s market are, elevision commercials with an increase during children’s programs, especially Saturday morning programming, on videotapes, in children’s magazines , in malls, and even in the classroom through television- educational programming (Collins 4). One television outlet that has received a considerable amount of negative publicity is Channel One. This is a program where marketers enter the classroom setting by embedding advertisements aimed at children into segments of a 12 minute newscast that is shown daily in more than 12,000 schools across the country.

The appeal to advertisers is to guarantee reaching he intended target audience (Wartella 451). The result to children is exploitation which is basically sponsored by the school system via television advertisers. Many other vehicles are used in the targeting of the children’s market, however, television advertising is perceived as the most effective source in reaching children. The increase of cable options and the amount of time children spend watching the television allows the advertiser to make his exposure and frequency appeals more readily than ever before.

Next to sleeping, children spend the majority of their free time watching television (Lazar 67). By the time a young child graduates from high school, he/she will have seen an estimated 350,000 commercials (Carlsson-Paige 68). For the average child, the television set is on in the home for an average of seven hours per day. In a one week time frame the average preschool-aged child (ages two through five) watches 28 hours of television. The average school-aged child (ages six to 11) watches 24 hours of television (Kotz 1296).

With such an advent of exposure time the young child is repetitively exposed to the advertisers persuasive dialogue. Children are drawn to the mystique and excitement the television set ffers. Due to demographic shifts in the American family it is unlikely that parents will give up the television’s entertaining baby-sitting function. In the last two decades, the number of working women with young children and the number of single parent families has sharply risen. In addition statistics recorded in 1990 report, reflect that nearly three-fourths of both parents in married-couple families with children work on a full or part-time basis.

Therefore, with the current increase of pressures from home, work, and single parenthood the child becomes attached to the television and all it has to offer, hich to a large extent is a selling medium (Lazar 68). The lack of social policy which supports families and regulates children’s television leaves the child vulnerable and exploited from the marketplace. The venues advertisers use to market products to children have widened with increasing technology, marketing ploys and an increase of child oriented products/services.

Beginning in the middle of the 1970’s, the children’s television market grew through the addition of independent television channels and cable networks. The early 1980’s introduced a successful marketing device nown as the program-length commercial which capitalized on taking advantage of an unaware audience (Wartella 449). The program-length commercial is a television show where the main character is modeled after a toy product. The entire program is built around demonstrating to children how to play with a product then encouraging them to buy it.

This strategy is extremely successful for many in the toy industry who usually are the ones funding the marketing and production. Mattel who was the first to pioneer the program-length commercial in the early eighties doubled their sales for their He-Man action igure shortly after implementation of the advertisement (Carlsson-Paige 69). This implies that such advertising manipulates children through a character they admire and encourages the child to want this product by extending the exposure so that the child will demand the product.

The proliferation of new products aimed for children increases the number of television commercials as well. Common categories are videotapes, 900 number information services, a wider range of food products, including children’s TV dinners and other foods that can be prepared by children, an expanded line of clothing and apparel, and n increase of travel advertisements, such as Disneyland, which are aimed explicitly for children to influence their parents vacation choices (Wartella 449). Children have dominant influence on purchases and consumption rates in American families for several changing sociological reasons.

Children are influencing more purchases because families today are having only one child, hence the increase of one parent families forces the child to a do a great extent of his/her own shopping. More women are delaying childbearing, therefore, when she decides to have a child generally their is more money open to spend than when she was younger. And in 70% of U. S. households both parents work , requiring children to become more self-reliant than earlier generations (Wartella 451). Besides being an ethical issue, exploiting children creates adverse effects.

A study conducted by the American Dietetic Association reveals that advertisers primarily promote high fat and/or high sugar foods and drinks to children. The foods being advertised are not consistent with dietary recommendations. With the extended periods of time contemporary American children spend watching television, concern has risen on the implications this has on health attitudes and behaviors of children. By broadcasting the antithesis of a healthful diet, it may be a significant contributor to obesity in children.

Obesity is the result of an energy imbalance that is created when the diet contains mostly high fat and sugar (Kotz 1298). The American Dietetic Association conducted their study by viewing 52. 5 hours of television during children’s programming. In that time 997 commercials were for a product and a mere 68 were public service announcements. More than half (56. 5%) were advertisements for foods while only 10 of the 68 public service announcements were nutrition related. On the average of the 19 ommercials advertisements per hour 11 were for food.

This means a child views a commercial for food every five minutes (Kotz 1297). This may be an acceptable practice if the foods advertised were nutritious, however, predominantly the foods were inconsistent with what constitutes a healthful diet. Of the 564 food advertisements, 43. 6% were for foods in the fats, oils and sweets group. 37. 5% were for foods in the breads, cereals, rice and pasta food group, however, 23% of those ads were for high sugar cereals. In this particular study there was not a single advertisement for fruits or vegetables (Kotz 1297).

This skewed portrayal of a healthful diet has detrimental consequences not only as a short term effect but the overall effect will stay with the child throughout his/her life. In the United States nine out of 10 adults are at an increased risk of diet related chronic disease. The American Dietetic Association recommends a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and to keep fat intake to a minimal, a diet many Americans are lacking perhaps due to advertising’s neglect.

