Television and Culture

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Television is the most popular mass entertainment and information medium; it can be seen as a potentially powerful source of socialization that is capable of promoting its own view and ideas about society. Television programming is a very powerful mode of communication. With millions of people watching its messages and propaganda, one show on a single channel can reach a massive amount of viewers and change their perception of society. By 1990 in the developed world 98 percent cent of homes had come to possess a television. With its ability to influence people of all ages, it changes the way of thinking and views of a person. Although the television has improved its representation of gender, men are still portrayed as the dominant figures over women who are portrayed as dependent and emotional. The inventors of television from the 1890s until the 1950s thought of it as an additional means for delivering information and entertainment, as an extension of telephone, radio, theatre, and cinema: but it has now gathered to itself a range of functions beyond the entertaining and informing the audiences. What the inventor’s never quite realized was that television would become a normative, that so much of what we see on the screen would contrive to suggest how things ought or ought not to be. We see a television program containing a representation of family life and we have used it as a guide or as a gauge of what a typical family should represent. Of the many influences on how we view men and women, media is the most pervasive and one of the most powerful. It is woven throughout our daily lives; television insinuates their messages into our consciousness at every viewing. All forms of media communicate images of the sexes, many of which perpetuate unrealistic, stereotypical and limiting perceptions. Women are underrepresented, which falsely implies that men are the cultural standard and that women are unimportant and or invisible. Men and women are portrayed in...
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