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Television's Distortion of Reality

Uploaded by megatow on Dec 05, 2004

TV in today’s society often distorts our view of the world and its reality. This often happens when people start to relate to everything they see to be real, or “Written in Stone,” as some may say. Hopefully at the end of this article you will look at television a little more unrealistic than realistic. When looking at this subject, it is easiest to break it down into six categories, which are derived from cultural critic George Gerbner’s research: Sex, age, race, work, health, and crime. (Waters 166.)

The most common role in the sex category is the way the family is portrayed. The perfect example is the show the Wonder Years. It is often portrayed as the way families were set up in through out the fifty’s and sixties. There is the male, father, and man of the house. He is expected to be in charge. What he says goes, and everyone listens. The mother is usually known as the common housewife, not daring to get a job, because the husband is the so-called “Bread winner.” Her role is to clean the house, cook all the meals, and tend after the children. Even all-major decision-making is left to the male. It’s always, ask your father. The children may try to talk their way out of trouble with the mother, but very rarely with the father. They know he will get mad and say no.

In the second category, age, we will consider as people over the age of sixty-five. The number of people growing older in today’s society is on the rise thanks to the “Baby boomer age.” We sometimes try to target younger people with activities going on in the world, often excluding the older generations. Older people are often found sitting in front of the tube passing the time by, but just because they watch a lot of television, doesn’t mean that they are the most influenced. They have already lived life, good times and bad. They usually have the best understanding of how the world operates.

The third category is probably the most sensitive to discuss, race. Television portrays the different ethnic groups usually in stereotypes, not so much on appearance. Minorities usually play a lesser role. When a child looks at this he might automatically try to determine his worth or part of society. There are often many race issues brought up by television. Inter-racial...

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Uploaded by:   megatow

Date:   12/05/2004

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   5 pages (1,043 words)

Views:   8254

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