Demographic Vistas: Television in American Culture

Overview

In Demographic Vistas, David Marc shows how we can take television seriously within the humanist tradition while enjoying it on its own terms. To deal with the barrage of messages from television's chaotic history, Marc adapts tools of theatrical and literary criticism to focus on key personalities and genres in ways that reward serious students and casual viewers alike.

"A provocative and witty reappraisal of the value of television in U.S. society." - University Publishing, New Books Supplement

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Overview

In Demographic Vistas, David Marc shows how we can take television seriously within the humanist tradition while enjoying it on its own terms. To deal with the barrage of messages from television's chaotic history, Marc adapts tools of theatrical and literary criticism to focus on key personalities and genres in ways that reward serious students and casual viewers alike.

"A provocative and witty reappraisal of the value of television in U.S. society." - University Publishing, New Books Supplement

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Quite simply, a tour de force—a wonderful synthesis of history and criticism."—Daniel Czitrom, author of Media and the American Mind

"A cooly sophisticated analysis . . . of American televsion."—American Studies International

From reviews of the first edition—

"Demographic Vistas analyzes television in the tradition of a Gilbert Seldes or Michael Arlen. Exhibiting fluency in television history, theories of culture, and American literature, the book offers a thoughtful, idiosyncratic interpretation of television's life so far in American culture."—Critical Studies in Mass Communication

"Marc does a good job of drawing links between the American literary tradition and television themes, which illustrate that television texts are not isolated from the critical mainstream of American creative efforts. . . . These links illustrate that television texts offer themselves to much the same analytical forms as any other literary endeavor."—Southern Speech Communication Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812211641
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1984
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 224

Meet the Author

David Marc is Adjunct Professor, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California, and Visiting Professor, School of Theater, Film and Television, University of California, Los Angeles.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the 1984 Edition
Foreword to the Revised Edition
Introduction to the Revised Edition
1 Beginning to Begin Again 1
2 The Situation Comedy of Paul Henning: Modernity and the American Folk Myth in The Beverly Hillbillies 39
3 The Comedy of Public Safety 65
4 Gleason's Push 99
5 Self-Reflexive at Last 129
6 What Was Broadcasting? 159
Appendix: Broadcast Network Prime Time Viewing Suggestions, 1984-96 189
Notes 191
Bibliography 205
Glossary 215
Main Index 221
Index of Television Series 233
Index of Films Made for Theatrical Release 239
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