Because dietary patterns of children mirror those of adults, children too are lacking a healthful diet. Evidence indicates hat the atherosclerotic process begins in early childhood and that preventing or slowing this process could extend years of healthful living for many Americans (Kotz 1296). Although it is difficult to distinguish the effect television has on behavioral effects of children, studies show that the amount of time a child spends watching television directly correlates with the request , purchase, and consumption of foods advertised on television.

Heavy marketing of high fat and/or sugar foods and not advertising foods with nutritional value is exploitation; the child does not have the knowledge of what is healthful and is ot able to understand that commercials are designed to sell products (Kotz 1299). This view is accepted by The American Academy of Pediatrics as well. Their position is stated as the following: Parents rather than children should determine what children should eat. Children are unprepared to make appropriate food choices and do not understand the relationship of food choices to health maintenance and disease prevention….

Because young children can not understand the relationship between food choices and chronic nutritional diseases, advertising food products to children promotes profit rather than health (Kotz 1300). Profit seems to be the main motivation in the advertising world. The second effect advertisers promote in young children is materialism coupled often with a loss of self-sufficiency in their ability to make the best with what they have. Due to advertisers influential power on children and the advent of the program-length commercial, children think they have to have certain toys just in order to play.

In the past, children created their own accessories, props and so forth in acting out their play. Today, advertisers convince children they must have a manufactured accessory and prop to play. Basically, the advertiser is taking control of the situation and therefore undermining the child’s basic sense of self-sufficiency (Carlsson-Paige 69). Not only do advertisers dictate how children should play, but they are also creating an environment where children consistently demand more.

Toy manufacturers produce lines of toys which are correlated with cartoons or other children’s programming. This type of strategy is successful in making the child want it more. The toys being sold in this way have only one specific function so the child has to get other components to play effectively. The dvertiser is getting the child to think in terms of quantity (Carlsson-Paige 69). This creates profit for the advertising industry and creates a materialistic view of the world for the child. Concern of the implications of television has received attention for more than 30 years.

Through the pressures of children’s advocacy groups, the television market has received some regulation, though minimal. Many critics argue it is not enough and the government must intervene to stop the exploitation of children through television advertising. Current and past regulations imply that the profitability of the market place is regarded more ighly than the welfare of children (Kunkel 57). The controversy heated up in the late 1960’s when children were considered their own market because of the vast array of commercials directed explicitly to the children’s market.

Advertisers used direct hard-sell approaches in attempts to persuade the children’s market to want the product/service. The advertisers focused their approach on exaggerated claims and showed these commercials often. The public took notice of the repetitiveness and appeals being used and voiced their concern to the Federal Communications Commission (Kunkel 59). In 1970, pressures from a child advocacy group, Action for Children’s television (ACT) presented ample evidence to the FCC on television advertising exploitation of children.

According to findings conducted by the Surgeon Generals Report, advertising is exploiting children because, one, children the age of five can not distinguish program content from commercial content and , two, children eight and under do not have the cognitive skills to identify persuasion (Lazar 69). Therefore children are an unfair market and the public expects protection on a government level. ACT petitioned the FCC to ban all advertisements directed towards hildren eight and under. Despite receiving more than 100,000 letters in support of ACT’s petition, the FCC did not comply with the request.

It took the FCC four years to come up with some restrictions. The restrictions included: advertiser’s must limit advertisement time to 9. 5 minutes per hour on weekends when viewing is highest and 12 minutes during the week (Lazar 70). The FCC believed reducing frequency would offer the child some sort of protection from exploitation. In order to protect the child five and under who cannot distinguish program content from advertisers, the FCC required all tations to comply with the separation principle.

This policy was applied in three different areas: One new requirement was that all television programs adopt a separation device referred to as a Bumper. This device signals to the child a commercial is about to be broadcast. For instance, an announcer might say, “And now a word from our sponsor” (Kankel 62). Critics claim that advertisers have circumvented the rules and they minimize the warnings. For example when speaking disclaimers such as the one mentioned before, the voice over is spoken rapidly and is not understood fully by the child viewer (Pediatrics 295).

The second area of regulation prohibited host selling. Host selling is when a character from the program promoted products either directly or adjacent to their show. For example a Barbie Doll commercial could not be seen during a Barbie Doll television show. And thirdly, program-length commercials were prohibited at this time (Kankel 62). In the early 1980’s during the time of the Reagan administration, the advertising industry basically deregulated itself. Mattel and other toy companies reinstated the program-length commercial.

In 1984, ACT responded to the proliferation of program length commercials by filing a complaint to the FCC. However, according to the FCC, “marketplace forces can better determine commercial levels than our own rules” (Lazar 70). Kunkel and Roberts had the following conclusion to make: “When forced to choose at an extreme level, society(at least in the form of its representative government) valued the protection of private enterprise, commercial speech, and some degree of the concept of caveat emptor more than it valued the protection of children in their interaction with these institutions” (67).

