Television Families Communication Essay

Many telecasting shows portray the lives of typical American households ; both African American and European American. I have chosen to compare and contrast two telecasting shows: Family Matters and Home Improvement. The two shows are surprisingly similar in many facets. but there are a few differences in the communicating manners and other facets of the two households. Communication theories can be used to assist demo and analyse the communicating between each household. These theories include interactive. dialectics. address community. and cultivation.

Make premier clip telecasting shows truly represent and portray the differences and stereotypes between African American and European American households? Family Matters foremost aired on ABC in 1989 and lasted until 1998. There are 215 episodes that tell the narrative of the middle-class Winslow household from Chicago. The show focuses on Carl. a police officer and his household: Harriet. Eddie. Laura. and Judy. Harriet is Carl’s married woman. Eddie is their firstborn kid. Laura is the oldest girl. and Judy is the youngest of the three.

Besides populating in the Winslow family is Harriet’s freshly widowed sister. Rachel. and her kid. Richie. In the “Pilot” episode Carl’s female parent. Estelle. besides moves into the house. The Winslow’s have a stereotyped swot following door neighbour. Steve Urkel. who is invariably doing mischievousness. He is introduced halfway through the first season and rapidly becomes a favourite chief character for many. The shows’ episodes normally involve a minor job or struggle. but by the terminal of the 30 minute episode it has been resolved and everything is all right once more. In the really first episode we meet Carl and his household.

They are African American. but they appear really normal and much like a European American household. The first chief job in the episode is that Carl does non desire his female parent to travel in even though Harriet has already told Estelle she can. Carl is torn between desiring to maintain his female parent out of his place life and desiring to do her happy and allow her move in. This is an illustration of integrating versus separation from dialectical theory. Carl knows that his female parent will desire to command his life – puting him up on a diet. stating him how to train his kids. ever desiring the concluding say.

He does non desire to hold to let her into the house 24/7 because she will do a major alteration in the family. Despite his efforts to convert Harriet to alter her head about Estelle traveling in. Estelle moves in. Carl was right. “Mother Winslow. ” does get down to seek and command the remainder of the Winslow’s lives. Carl begins to experience that his function as caput of the house is being compromised by holding his female parent life in the house. After a few yearss Harriet convinces Carl to speak to his female parent about how he is experiencing. In the terminal Carl and his female parent talk and agree to compromise and give each other more infinite.

In dialectical theory this is known as a responding to the dialectic with neutralisation. which is a via media that meets both demands slightly. but neither is to the full met ( Wood. 2004 ) . Another illustration of opposing tensenesss in Family Matters happens in episode four. “Rachel’s First Date. ” Rachel’s hubby has been dead for about a twelvemonth and she has avoided dating during that clip. but late a adult male from the church choir. Alan. has been naming to inquire her out. Finally. she agrees to travel to dinner and a film with him at the terminal of the hebdomad.

When the twenty-four hours rolls around she is found in her room seeking on about every frock in her cupboard. Harriet comes to comfort her and aid. but Rachel is inexorable about non traveling on the day of the month any longer. Mother Winslow shoos everyone out of the sleeping room except for Rachel and sits her down. The two adult females have an emotional talk about how Rachel feels guilty for traveling on a day of the month with another adult male. She says that she was so comfy with her past hubby that she can’t imagine even being happy with another adult male. She experiences the opponent tensenesss known as stableness versus alteration.

Rachel loved the acquaintance and stability that she had with her past hubby. but now that he has been dead for a twelvemonth. she is holding feelings of desiring exciting alteration and dating other work forces. The job is solved by Mother Winslow converting Rachel that her hubby would hold wanted her to be happy and that she is non aching him by traveling on a day of the month. This is response to the idiom is known as separation. which attempts to run into both contradictory demands by fulfilling each one in separate state of affairss or domains or relational life ( Wood. 2004 ) .

Eddie is the typical teenage boy. He is invariably seeking to suit in with his friends. travel out to parties. and flex his parents’ regulations every bit much as he can. In the 2nd episode Eddie tries to convert Carl that he merely has to hold a this new brace of places that everyone at school has. Carl of class says that they’re excessively expensive ( “Two Income Family“ ) . Eddie tries to rock his Dads determination by cleaning the auto. making the wash. and being excess nice ; it doesn’t work. In the interim we find out that Harriet has merely lost her occupation and that the household is holding fiscal problems.

Eddie once more asks Carl for the money. this clip Carl tells Eddie he will hold to work for the money himself. Eddie ends up doing the 70 dollars needed for the places. but when he finds out that the household is in money problem he gives the money to his parents alternatively of passing it on himself. In symbolic interactionism theory this would be considered an illustration of the I and ME. The I is the unprompted side of people that is “generally unburdened by societal regulations and restrictions” ( Wood. 2004 p. 91 ) . This is Eddie desiring the places for him and believing he must hold them.

