Bigotry in Sitcoms: All in the Family

Pages: 3 (649 words) Published: August 29, 2011
"All in the Family"
Introduction

The impact of media communication on society is interpreted by its audiences based on numerous factors. All in the Family was one of the first sitcoms that displayed bigotry in an open forum. Audiences interpreted the show based on their specific in terms of either dominant or oppositional. Audience’s interpretations were based on their individual views or beliefs. Writing intended to have the reader perceive a specific idea or thought is known as preferred reading. Producers and writers intend for their audiences to interpret their material in a specific way. If their perception is different than the intended view this is known as oppositional reading or decoding. Dominant and Oppositional ReadingsThe character of Archie Bunker is represented as a conservative, super patriotic, working class American who is a bigot. Both a dominant and oppositional view is perceived depending upon the viewing audience. It was the intent of producers and writers to bring bigotry out in the open where people would laugh rather than take offense. Archie was considered a bigot who was admired for his candid style by some while others were able to accept it as humorous. “Some viewers applaud Archie for his racist viewpoint, while others applaud the show for making fun of

Bigotry” (Vidmar and Rokeach). The article, “Archie Bunker’s Bigotry: A Study in Selective Perception and Exposure reveals an oppositional reading in which viewers perceive Mike as the opposition. Mike provides rebuttals to Archie’s derogatory slurs and racist remarks. The show gives the viewer a character they can relate to based on their selective perception. (Vidmar and Rokeach). Archie Bunker’s Attitude Archie shows he is definitely without a doubt racist through his verbal comments and physical expressions in the video clip, "Hollywood Knows the Truth Pt. 1: Archie Bunker in All in the Family.” Archie classifies specific races,...

Cited: Baran, Stanley, and Dennis Davis. Mass Communication Theory. Fifth Boston: Wadsworth Pub
Co. 2008. Print.
"Hollywood Knows the Truth Pt. 1: Archie Bunker in All in the Family."
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=archie+and+sammy+davis+jr&aq=f.
Web. 18 Jul 2010. .
Vidmar, Neil, and Milton Rokeach. "Archie Bunker 's Bigotry: A Study in Selective
Perceptionand Exposure." Journal of Communication 24.1 (2006): Web. 18 Jul
2010.
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