The government needs to intervene with some form of regulated guidelines because a child can not be regarded in the same sense as an adult audience. Children are vulnerable to persuasion and should not forced to succumb to materialism so early in life. There have been others concerned with this position and freedom of expression in the free enterprise system has allowed television to become the mass marketing tool. Advertisers seem unconcerned about ethical obligations. So it has to be individual families to shield their children from exploitation.

Cynthia Scheibe, psychology professor, and Peggy Charren, founder of ACT, has the following recommendations to lessen the degree of exploitation of children. The amount of television watched should be limited in order to ecrease its negative effects. Adults should impress upon youngsters that having more toys or clothes won’t always bring satisfaction. As a parent, one should watch the advertisements with the child and ask the child such questions as “What is it they’re trying to sell? The parent should also take the child to the store to see if the desired products are really as exciting in real life as they appear to be on television. The parent should point out to the child that the objects surrounding the product are unrealistically big meaning the toy is probably smaller than it appears. And lastly, get the child to make up is or her own commercial and try to sell a product to another child to see how difficult it is to sell a product fairly in 30 seconds (Collins 5).

Although these suggestions are useful they still are not a remedy for the problem advertisers create. It is society’s responsibility to push for regulation that will protect America’s children from advertisers’ exploitation. The first amendment gives all citizens responsibility along with freedom: the responsibility to protect their vulnerable youth, the responsibility to limit their excesses, which with the pervasion of advertising has become next to mpossible, and the responsibility to insulate children from a world of adults who employ unfair tactics just to sell.

It is the duty of adults to teach sound ethics to children rather than to breach all ethical considerations for the purpose of selling, thus brainwashing our children through commercials and making them feel incomplete, inferior, and inadequate if they do not purchase various advertised products. It is citizens’ responsibility to nurture children to become self-sufficient, creative, healthy adults who have not a distorted propensity for materialism. The welfare of America’s children is the welfare of her future.

Reviewing a TV show or movie

The Simpsons is undeniably the best show to ever be shown on television. Every episode is a timeless classic, subtle Simpsons humor and doesn’t depend on common jokes that so many rip-off cartoon shows and sitcoms use today. It is original, and no other show can ever top its humor. The characters are all amazingly funny and they always think of the most surprising and hilarious things to say. The Simpsons is one of the few shows that have managed to retain its popularity over the years. Bart pulls a prank at church, resulting in a punishment for himself and Milhouse.

They have a conversation about it, and Bart tells Milhouse that he does not believe in souls. To prove it, he sells his soul to Milhouse for $5, well actually; he sells him a piece of paper with “Bart Simpson’s soul” written on it. He notices that animals are afraid of him and automatic doors don’t recognize him. Bart continues to notice that he is different. He loses his ability to laugh at senseless violence. He tries unsuccessfully to get his soul back from Milhouse. Bart has nightmares, so he goes on to beg for Milhouse’s help.

Milhouse does not have the soul anymore; he sold it to Comic Book Guy, who then sold it to an unnamed person. Bart is relieved to discover it is Lisa, and she gives him back his soul. Bart is back to normal, metaphysically. A major reason why its maintained its popularity is because of its overall quality. While other cartoons and sitcoms center on vulgar themes and pathetic plot-lines, The Simpsons is able to shine far above the rest with its hilarious plots, and good messages. We all know its impossible to sell your soul, but thats the creativity.

At the end of the episode Bart learns the true meaning of having a soul and respecting the church. The Simpsons is a ride through a fantasy society, which mock very human trait. Beer is drunk in every episode, bad habits are given into, ignorance and disdain to normal people, but somehow, everyone gets along in the end. Some features can be irritating, such as the portrayal of women, its always the mother and sister who are working hard and very intelligent, and the men are laid back with no worry. It also discriminates against Indians like Apu the kwiki- mart owner.

But its important to know that the Simpson is not meant to be taken seriously, after all it is an animated show. There never seems to be a boring moment with the Simpsons. The beautiful music and wacky songs accompany the Simpsons through their dysfunctional lives. If you have never seen “The Simpsons,” I encourage you to watch it. I highly recommend it for its great humor. It takes only a moment to be absorbed completely into their wonderful world. So that is reason why the Simpsons have had such great success and popularity.

Analyze the kinds of commercials that are played on the television

Did you ever sit and analyze the kinds of commercials that are played on the television? At designated times, different people are targeted. Or how about the ways the grocery stores are set up with the candy, soda, and magazines near the check out area. Items in a store are put in certain places for a reason. These are all clever selling techniques that manufacturers come up with to get people to buy their products. Around 2:30 until about 5:00, the kids come home from school, and the cartoons and other kids shows are on.

So why not show commercials for the latest Barbie doll or hot wheels playset. Children see this, remember it and figure out how to convince someone to buy it for them. Right around dinnertime, youre on the couch, and Oprahs on. All of a sudden you see a commercial for Boston Market with a mouth watering rotisserie chicken and some fresh mashed potatoes. Now you get hungry so why make dinner when it can be done for you? Taking a child to the grocery store can be the absolute pits.