The ME is “…evaluative. and above all aware of societal conventions. regulations. and expectations” ( Wood. 2004 p. 92 ) . This is Eddie recognizing that he does non really necessitate to places and should give the money to assist his household. The I and ME are seen as complementary. you can’t have one without the other. Eddie deals a batch with equilibrating between the two self’s throughout the series. Family Matters tried to portray the mean African American household in the 90s. Minority households are fighting to for representation and positive portraitures. Family Matters showed a happy. though sometimes dysfunctional. household larning good household values.

The show depicted African Americans as mean. normal. non any different from European Americans. A inquiry that could be asked though is how did the manufacturers of the show happen out what a “typical African American family” was? Home Improvement foremost aired on ABC in 1991 and lasted until 1999. The show focuses on the European American Taylor household from Detroit. Michigan: Tim. Jill. Brad. Randy. and Mark. Tim. the male parent and hubby. is the stereotyped American ; he loves power tools. autos. and athleticss.

He hosts his ain place betterment show called “Tool Time. Jill. the female parent and married woman. is the typical ma. ever taking attention of the household and being the voice of ground. Brad. the eldest boy. and Randy. the in-between boy. love to gang up and pick on the youngest boy. Mark. Together the five Taylor’s make up a amusing and loving household. “Tool Time” is a show that involves Tim making presentation of tools and offering ways that people can better their places. Tim is ever acquiring into accidents on the show. but the audience merely believes that they are done on intent to demo that you must be careful when managing the tools and equipment.

Tim is ever utilizing footings and words that describe and explain the tools. Every tool has its’ ain particular name and usage that it seems that merely a group of people really interested in tools would cognize. In the 2nd episode Jill is doing merriment of Tim for being so attached to his tools and how each tool has its’ ain topographic point in the garage ( “Mow Better Blues“ ) . Tim tries to explicate to Jill that his tools are like her record aggregation ; they are really of import and particular to him and have sentimental significance. Jill can somewhat relate. but she still thinks that Tim is excessively into his tools.

This thought of holding merely a group of people understand the footings and the regulations of something is portion of the address communities theory. Tim has his ain “speech code” that he utilizing to pass on with other people that are merely every bit interested in tools and place betterment ( Wood. 2004 ) . Peoples on the outside. like Jill. are non able to to the full understand. In the first episode of Home Improvement Tim goes through a stage where he believes he needs to repossess “the male spirit” ( “Pilot” ) . To make this he enlists his youngest boy. Mark. to assist him better the dish washer.

Mark is the youngest of the male childs and is frequently picked on by his two older brothers. because of this Tim and Jill frequently have to comfort and hearten up Mark. Tim has been assisting Mark become “more manly” since he was little ; he teaches him how to utilize tools. repair place contraptions. and ever stating him he’s smart and good story. Mark has been brought up to believe that even though his two older brothers pick on him systematically he is “better than them” because he is smart and amusing and non ever making mischievousness. He is defined as being a “momma’s boy” and his brothers use every alibi to do merriment of him for it.

The is Mark’s ego. which comes from the theory of symbolic interactionism. A persons’ ego “doesn’t exist at birth. …self is developed through interaction with others” ( Wood. 2004 p. 91 ) . Mark is easy shaped by the influences of his brothers and parents. doing him into the individual he has become. Both of these telecasting shows offer many of the same features. They both highlight household values and unfastened communicating between each other. They both chiefly take topographic point in the family and seek to portray a realistic household. They both are made chiefly for white audiences.

How telecasting portrays household is of import because watching telecasting is a beginning for larning about household. Television has cultivated our attitudes about what households should be like. Harmonizing to these two telecasting shows households should consists of a working male parent. a parttime working female parent. three to four siblings that fight. but are ever at that place for each other. and a nice house. There are jobs within the household everyday. but by the terminal of the twenty-four hours the jobs have been communicated. solved. and stop in a household clinch. Peoples who watch these shows continuously can get down to believe that this is what existent households are truly like.

The two households in these shows are non 100 % perfect. but they come near. They are non a deceit of what a household is like. but they do stand for what the most idealistic version is like. Television represents the interaction between households. between partners. between parents and kids. and between siblings. In some shows people are able to straight associate to the state of affairs shown. this is called resonance ( Wood. 2004 ) . I am able to straight associate to Home Improvement and Tim Taylor as a male parent because that is precisely what my male parent is like.

I grew up larning how to utilize every tool in the garage and was ever involved in the following “home project” my male parent decided to get down that weekend. I have immense resonance with this show because of my ain personal experiences. Relationships shown in the two shows are really similar. The hubby and married woman relationship and function are really similar between Tim and Jill and Carl and Harriet. Both the hubbies are the chief protagonists and workers of the household whereas the married womans are in charge of the families. In the two shows the partners both playfully battle and do merriment of each other systematically.

Harriet does hold a occupation and she is really relentless in maintaining her occupation ; she likes being able to assist back up the household financially. Jill stopped working when her kids were born. but in the first episode she has an interview for a occupation. She tells Tim that she wants to be able to hold a life outside of the house and her independency. Unfortunately she does non acquire the occupation. In both of the shows the married womans are the “glue” that hold the household together and the hubbies are responsible for repairing things. whether it’s an contraption or an statement.

