Are there alternative ways to gather the data that would be more accurate, more useful, more timely, more technologically advanced, or less burdensome and costly?
With its fast-moving, visually interesting, highly entertaining style, it commands many people's attention for several hours each day.
Studies have shown that television competes with other sources of human interaction—such as family, friends, church, and school—in helping young people develop values and form ideas about the world around them.
It also influences viewers' attitudes and beliefs about themselves, as well as about people from other social, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.
Between the s and s, commercial television had a profound and wide-ranging impact on American society and culture. It influenced the way that people think about such important social issues as race, gender, and class.
It played an important role in the political process, particularly in shaping national election campaigns. TV programs and commercials have also been mentioned as major factors contributing to increased American materialism a view that places more value on acquiring material possessions than on developing in other ways.
Finally, television helped to spread American culture around the world. Racial minorities on TV Until the s, the majority of the people who appeared on American television programs were Caucasian white. Being white was presented as normal in all sorts of programs, including news, sports, entertainment, and advertisements.
The few minorities that did appear in TV programs tended to be presented as stereotypes generalized, usually negative images of a group of people. For instance, African American actors often played roles as household servants, while Native Americans often appeared as warriors in Westerns.
Some critics argue that outright racism unfair treatment of people because of their race was the reason that so few minorities appeared on television. But television industry analysts offered several other explanations as well.
In the s and s, for instance, the broadcast networks tried to create programs that would attract a wide audience. Before research tools became available to gather information about the race and gender of people watching, network programmers assumed that the audience was made up mostly of white viewers.
They also assumed that many white viewers would not be interested in watching shows about minorities. In addition, the networks did not want to risk offending viewers—or potential advertisers—in the South who supported segregation the forced separation of people by race. Whatever the reason, prime-time television programming largely ignored the real-life concerns and contributions of America's racial minorities for many years.
There were a few early TV shows that featured minorities. The popular situation comedy sitcom I Love Lucy, which aired from toco-starred comedian Lucille Ball — and her real-life husband, bandleader Desi Arnaz —who was Hispanic. Even though the program attracted many of the top performers of that time, it was cancelled after one year because it failed to find a sponsor a company that pays to produce a program for advertising purposes.
A very popular early variety program, The Ed Sullivan Show, featured a number of black performers as guests. Still, African Americans mostly appeared on TV in the role of entertainers.
This situation slowly began to improve during the civil rights movement —75when African Americans fought to end segregation and gain equal rights in American society.
TV news programs provided extensive coverage of civil rights protests, which helped turn public opinion in favor of the cause of equality. As awareness of racial discrimination unfair treatment based on race increased, more social critics began complaining about the absence of minority characters on television.
They argued that positive portrayals of minority characters in TV programs could help increase the self-esteem of minority viewers, promote understanding, and improve race relations in the United States.
Breaking the color barrier InAfrican American actor and comedian Bill Cosby — costarred as a detective on the popular series I Spy. He won three Emmy Awards for his role. In Diahann Carroll — became the first black woman to star in a prime-time TV series. She played the title character in Julia, a sitcom about a nurse raising her young child alone after her husband's death.10 Television's Impact on American Society and Culture.
TV is a constant presence in most Americans' lives. With its fast-moving, visually interesting, highly entertaining style, it commands many people's attention for several hours each day. Watch video · The s were an era defined by conservative politics, the rise of computer technology and the end of the Cold War, as well as s fashion and music.
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