Media Portrayals of Groups: Distorted Social Mirrors
While television may provide a distorted social mirror, there are programs which break down social stereotypes. This week’s programs were selected because they do not perpetuate stereotypes but they do show that it is ok that we are all different. Scrubs
The NBC program, Scrubs is an offbeat comedy that has received numerous Emmys, Golden Globes and the prestigious Humanitas Prize which honors film and television writing that showcase humanity in a manner that is respectful, probing and enlightening helping to liberate and unify society. The program is quirky and appealing to young adults. The four main characters are all twenty-somethings that work at the same hospital. The lead J.D. is a Caucasian, medical resident. His main sidekick and former roommate, Turk is a gifted African American surgeon. Both characters are smart, and dedicated, yet silly and goofy and the shows writers use dream sequences to create a surreal environment for the program. To balance the two male characters, there is Elliot a pretty blonde. She is also a resident and used to date J.D. She is socially awkward and lacks self confidence, like most women her age (p. 58). Carla is a forceful Latina nurse, who is married to Turk. She is smart, outspoken and represents the fact that nurses are the backbone of the hospital. The residents are not the flawless, life saving doctors that are normally portrayed on television but instead they are shown to be college graduates that are still trying to figure out just what life has in store for them (p. 85).
Other main, supporting characters are the authority figures of the hospital. They are all older, white males that while brilliant appear emotionless or callous the majority of the time. They represent authority and the way things have been done (pgs. 60 – 62). J.D. and his friends represent a new way of conducting business, they represent the future. They practice medicine...
References: Burnett, M. (Executive-Producer). (2006, May 11). Survivor: Exile Island. Puyallup: CBS Network http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor12/show/ep13/
Harris, R. (2004). A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communications (4th ed). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
Lawrence, B. (Executive-Producer). (2006, May 10). Scrubs. Puyallup: NBS Network http://www.nbc.com/Scrubs/
Scholastic (Producer). (2006, May 12). Maya and Miguel. Puyallup: PBS Network http://pbskids.org/mayaandmiguel/flash.html
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