Evaluate the Contribution of Television to Social Change.

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Television is a popular culture that undeniably contributes to myriad social changes. Social change can be defined as alterations in basic structures of a social group or society. There are distinct “markers” in society that force change to occur, and according to Robertson (1989) these include the environment, population and social movements, cultural innovation and need for technological development. Television has contributed to such social changes as the shift in language, desensitisation of viewers to pain and suffering and the increasing obsession with image.

Television has most certainly contributed to a shift in language and an increased use of slang. Television is a strong media outlet that influences the use of language in society, due to its accessibility and widespread audience of approximately 94% of Australia (Free-to-air). A significant proportion of slang refers to vulgar or 'taboo' concepts and events, which can be linked to the types of genres within television. The Simpsons and Family Guy are examples of television shows that have been made popular due to their appealing use of language which has attracted the younger generations. “D’oh!” or “Eat my shorts” are significant sayings from The Simpsons now commonly integrated into everyday language. Furthermore, the BBC announced on the 14th of June 2001 that “D’oh” was issued in the latest Oxford Dictionary, showing society’s acceptance and constant use of the colloquialism. Chief Editor of the Oxford Dictionary John Simpson stated "My job is the perfect excuse for watching action films, soaps, quiz programmes - where the language is busy right now,” showing television certainly has contributed to the social change of language. Family Guy is a far newer cartoon version of The Simpsons, where due to its explicit and often offensive use of language gas caused it to be cancelled twice by Fox Network. However, the high demand from supporting audiences allowed a feat that rarely happens in today’s...
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