Youre going down aisle five (the cereal aisle) and your four year old sees a box of frosted flakes with some new pokemon toy. He starts throwing a fit, not because he wants the cereal, but because of the cool toy inside. Of course you get suckered into buying it so your child doesnt scream anymore. Or you go into the supermarket just for milk. Well the milk is all the way in the back of the store. On your way back, you pass by some cookies, bread and yogurt, and theyre all on sale.

Of course you cant resist purchasing them. Its a great deal. One item always turns into five. Scenario number three is youre at the mall shopping in World Foot Locker for some new basketball shoes. Near the pair of sneakers you like is a poster of Michael Jordan wearing the same pair you were just looking at. You think to yourself, Michael Jordan is wearing them, hes famous and a great basketball player. If I wear them, Ill be great too. Another way to sucker you into the sale.

Or youre driving home from work around rush hour/dinner time, and whats on the billboard, but an advertisement for Mc Donalds with a juicy looking hamburger. And its only a mile down the road. Why not stop there instead of sitting in traffic. People get reeled in just like fish when it comes to manufacturers and the people that sell or advertise their products. Were not necessarily getting robbed. The people behind these selling techniques are just trying to make a dollar. In any kind of sale, you will find some sort of technique being used.

Television Violence and Its Effects on Children

This literature review is based on the effects of television violence on children. More specifically, it deals with the relationship found between television violence and aggression found in young children. I chose this topic because I found it interesting to learn that studies have indeed found a connection between television viewing and the behavior of people, especially children. The first study reviewed is entitled “Television Violence and Children’s Aggression: Testing the Priming. Social script, and Disinhibition Predictions,” by Wendy Josephson.

Josephson begins her study y commenting on other studies which pertain to the idea of television violence leading to aggressiveness in children’s behavior. She acknowledges that, in fact, there are still differing views over whether or not behavior is affected by the violence. However, Josephson tends to rely more on the idea that it is affected and feels that more research should be directed to this area. Mostly, attention is focused on factors such as the disinhibition effect and cue-triggered aggression.

Josephson aims to differentiate these two areas and how they are affected by television violence. The overall urpose of her study is to research the effect this violence has on boys’ aggression. Special emphasis is placed on factors such as teacher-rated characteristic aggressiveness in the boys, timing of frustration (before or after watching the televised violence, and violence related cues. Josephson’s study is detailed and technical. However, sometimes it gets very difficult to understand the study due to the many advanced, technical terms used.

The purpose of the study is somewhat easy to determine, and the three hypotheses on which she bases her research on are outlined clearly in the end of the review. It is understandable, from the review, how she came to her hypotheses. The second study reviewed is by Leonard D. Eron. Titled “Interventions to Mitigate the Psychological Effects of Media Violence on Aggressive Behavior,” it begins with Eron’s realization that although many studies were conducted which support the link between violence on television and aggressive behavior, very few studies have been conducted which attempt to intervene between the two.

Interventions between television violence and aggression could be useful because, then studies could be conducted on educing the effects of violence on the viewer. Also, the results of such a study could be helpful in researching the cause and effect relationship which may exist between the two. However, this would require that the interventions pertain exclusively to television viewing and that any other areas of intervention are controlled. If the aggressive behavior is reduced, it could support the theory of a causal effect as convincingly as a study performed in a carefully controlled laboratory experiment.

The literature review is clear and easy to understand. Eron states at the beginning what his study is about. However, it is not clear in the review, at first, that his study deals with young children. This should have been more apparent since different results are expected depending on who the study involves. It is apparent, however, that his intentions are to study the results which would come from a study involving intervening variables between television violence and aggressive behavior. “Effects of Realistic TV Violence vs.

Fictional Violence on Aggression” by Charles Atkin is the third study to be reviewed. Atkin’s study starts off by stating that much evidence supports the theory that elevised violence contributes to rising amounts of aggression found among young people. He focuses his literature review on the aspect of reality vs. fantasy in violence. More realistic forms of violence are said to lead to greater aggression. His study deals with the comparison of aggressive responses in pre-adolescents to real news violence and fictional entertainment violence. Reality, in the case of these studies, is perceived by the viewer.

The viewer determines whether or not the violence appears real by the extent to which the events really did or could exist in the real world or through imilarities which the event holds with the viewers social or physical environment. If a violent situation appears real, the viewer is more likely to identify with it. Therefore, it is said to lead to more aggression than violence in unrealistic situations. Atkins seeks, in his study, causal evidence of impact which takes into account reality violence, fantasy violence, and no violence treatments.

Atkin gives a clear, understandable idea of what his study is about. This lit review was very well done. His purpose was clear and his hypotheses were well explained at the end of the review. By explaining the nformation lacking in previous studies, it was easy to see how he came to these hypotheses and what he intends to accomplish. The fourth and final study to be reviewed is titled “Intervening Variables in the TV Violence-Aggression Relation: Evidence from Two Countries” by L. R. Huesmann, K. Lagerspertz, and L. Eron.

These researchers attempt to determine the boundary conditions under which the theory of television violence leading to aggression pertains. They also set out to study the impact intervening variables, such as age, culture, and sex, have on the tv violence-aggression relation. Finally, they attempt to further examine how the viewing of television violence relates to aggression. Most of their study focuses on children imitating what they observe. However, they acknowledge the fact that these observations may be altered due to the society in which they live, their age, or their sex.

