ANTHRCUL 429 - Television, Society, and Culture
Section: 001
Term: FA 2007
Subject: Anthropology, Cultural (ANTHRCUL)
Department: LSA Anthropology
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Television executives, commentators, and reporters have become "key gatekeepers," assuming roles played historically by political and religious leaders. Television has been compared to a new religion, cultivating homogeneity, uniting adherents in a common set of images and symbols. TV has been labeled "narcoticizing" and faulted for diverting attention from serious social issues and replacing effective thought and action with passive absorption in portrayals and celebrity lives. Television has been said to reinforce existing hierarchies and to impede social reform. It also stimulates participation in a worldwide cash economy, and TV's worldwide spread has raised concerns about cultural imperialism. Ethnocentrism is common in the evaluation of television and its effects. Understanding of TV impact can be broadened through a cross-cultural approach to this medium, which, specific content and programming aside, must be recognized as one of the most powerful information disseminators, socializing agents, and public-opinion molders in the contemporary world. This seminar will consider cross-cultural diversity in television and will assess the medium's various social, cultural, and psychological dimensions and effects. Students, who will include seniors, concentrators and graduate students in Anthropology, American Culture, Communication, and related fields will investigate and reflect upon various aspects of television. Students will be responsible for attending class regularly, keeping a televiewing journal, organizing and participating in discussions of particular readings, and presenting, orally to the class and in writing, a term project. The term project will be an analysis, following models illustrated in course readings, of some aspect of television, society, and culture. Because the class meets just once a week and has a seminar-discussion format, attendance is mandatory. Students must have access to a television set and the varied programming available through cable or satellite. Students who dislike television should avoid this course.

ANTHRCUL 429 - Television, Society, and Culture
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
Th 4:00PM - 7:00PM
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