Television: The Domestic Medium|
Fall 2019 not offered
AMST 253, FILM 349, FGSS 243|
Of all the mass media, television is the most intimately associated with domestic and familial life. Its installation in American homes over the postwar decade coincided with a revival of family life that encouraged an emphasis on private over public leisure. Most television is still watched at home, where viewing practices are interwoven with domestic routines and provide a site for negotiating family and gender relations. Television production is shaped at several levels by the images broadcasters and advertisers have of viewers' domestic lives: Broadcast schedules reflect socially conditioned assumptions about the gendered division of family roles; a common televisual mode of address uses a conversational style in which performers present themselves to viewers as friends or members of the family; and families or surrogate families figure prominently in the content of programming across a wide range of genres, including sitcoms, primetime dramas, daytime soaps, and talk shows. Sitcoms, in particular, have responded to and mediated historical shifts in family forms and gender relations over the past 50 years, and they will be a focus in this course. We will explore how television has both shaped and responded to larger cultural discourses about family and gender from the postwar era into the 21st century.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(ANTH)(FGSS)(FILM-MN)(FILM)(SISP-Anth Conc)
Readings in television studies, cultural studies and family sociology, including works by Lynn Spigel, Horace Newcomb,David Marc, Patricia Mellencamp, Virginia Wexman, Kathleen Rowe, Susan Murray, Brett Mills, Rebecca Feasey, Michael Curtin, Michele Hilmes, Jason Mittell ,Ethan Thompson, Heather Hendershott, Dana Polan, Stephanie Coontz, and Kathleen Gerson.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
3 papers, approximately 4-6 pages each.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
When the week's assigned viewing is not available online, episodes will be screened on Monday evenings; students should keep that time available.
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