Therefore, Huesmann, Lagerspertz, and Eron stress the necessity of conducting similar methods of study in various kinds of cultures to gain the necessary information for obtaining a general view of the effects of television violence on children. Their hypotheses, which pertain to the question of why television ffects males more than females, are clearly stated. In fact, the whole literature review is pretty clear and straightforward. The purpose, however, of the study is not really clear until close to the end. It is difficult to figure out where the actual study begins and where the review ends.

Most of the other reviews clearly mark where the methodology starts. In conclusion, the studies all basically aim to learn more about the connection between television violence and aggression among young children. However, the majority of the studies deal primarily with the effect of the violence on males. Therefore, females seem to be hardly ever thought of as a different category in this area. Only one of the studies even mentioned the use of females to achieve different results. Most of the studies were easy to comprehend, and the researchers were fairly straightforward in what they expected to accomplish with their studies.

Television Violence and Its Effects on Children This literature review is based on the effects of television violence on children. More specifically, it deals with the relationship found between television violence and aggression found in young children. I chose his topic because I found it interesting to learn that studies have indeed found a connection between television viewing and the behavior of people, especially children. The first study reviewed is entitled “Television Violence and Children’s Aggression: Testing the Priming.

Social script, and Disinhibition Predictions,” by Wendy Josephson. Josephson begins her study by commenting on other studies which pertain to the idea of television violence leading to aggressiveness in children’s behavior. She acknowledges that, in fact, there are still differing views over whether or not behavior is affected by the violence. However, Josephson tends to rely more on the idea that it is affected and feels that more research should be directed to this area. Mostly, attention is focused on factors such as the disinhibition effect and cue-triggered aggression.

Josephson aims to differentiate these two areas and how they are affected by television violence. The overall purpose of her study is to research the effect this violence has on boys’ aggression. Special emphasis is placed on factors such as teacher-rated characteristic aggressiveness in the boys, timing of frustration (before or after watching the televised violence, and violence related cues. Josephson’s study is detailed and technical. However, sometimes it gets very difficult to understand the study due to the many advanced, technical terms used.

The purpose of the study is somewhat easy to determine, and the three hypotheses on which she bases her research on are outlined clearly in the end of the review. It is understandable, from the review, how she came to her hypotheses. The second study reviewed is by Leonard D. Eron. Titled “Interventions to Mitigate the Psychological Effects of Media Violence on Aggressive Behavior,” it begins with Eron’s realization that although many studies ere conducted which support the link between violence on television and aggressive behavior, very few studies have been conducted which attempt to intervene between the two.

Interventions between television violence and aggression could be useful because, then studies could be conducted on reducing the effects of violence on the viewer. Also, the results of such a study could be helpful in researching the cause and effect relationship which may exist between the two. However, this would require that the interventions pertain exclusively to television viewing and that any other areas of intervention are controlled. If the aggressive behavior is reduced, it could support the theory of a causal effect as convincingly as a study performed in a carefully controlled laboratory experiment.

The literature review is clear and easy to understand. Eron states at the beginning what his study is about. However, it is not clear in the review, at first, that his study deals with young children. This should have been more apparent since different results are expected depending on who the study involves. It is apparent, however, that his intentions are to study the results which would come from a study involving intervening ariables between television violence and aggressive behavior. “Effects of Realistic TV Violence vs.

Fictional Violence on Aggression” by Charles Atkin is the third study to be reviewed. Atkin’s study starts off by stating that much evidence supports the theory that televised violence contributes to rising amounts of aggression found among young people. He focuses his literature review on the aspect of reality vs. fantasy in violence. More realistic forms of violence are said to lead to greater aggression. His study deals with the comparison of aggressive responses in re-adolescents to real news violence and fictional entertainment violence. Reality, in the case of these studies, is perceived by the viewer.

The viewer determines whether or not the violence appears real by the extent to which the events really did or could exist in the real world or through similarities which the event holds with the viewers social or physical environment. If a violent situation appears real, the viewer is more likely to identify with it. Therefore, it is said to lead to more aggression than violence in unrealistic situations. Atkins seeks, in his study, causal vidence of impact which takes into account reality violence, fantasy violence, and no violence treatments.

Atkin gives a clear, understandable idea of what his study is about. This lit review was very well done. His purpose was clear and his hypotheses were well explained at the end of the review. By explaining the information lacking in previous studies, it was easy to see how he came to these hypotheses and what he intends to accomplish. The fourth and final study to be reviewed is titled “Intervening Variables in the TV Violence-Aggression Relation: Evidence from Two Countries” by L. R. Huesmann, K. Lagerspertz, and L. Eron.

These researchers attempt to determine the boundary conditions under which the theory of television violence leading to aggression pertains. They also set out to study the impact intervening variables, such as age, culture, and sex, have on the tv violence-aggression relation. Finally, they attempt to further examine how the viewing of television violence relates to aggression. Most of their study focuses on children imitating what they observe. However, they acknowledge the fact that these observations may be altered due to the society in which they live, their age, or their sex.

