Language Stereotypes in Television

Topics: Stereotype, Gender, Second language Pages: 2 (508 words) Published: October 6, 2012
That 70’s Show is an American sitcom that ran from 1998-2006. It takes place in 1976-1980 Wisconsin and centers around a group of highschool kids and ends a couple years after their graduation. In a way, the show proves that no matter what the decade, kids behave the same way and have mostly the same stereotypes. There are many characters who have either ethnic or gender stereotypes pinned to them through their language or how they act. The first example is also the main love interest of the show, Eric and Donna. In the later seasons, when the main relationship is more serious, Eric believes that Donna’s responsibilities when married is to stay at home and take care of the children while he worked. However, Donna, being a feminist, wanted nothing to do with staying home all the time. She wanted to explore the world and work. Another character who exemplifies a female stereotype is Jackie. She is a year younger than everyone else and her language can best be described as often high-pitched and definitely the most girly on the show. She loves pink unicorns and everything stereotypically girly. Many of the male characters can often find her “annoying” because of her overbearing girliness. The most masculine character is Hyde, and through his actions and words he expresses many male stereotypes. He is very direct with what he says and never beats around the bush. If he has a problem with something he will not hesitate to speak up and does seem to be commanding of the other characters, seeming both stronger and smarter than the other men. He uses the word “man” often, something that seems to be stereotypical of a guy. He will often use silence to his advantage when necessary. Another character is Fez(basically an acronym for “Foreign Exchange Student”), a dark colored boy whose country of origin is unknown. Being foreign, his language is poor at best since he doesn’t understand certain things that are acceptable in this late 1970’s teenage American culture, often...
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