A Critical Study At The Dissemination Of Ideas And Trends Through Tv And Advertising In The Past 20 Years: Do We Define Television Or Is Tv Defining Us?

2421 words - 10 pages

Today's world changes at an amazingly fast rate: today's tendencies are tomorrow's past fashions. Just as the world changes so does humanity and its views pertaining entertainment and the development of society. The way our society changes is not only attributed to the change in people's mindset, demographics or time passage, but I believe that it has to do with the message that is propagated through the mediums, especially television and advertising in the past 20 years. By the same token, it can also be proposed that television is a mere portrayal of society at any given time. With this is mind, I would like to propose the question of objectivity in portraying the truth; is television really defining us as persons, as consumers and as human beings or are we defining television through our actions and behavior? This paper will focus in researching the history of television, past trends and how those trends and the message broadcasted have shaped society, their consumer conduct and their human behavior as a whole. The research will especially focus in exploring the change in children's programming through the decades and will help illustrate the rapidly growing gaps among generations of consumers.Firstly, to understand the impact of television as a medium, there is a necessity to uncover its origin and the advertising system used during the first days of broadcasting. By comparing the ways advertising was done in the past in comparison to now, we will be able to comprehend the differences and similarities that have influenced our culture through the years. Even though television came to be about in the turn of the century, it wasn't until the late 1930's that it really had an impact in American society. As a matter of fact, television played "the crucial role … [in the] 1950s prime-time … in the construction of a Cold War culture characterized by normalized whiteness and a mythified notion of 'the West'" (Nadel 46). With this it can be concluded that television also helped formalized some of the racial and social stereotypes that we currently have. For example, the notion of west superiority and ability to rein the world by force can be traced back to indoctrination spread by television fifty years ago. Television gained strength in viewership after the war as a form of escapism from the combat mindset brought home from returning fathers and husband, now war veterans and now in need to reconnect with the family in a safer environment other than the trenches. This is also current of our times, given that millions of people tune into television now-a-days as a way to lighten up the burden on everyday pressures and societal constraints. It can also be "argue[d] that the nascent network television industry successfully asserted itself as a purveyor of "truth" and "realism" because of the medium's presumptions of liveness" (Nadel 65). This further perpetrates the idea that television in its earliest form was used widely used as a means...

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