Therefore, Huesmann, Lagerspertz, and Eron stress the necessity of conducting similar methods of study in various kinds of cultures to gain the necessary information for obtaining a general view of the effects of television violence on children. Their hypotheses, which pertain to the question of why television affects males more than females, are clearly stated. In fact, the whole literature review is pretty clear and straightforward. The purpose, however, of the study is not really clear until close to the end. It is difficult to figure out where the actual study begins and where the review ends.

Most of the other reviews clearly mark where the methodology starts. In conclusion, the studies all basically aim to learn more about the connection between television violence and aggression among young children. However, the majority of the studies deal primarily with the effect of the violence on males. Therefore, females seem to be hardly ever thought of as a different category in this area. Only one of the studies even mentioned the use of females to achieve different results. Most of the studies were easy to comprehend, and the researchers were fairly straightforward in what they expected to accomplish with their studies.

Didital Television

A social and ethical essay task, designed to provide students with a Broader insight into both the Internet and computer ethics. Since the beginning of time, men and women have fantasised over naked bodies. Pornography has always been a part of life and yet it has never been so readily available as what it is now. Erotic stories, explicit pictures, XXX- rated films and modern day magazines, are all part of the stimulus material which is known as “pornography” or as it is legally put, “obscenity. Is it ethically right for our children to be looking at this erotic material at such n early age? Do we have a twisted sense of morals if we support pornography?

Or is it just a natural part of life that should be nurtured and encouraged? These questions and more are springing to peoples lips as we enter the technological age. The age of the Internet. Never before has pornography been so readily available. Through mail-order, at secret places around the schoolyard, or simply down at the local newsagent or video store, pornography can be purchased in any form or media.

I know children, some as young as ten years, who have an unlimited supply of pornography. They have been exposed to it from an early age and it has become an addiction like smoking or drinking. Part of the problem is that censorship laws are not enforced. Some newsagents will sell a twelve year old, pornography, (legal age of 18) but will not sell them a packet of cigarettes (legal age of 16 until June 1994). The obvious derivative from this statement, is that fines and punishments for selling pornography to underage persons, are not high enough. So why don’t we raise them?

The answer to this question can be found on the screen of every computer in the world. The Internet, or as one person put it, “The closest thing to true anarchy that has ever existed. ” How is one to censor the Internet when it is literally impossible? What is the use of placing fines for copying pornography when it is impossible to tell the age of the user. How can one even trace the user when there are twenty-five billion members and it is impossible to follow them all. How can we delete the pornography when a new batch arrives every day and it is impossible to stop it.

Another point which makes censorship difficult is the fact that censorship laws have only recently being required. In England for instance, censorship laws have, for hundreds of years, concentrated on heretic materials, where as now, they are finding that the only offence censorship is needed to prevent, is pornography. The US also want to put strict censorship on all obscene material, however the first amendment of their constitution states that, “their shall be no law abridging the freedom of speech or press,” and so they are finding it difficult to “step around,” the law.

It is obvious that people are putting an effort in to censor the pornography, however when it comes to censoring material which goes all over the orld, a balance must be found between the censorship laws of all the countries that are hooked into the net. Here a problem arises, because Denmark has no censorship of pornography, so obviously they are going to be somewhat annoyed if it is banned from the Internet since their laws state that it is perfectly legal. So an argument occurs.

How is the world to censor the Internet without causing discrepancies between the different countries? Indeed, some people say, “Why bother? ” So far, you have seen that there would be a great difficulty involved in censoring the Internet. So the other side of the argument, presented by the conomists and pornography fanatics, is that, why should we censor the Internet when perhaps it is not needed. There are many people in the world who will tell you that pornography is a harmless part of life. Artists will tell you that the naked body is a picture of beauty, grace and style.

Authorities in Denmark will say that pornography is a valued part of their society and psychologists will tell you that pornography reduces the rate of sexual abuse and rape. Indeed, the human body is a natural part of life in all of it’s forms, so why do we regard the naked body as been obscene. Is it not stated in the bible that wisdom told us to where clothes? And did it not also state that God did not want us to have wisdom? So can it not also be said, that God did not want us to wear clothes and so therefore, he was encouraging pornography?

This argument seems to demolish the religious fanatics who say that we will burn in hell for looking at obscene materials. After looking at both sides of the argument, it is obvious to see that some middle point must be reached between the two. Pornography on the Internet cannot be totally band and yet it cannot be accessed by any user as our ociety’s ethics are against children looking at pornography. A set of ethics or laws must be devised that will satisfy each and every country which is on the Internet.

It must be devised by a governing party such as the United Nations, or by a committee which has representatives from each country. My evaluation of the argument and my recommendations are as follows, Pornography which is stored on the Internet must be placed in an area which can be accessed only by a password, as well as identification which proves that the user is over eighteen. (eg A drivers license number. ) Pornography which is ound on public bulletin boards must be deleted immediately.

