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March 1995, Week 5


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Keith Hampson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Keith Hampson <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 31 Mar 1995 12:40:43 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
 On Thu, 30 Mar 1995, Dr. Lucinda Hart-Gonzalez (Cindy H-G) wrote:
> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> Most discussions about the harmful effects of Film and TV on impressionable
> minds center on sex and violence.  Personally, I think the lowbrow sitcoms are
> possibly more dangerous, in an insidious way.  I really think few people go
> out and try deadly car chases, searing fires, etc. because they've seen them
> on TV, but all the time you can see teenagers acting like the stupidest,
> sitcom characters. These characters are at first intended to be parodies of
> stupidity, but as they become known and loved, they gradually become "real"
> and their style becomes a real style in the junior highs and high schools of
> the country. Rudeness that once would have had "Ooooh!" entertainment value
> becomes the normal, cool way kids mouth off to each other, parents, teachers,
> etc. And THAT is more dangerous to the moral fabric than outrageous and inimi-
> table violence, partly because it sneaks in without causing alarm and imper-
> ceptibly shifts from being "put on" for humor to being a basic style and iden-
> tity.  I'm not recommending that we all go back to reruns of Donna Reed, but
> I do see this happening.  Any comments, reactions?
>    Cindy H-G
>    [log in to unmask]
I think it may be more useful to consider the ways the family has changed
over the years, than to look to media as a  'normalizing' influence. While
children may pick up specific catch phrases, etc. from sitcoms and other
media products, the success of e.g. Roseanne (and its rudeness you refer
to) is likely based in its ability to recognize and play back audience
(society's) values and lifestyles in an appealing and safe manner. More
specifically, we may  want to question the logic of parenthood exercised by the
 baby boomers. Children
learn to respect others and themselves when their parents do the same.