Sitting prominently at the hearth of our homes, television serves as a voice of our modern time. Given our media-saturated society and television’s prominent voice and place in the home, it is likely we learn about our society and selves through these stories. These narratives are not simply entertainment, but powerful socializing agents that shape and reflect the world and our role in it. Television and the Self: Knowledge, Identity, and Media Representation brings together a diverse group of scholars to ...
Sitting prominently at the hearth of our homes, television serves as a voice of our modern time. Given our media-saturated society and television’s prominent voice and place in the home, it is likely we learn about our society and selves through these stories. These narratives are not simply entertainment, but powerful socializing agents that shape and reflect the world and our role in it. Television and the Self: Knowledge, Identity, and Media Representation brings together a diverse group of scholars to investigate the role television plays in shaping our understanding of self and family. This edited collection’s rich and diverse research demonstrates how television plays an important role in negotiating self, and goes far beyond the treacly “very special” episodes found in family sit-coms in the 1980s. Instead, the authors show how television reflects our reality and helps us to sort out what it means to be a twenty-first-century man or woman.
Television and the Self: Knowledge, Identity, and Media Representation is a fresh, lively approach to thinking about television in our everyday lives. The chapters in this edited volume highlight the importance of interrogating television programs as text. The reflexive collection makes an important contribution to our understanding of role of television in our lives, how TV contributes to identity formation, and above all how and why we enjoy it as much as we do.
Journal of American Culture
The strength of Television and the Self is its effort to create conversation across and within areas of television studies, theoretically, thematically, and methodologically. Perhaps most noteworthy are the diverse methodological perspectives employed here—ranging from discourse and textual analysis to autoethnography, content analysis, and reflections on media history — which point to the breadth and plurality of the field. The autoethnographies (Marcelina Piotrowski’s essay on 'becoming Polish' through television viewership and Andree Betancourt’s reflection on motherhood as portrayed through characters on HBO’s Six Feet Under and The Sopranos) are especially powerful, merging academic critique with personal stories, narrated by authors who reflect—thoughtfully and, at times, emotionally—on the ways in which their relationship to TV has impacted their identities and lives. . . .Television and the Self speaks to multiple perspectives, inviting readers to consider the ways in which our own identities, values, and everyday lives have been shaped and molded, influenced and informed, by our engagement with televisual narratives.
Kathleen M. Ryan spent more than twenty years in network and local news production and she continues to work as an active multimedia director and producer. She holds a PhD in communication and society from University of Oregon, an MA in broadcast journalism from University of Southern California, and a BA in political science from University of California, Santa Barbara. She is an associate professor at the University of Colorado.
Deborah A. Macey holds a PhD in communication and society from the University of Oregon, an MA in Communication and a BS in Business Administration from Saint Louis University. She is a visiting assistant professor at Saint Louis University, where she teaches courses in human communication and media studies.
Cynthia Miller is the Film Review Editor of Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies and serves as President of the Literature/Film Association, as well as on the editorial advisory board for The Encyclopedia of Women and Popular Culture.
A. Bowdoin Van Riper is a historian who specializes in depictions of science and technology in popular culture. His publications include Rockets and Missiles: The Life Story of a Technology (2007) and A Biographical Encyclopedia of Scientists and Inventors in American Film and Television (Scarecrow, 2011).
Chapter 1: Introduction
Kathleen M. Ryan & Deborah A. Macey
Part 1: The Electronic Hearth, or the (un)Real World
Chapter 2: The Way We Were: Ritual, Memory and Televsion
Leah A. Rosenberg
Chapter 3: Becoming-Spectator: Tracing Global Becoming Through Polish Television in a Canadian Family Room
Part 2: Father (and Mother) Knows Best
Chapter 4: As Seen On TV: Media Influences of Pregnancy and Birth Narratives
Jennifer G. Hall
Chapter 5: All About My HBO Mothers: Talking Back to Carmela Soprano and Ruth Fisher
Andrée E. C. Betancourt
Chapter 6: Mad Hatters: The Bad Dads of AMC
Part 3: Family Ties
Chapter 7: Family Communication and Television: Viewing, Identification, and Evaluation of Televised Family Communication Models
Ellen E. Stiffler, Lynne M. Webb, and Amy C. Duvall
Chapter 8: Reality Check: Real Housewives and Fan Discourses on Parenting and Family
Jingsi Christina Wu and Brian McKernan
Chapter 9: Keeping Up with Contradictory Family Values: The Voice of the Kardashians
Amanda S. McClain
Part 4: The Facts of Life
Chapter 10: The Selling of Gender-Role Stereotyping: A Content Analysis of Toy Commercials Airing on Nickelodeon
Susan G. Kahlenberg
Chapter 11: “Stand by, Space Rangers”: Interstellar Lessons in Early Cold-War Masculinity
Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper
Chapter 12: The Avengers and Feminist Identity Development: Learning the Example of Critical Resistance from Cathy Gale
Robin Redmond Wright
Chapter 13: Juno for Real: Negotiating Teenage Sexuality, Pregnancy, and Love in MTV’s 16 and Pregnant/Teen Mom
Tanja N. Aho.
Part 5: As Not Seen on TV
Chapter 14: Race, Aging and Gay In/visibility on U.S. Televsion
Michael Johnson, Jr.
Chapter 15: Eighty is Still Eighty, but Everyone Else Needs to Look Twenty-Five: The Fascination with Betty White Despite our Obsession with Youth
Deborah A. Macey