Ultimately the married womans have the concluding say in everything ; which is reasonably congruous within relationships of existent partners. The relationship between male parent and their kids in the two shows in different. In Family Matters Carl is frequently call on the carpeting his kids for being excessively loud. inquiring for excessively much. and for being mussy. He frequently gets into statements with his boy. Eddie. because he has rigorous regulations set for his kids. It is obvious he loves his kids. but he does non seek to straight associate with them and make activities with them.

This could be because he has two girls and does non cognize how to interact with them. In Home Improvement Tim is ever interacting with his kids. He frequently asks for their aid in repairing assorted things in the house. He relates most closely with Brad. the oldest boy. because Brad is the most interested in athleticss and autos. Overall he works really difficult to keep good. close relationships with his three boies. The relationships between female parent and kids are similar in the two shows. Harriet is really cognizant of her kids and their jobs and is ever willing to listen and assist.

Harriet can be a spot overbearing on her kids and towards her sister. Rachel. but she ever means good. Jill is a really motherly figure and comes from a military household. She uses her tough upbringing to frequently work out jobs that arise between her boies. She is the lone adult females in the household and it is evident she is sometimes sad she doesn’t have a girl to portion those experiences with. She is closet to Mark because he is able to wish some of the things that she does. alternatively of merely being a predictable male child. Both female parents are really fond with their kids. embracing them and snoging their brows.

They are besides really steadfast with them and seek to learn them valuable lessons when needed. The relationship between siblings is besides comparable in the shows. In both shows there are three siblings. In Family Matters there is the 1 male child and two misss. The two misss appear to be really near even though they are frequently reasoning and contending over who should be allowed to make what. Laura. the oldest girl. loves her sister really much. In the 4th episode she tells Rachel. her aunt. that even though she may reason with her sister she would make anything for her.

Eddie. the oldest of the three. does non look to be really close with his sisters ; this could be because of the age difference. In Home Improvement the relationship between the three male childs is really near. The two oldest male childs are seen hanging out together all the clip. though it is frequently because they are into some type of problem doing. They enjoy playing buffooneries and picking on Mark. Mark is sometimes included in the older male childs problem doing but frequently times he ruins it by messing up the program. The three male childs are able to hold fun together seeing as they are all reasonably near in age and can normally happen at least one thing in common.

There is a major difference in the families between Family Matters and Home Improvement. In Family Matters it is non merely the atomic household life in the family. the grandmother. aunt and nephew besides live in the house. This is likely where we see the biggest racial stereotype ; African Americans are frequently known for holding multiple household members populating in their family. Estelle has a really stereotyped grandma function. she is wise and really defensive of her grandchildren. Rachel is frequently seen go forthing her boy with the two misss. Laura and Judy.

These two add-ons to the family. merely do the family more brainsick and merriment. Though Family Matters is an African American household you do non subconsciously recognize it because they are so similar to what a European American household is like. This could be the media seeking to appeal to a wider audience. The differences in African American and European American are non truly touched upon in this show. There are really few stereotypes that are seen in Family Matters about African Americans. So does this show really portray a typical African American household?

I do non cognize. because most of my exposure to African American households is from the media. This is the job with cultivation — we frequently make premises based on what the media tells us and we do non hold any manner to cognize if they correct or non. Communication is cardinal in both households. Many jobs arise and it is shown that they merely manner to work out it is to face the individual and speak it out. The female parents are much more direct in their communicating and the male parents are more easy traveling and jesting in their communicating.

A household is a system ; everyone must work together because “all parts are interrelated” ( Wood. 2004 p. 163 ) . The Winslow’s and the Taylor’s are a group that is ever seeking to form themselves and work together. The Winslow’s had to do accommodations when Rachel and Richie moved in and so once more when Estelle moved in. “If you change any portion of a system. you change the full system” ( Wood. 2004 p. 163 ) . Roles were changed. Harriet didn’t have to do dinner every dark. the kids could be watched by their aunt and grandma. many facets were changed.

This thought of interconnected parts is from interactive theory. Historically. telecasting has tried to advance a customary household theoretical account. A household that includes intelligent parents. good behaved kids. with small struggle originating. Television has evolved over the old ages and has learned to do shows more realistic. Family Matters attempts to portray a typical African American household with good ethical motives and life lessons to be taught. Home Improvement is an mean European American household with a athleticss and tool loony male parent strong female parent. and three healthy male childs.

In both shows there are struggles and jobs. but it is shown that with good communicating and being unfastened anything can be solved. The media has cultivated people’s attitudes to believe that this is what household life is like and sometimes it is like the lives of the Winslow’s and Taylor’s. but other times life’s jobs are non easy solved. The shows are a good signifier of amusement and they do offer a representation of what household life is like. but that is about it. You should non anticipate your life to be as easy and simple as these two households. but you can anticipate it to be merely as merriment.

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