KS100- Gregory Cameron
4 December 2010
The Ideology Behind the Sitcom ‘Leave it to Beaver’
Ideology can be described as “a process in which the set of values and beliefs that bind individuals together in a society becomes ‘naturalized’”( O’Brien, Szeman 44). In connection to that definition, it is useful to look at the ways in which a specific ideology can be formed. Television for example has had a tremendous impact on North American ideals. What makes it a unique medium is that it is both a reflection of our cultural surroundings and an influence on our societal beliefs. So it is important to look at the programming that has had the most profound effects on society and has made a lasting impact. An example of this is the 1950s and 1960s television phenomenon ‘Leave it to Beaver’. Which was a comedic and infamous show about a curious and often naïve young boy who lived in suburbia with his family. In terms of programming content the sitcom really had a great influence on how society behaved during that time period and is still used today as an example of the ideal lifestyle of those decades. The following paragraphs will explain the cultural ideologies that emerged from the show ‘Leave it to Beaver’.
During the late 1950s and sixties the relatively new emergence of the television brought a whole new idea of entertainment to the modern family. Families became closer Cutone 2
as more quality time was spent together during this era, as it was common for the entire family to gather around the television set to watch their favourite programming. The programming at the time was advantage of that type of audience, so therefore T.V shows were focused on displaying quintessential family values and ideal beliefs. It set up a certain standard for the behavior of its viewer’s as its aim was to display the ideological values of that time. Some specific themes displayed through out the series were education and its...
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