This is the responsibility of not only the governing committee, but also the user. Files which are identified as pornography are to be traced and any under eighteen users are to be fined accordingly. Viewers of pornography who are over eighteen are to remain strictly confidential. No personal data is to be released unless it is required for National Security ecetera. The above recommendations, if carried out on the Internet, would provide the world with a pornography-safe network, one that could be used by children and adults alike across the globe.

Telecommunications

Telecommunications networks now link manufacturers with assembly plants, designers with factories, software engineers with hardware vendors, suppliers with retailers, retailers with customers. No longer is it necessary to have all the expertise in house. Software engineers in Silicon Valley complain that they are laid off while contractors transmit code from Russia and India. Freelance designers can now send clothing patterns directly to an automated garment factory. Customers can order anything from airline tickets to winter clothing online and do their own banking and bill paying electronically.

These trends open opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs around the world. For consumers, they offer more choice and lower prices because there is no overhead cost for sales clerks and order takers. Yet these changes pose threats to traditional businesses as well as to employees. Increasingly, companies that want to compete on price will have to “work smarter” to reduce costs and respond to market changes, while others will have to rethink how to add value to attract customers. High levels of customer service and individualized attention are likely to become more important.

As Wells Fargo found, a bank that offers assistance from a human twenty-four hours a day in addition to online electronic banking can attract new customers. And computer vendors that offer free and easy-to-reach customer support may be able to charge a premium, or at least not lose customers to commodity discounters. More than half the computers in U. S. offices are linked to local area networks (LANs). Increasingly, businesses are also linking into the Internet to reach counterparts in other organizations, specialized databases, and potential customers.

Each month, some 2,000 businesses join the more than 20,000 that have already set up “virtual shop” on the Internet. Federal Express’s 30,000 employees around the world are linked via the Internet to “intranet” sites within the company’s Memphis headquarters; some 12,000 customers a day track their own packages using Federal Express’s Internet Web site, rather than calling a human operator. Ford Motor Company engineers in Asia, Europe and the United States worked together electronically to design the Taurus automobile.

Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly uses information compiled on its intranet sites to schedule clinical trials and submissions for approval of new drugs in countries around the world. Visa International provides an information service called Visa Vue for its 19,000 member banks on an internal Web site. As electronic security improves, in the form of “firewalls” to prevent unauthorized access to private networks and encryption to protect the privacy of personal and financial data, more companies will use the Internet to sell products and services as well as to link their employees.

The Internet opens a global market to the small business and lets low budget nonprofit organizations reach interested parties across the country or the world. While Reuters and Dow Jones are repackaging financial information for electronic subscribers, a startup company in Silicon Valley called QuoteCom is selling financial information over the Internet for as little as $10 per month. The Future Fantasy Bookstore in Palo Alto, California, put its catalog on the Internet and suddenly became a global firm.

Six Hours Of Television

In looking at modern television programming there are hundreds of shows to choose from. Picking six hours of television to analyze from the prospective of an anthropologist is by no means easy. It is easy however, to talk about what our nation looks like to others who have never been here. Everyone is gorgeous, lives happily, and overcomes all problems, but more on that later. Four hours of the programming I chose is perhaps the most popular programming this year, consistently topping the Nielsen ratings.

For the remaining two hours of programming I decided to look at two police drama shows, one that was rand new this season and one not brand new, but still going strong. For the two hours of police dramas, I looked at programs with different angles. NYPD BLUE is the story of police detectives, and HIGH INCIDENT was a new show that looked at the view of policing from the beat. ‘ HIGH INCIDENT represented one of the first t. v. shows to come from the SKG works of Steven Spielberg. However, just like Spielberg’s previous AMAZING STORIES, HIGH INCIDENT has already ceased to air.

This could still change though, with the next season. Of the remaining four hours, three are on television every Thursday night, and include the tremendously popular FRIENDS, the SINGLE GUY, the hits SEINFELD and CAROLINE IN THE CITY, and the most popular show this year, ER. For the remaining hour I choose to look at THE TONIGHT SHOW, with Jay Leno. Between these shows there are many similarities and many differences. All of these shows can be directly compared with each other, having some of the same qualities. Looking at these shows in the perspective of an anthropologist some disquieting trends emerge.

I will present the information as if an outsider, from another nation, were watching American shows, and believed what he/she was eeing to be true of what goes on in America. Perhaps more realistic than the other shows, NYPD BLUE, and HIGH INCIDENT represent the closest what life is really like. To a foreigner seeing these shows, they would probably believe that America is a blood bath of crime and ill will towards other people. While this isn’t true the whole nation over, there are many cities like those portrayed in these two shows.

Like the other shows I will discuss, these two have casts made up of predominately Caucasian males and females. Other nationalities, such as Asian, Afro-American, and Latino are prinkled in just enough to make sure the shows are politically correct. To an outsider this would show that white males dominate society and life in America. While this is certainly true in some respects, it is unfair to portray it as such on television. Television influences the minds of too many people to show one class or people dominating over another, even when it isn’t obvious to everyone.

NBC’s Thursday night line up begins with the block-buster show FRIENDS, and ends with the number one show, ER. In between are sandwiched more shows that have been hits. Every Thursday begins with two hours of comedy. First on the list is FRIENDS. To an outsider FRIENDS shows the perfect male dominates female role of our society. The girls are ditsy, the blond especially so. Of the three guy friends, only one seems to not have all his brains. Two of the three guys have steady, secure jobs. For the girls it’s three steady, but perhaps unsecure jobs, and poor paying.

