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Philosophy of television

Updated on September 16, 2013

Analysis of Canto's Work “Television Never Completely Neglected the Nuclear Family even in 1980s” Cantor, (1999) (737) Chapter 6

In this chapter, the author expresses the significance of television to the nuclear family during 1980s. He goes on to give examples of family shows that were very successful during that time such as the Cosby, (1984-1992) family ties (1982-1989) and the Simpsons. The Simpson series, which was a family show, was particularly influential to the family because of the family values it carried. This is what prompted other shows to mimic the same concepts in their programs. Many of these shows reflected not only the social trend at that time but also the political aspects of real life situations.

During 1980s, there was an increment in racial diversity in America. The Simpsons and other similar shows such the Cosby created a precedent where other similar programs could develop. The Simpsons and the Cosby shows are regarded as the ones that triggered the emergency of more other family shows in America. Unlike earlier programs, many of the family programs in 1980s and 1990s portrayed black Americans in a positive way. This portrayal had been historically distorted with black Americans being depicted as lazy, irresponsible, criminals and humor targets.

Many of the family shows during this time dominated the attitudes of the public as a family being an enviable entity. In particular, the Simpsons and the Roseanne presented the family in a more cynical view. In addition, there was positive portrayal of the family with regard to home improvement and family matters. Some of the positive aspects portrayed included how the parents ought to behave in the family, and how the siblings needed to relate with each other


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