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How Television Has Impacted U.S. Culture and Society | Assignment Help

Television was introduced in the early 20th century as a possible medium for interpersonal communication and education, which then became a vibrant broadcast medium used to bring entertainment and news to people globally. Over the years, the society has been changed and influenced by communication and information available through the television technology. Most Americans rely on the television to get information about sports and news and get entertained (Straubhaar). Television is one of the communication technologies that have impacted the United States society and culture. Therefore, this paper will focus on how television has impacted U.S culture and society. There is a great relationship between television and social attitudes and their power to influence the viewers. Since the inception of television, it has been an integral part of American life and has both nurtured and reflected cultural values and norms with both negative and positive impacts on U.S Culture and Society.

Television has become a predominant mass medium in American society, with a large percentage of homes having the TV sets, which are turned on for about eight to ten hours a day. Television reaches a wide range of viewers of any gender, race, or class, which means that it has both negative and positive impacts depending on the message being portrayed on the television (Holtzman). Viewing has been rising significantly and steadily among education, age, and ethnic categories within the last decade. Many shows and programs have shaped individual thinking, preference, and cognitive ability. This is because television has tried to compete with other foundations of human interaction such as church, family, school, and friends in enabling people to cultivate values and generate ideas regarding people around them. For instance, television has been viewed as one of the major contributors to the increased American materialism. Therefore, television has created belief systems that have controlled our societal and individual actions.

Television has been considered a source for bringing families together by engaging them in entertainment shows. Ideally, most families in the United States have a single TV set where they gather around to collectively watch their evening shows. Most of the fictional families in the television shows have had a dominating influence on shaping families in real lives and impacting familial values. For instance, sitcoms gained popularity because most of these presenting fictional families that displayed lives of families within the middle age. Television has portrayed how people have been drawn together by television shows. Friends come together to watch their favorite shows. For instance, “Game of Thrones” has been among the popular television shows that have brought friends together to watch with the need to understand the displayed information based on the society. Families have become more engaged in discussing television than in the past.

Televisions have contributed to class stratification. Class stratification entails social separation, where society is divided into parties whose members have varying access to power and resources. The social class has experienced negative media representation on TVs compared to the upper-middle class. For instance, major television shows have focused on the lifestyles of wealthy celebs rather than focusing on injustice to ordinary people. Higher-income families have been overrepresented on television shows such as homes under the hammer. The focus of television programs and shows on the poverty and lifestyle of certain individuals has contributed to the separation of class. For instance, there is a clear separation of class between Lois and Peter in Family Guy. Therefore, televisions have led to negative generalization and stereotyping of families about social class.

Television has had the power over domestic life, thus changing what makes a family. Televisions have changed and challenged the traditional conceptualization of family and family patterns. As a result, television series have affected the family as a social group and affected the ways families spend time and the nature of interactions. For instance, fighting, distorted relationships, and jealousy among family members are displayed on daytime television talk shows. This has negatively influenced personal relationships and family connections.

Televisions have led to gender stereotyping and discrimination due to gender role representation on programs and shows. Ideally, television viewing has contributed to learning and upholding stereotyped perceptions. For instance, women have been represented in stereotypical roles. Televisions have sent compelling and forceful messages about societally accepted gender roles which are often biased, stereotyped, and outdated (Åkestam). Additionally, television advertisements have negatively portrayed genders. For instance, the sexual orientation of women has depicted women having weak behavior. Concerns regarding the image of women and feminists in popular culture have long been blamed on advertising. Advertisements on televisions have been a powerful tool for selling and a powerful tool for behavior and attitude change. Therefore, the danger of advertising on television is that they have led to the formation of notions that undermine women and their capabilities.

Televisions have influenced how people cook and eat after being inspired by TV food programs. Most Americans are being encouraged by the TV programs and show to try new ingredients and techniques and buy more kitchen gadgets. Televisions have been linked to unhealthy food habits among Americans with food advertisements and TV food advertisements leading to unhealthy diets. Studies have indicated that most Americans are likely to follow the food habits they watch on television (Russell, 555). Increased television viewing among the youths has increased calorie intake, and low nutrients foods are often advertised on television. For instance, television viewing among children has led to unhealthy eating, which has resulted in high rates of obesity.

Television programs and shows have negatively influenced ethnicity and race in the United States. Ideally, one of the major reasons is consuming messages and images associated with ethnic and racial groups in the media. Exposures to television representations have consequences such as negative characterization. Unfavorable media depictions have perpetuated harmful stereotypes and passive harming behaviors (Wilder). Prolonged TV exposure has led to low self-esteem for the non-whites compared to the whites. These differences have been linked to the gender and racial practices in television programs such as Hollywood movies that have consistently cast white men as heroes while subordinating other groups as sexual objects and minors, thus lowering their self-esteem. Relatively, racial profiling has been on the rise in American society. With television being part of the mainstream media, stereotyping and criminalization of African American men and women have been acceptable. The lack of diverse and accurate representation of people of color has influenced interaction and discrimination based on appearance.


In summation, television has been popular in American culture, positing negative and positive impacts on society and culture. Television has influenced individual thinking, preference as well as cognitive ability. It has been a way of bringing family and friends together while watching the shows and programs. Television has influenced consumption habits, stereotypical ideas, racism, and class stratification. Television programs, shows, and coverage need to be modified to boost the positive impact of television technology on American culture and society.



Works Cited

Åkestam, Nina, et al. “Gender stereotypes in advertising have negative cross-gender effects.” European Journal of Marketing (2021).

Holtzman, Linda, and Leon Sharpe. Media messages: What film, television, and popular music teach us about race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. Routledge, 2014.

Russell, Simon J., Helen Croker, and Russell M. Viner. “The effect of screen advertising on children’s dietary intake: A systematic review and meta‐analysis.” Obesity Reviews 20.4 (2019): 554-568.

Straubhaar, Joseph, Robert LaRose, and Lucinda Davenport. Media now: Understanding media, culture, and technology. Cengage Learning, 2015.

Wilder, SeMarial. “Racism in media: how media shapes our view of people of color in society.” (2020).

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