The character Rachel works at a coffee shop and Phoebe drives a cab, not exactly something to build careers on. The guys make more money, even the character Joey, who’s job as an actor isn’t steady. Of course each girl is drop-dead gorgeous. To those watching in other countries, America is chalk full of pretty women waiting for a man to come sweep them off their feet. The next show, SINGLE GUY, has a slightly different message. America is also full of very happy married couples. The Single Guy himself is on a mission of marriage. That’s what the entire show is based on.

So far an outsider comes to America, is gorgeous if you’re a woman, and a hunk if you’re a guy, has lots of friends, and is searching for a soul mate. Not quite America, but if you’re watching t. v. it is. Moving on there is SEINFELD. The characters n this show again have many friends. The twist to SEINFELD is that there all a little off the wall. A new angle, come to America, and still have lots of friends if you’re not completely sane. Again the show is composed mostly of Caucasian males and females, with even fewer minority appearances than NYPD BLUE.

The last show of the two hour comedy stretch is CAROLINE IN THE CITY. Here there is a difference, but only a little. This time the women have power over the guys. But, we still have a Caucasian male/female cast. Not a total transformation, but it’s a start. Okay, so now an outsider wants to come to America. After watching two hours of comedy and police drama shows he/she can make several conclusions about what America has to offer, and what he/she will find when stepping onto American soil. The cities of America are boiling with violence and aggression. There is hope though.

It’s very easy to make lots of friends, a few of whom are the off the wall type. After making friends one should get married and then it depends on what gender you are. If you’re a guy you have a well paying, steady, secure job. If you’re a woman, more than likely you work in a job that pays much less than your husband’s. If you want to be an independent woman it’s possible, but harder to attain. One of the above mentioned six shows has a woman in a position higher than a man. That still leaves the number one show to deal with, and don’t forget the late night talk show.

ER, the number one show in the nation, and probably the most diverse of these six hours of television. What does ER show to an outsider. Well, for starters the men still dominate the women. There are more men doctor’s, and they seem to have more decision making power. Minorities are represented here, but for the most part they still hold lesser positions. There only nurses and physician’s assistant’s, instead of doctor’s or surgeons. There is however, the character doctor Benton, who is a surgeon, and is Afro-American.

This program also shows some of the violence that an outsider can count on when coming to America. The biggest myth that ER shows is the level of treatment an outsider can expect to receive in any Emergency Department. While it is true that one can walk into any ER and receive prompt care for their health problem, about one-third the cases represented on the show are not treated in most Emergency Department’s in the nation. Knowing someone who works in an ER, I know this to be true. So now an outsider could come to America and expect to have anything wrong with them fixed at there local ER.

Now after the seriousness of ER an outsider would need to see the lighter side of America. Enter Jay Leno. The TONIGHT SHOW has been around for more than 30 years. If any show was to represent America this is it. Again the same old trend emerges, America is dominated by white males. The other late night talk shows are hosted by David Letterman, Tom Snyder, Conan O’Brian, and Greg Keener. It doesn’t take a nerd to figure it out. The difference between these guys and the actors/actresses from the other shows, is that they have more power, and what they say impact’s people more.

David Letterman likes to say that he is the most powerful man in broadcasting. What applies to Jay Leno and his show applies to all the late night shows. An outsider watches Jay Leno, or any late night talk show, and believes that America is an easy going place, full of good-natured, humorous people. Bob Dole and Bill Clinton are good only for jokes, so why listen when they say something important? Someone who has lived in America for most, or all f their life understands what Bill Clinton and Bob Dole represents, and the jokes are just for fun.

For an outsider Jay Leno is the guy to listen to, and Bill Clinton and Bob Dole are only good for jokes. The result is that watching a late night show could throw an outsider into a quandary, is America full of violence, good friends, or people who go around with little respect for authority figures? The debate is endless. An anthropologist comes to America and watches six hours of t. v. and then goes back home and makes a report. An outsider watches six hours of t. v. before oming here to find out what really goes on in America.

They would expect America to be full of beautiful men and women who are either married and happy, or looking for a mate and happy. They have lots of friends, and some of them are off the wall, the better to balance life. Men dominate women, and Caucasians dominate everyone else. A woman who wants to be independent needs to work hard, and even then it doesn’t happen a lot. Men have high-paying, secure and steady jobs. Women make less, have to usually do more of the grunt work (waitressing, etc. ), and aren’t guaranteed a career.

If you have a health problem, visit your local ER, and they’ll fix it in no time, no matter how serious that problem is. Lastly, life wouldn’t be complete without making fun of Bob Dole or Bill Clinton, who could be brother for all any outsider knows. Television is a powerful medium, and it needs to be used with care. As long as there are people who want to come to America they will watch American shows and conclude that America really is like FRIENDS, or ER, or NYPD BLUE. The sum of these shows does not equal what America really is. Added up, these six hours of television barely scratch the surface.