Big world, small screen: the role of television in American society

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University of Nebraska Press, 1992 - Psychology - 195 pages
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Big World, Small Screen assesses the influence of television on the lives of the most vulnerable and powerless in American society: children, ethnic and sexual minorities, and women. Many in these groups are addicted to television, although they are not the principal audiences sought by commercial TV distributors because they are not the most lucrative markets for advertisers.

This important book illustrates the power of television in stereotyping the elderly, ethnic groups, gays and lesbians, and the institutionalized and, thus, in contributing to the self-image of many viewers. They go on to consider how television affects social interaction, intellectual functioning, emotional development, and attitudes (toward family life, sexuality, and mental and physical health, for example). They illustrate the medium's potential to teach and inform, to communicate across nations and cultures—and to induce violence, callousness, and amorality. Parents will be especially interested in what they say about television viewing and children. Finally, they offer suggestions for research and public policy with the aim of producing programming that will enrich the lives of citizens all across the spectrum.

Nine psychologists, members of the Task Force on Television and Society appointed by the American Psychological Association, have collaborated on Big World, Small Screen.

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Television Images and Their Effects
Emotions and Social Behavior 3 5
The Television Medium

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About the author (1992)

Aletha C. Huston is Priscilla Pond Flawn Regents Professor of Child Development at the University of Texas, Austin. She is a developmental psychologist who specializes in understanding the effects of poverty on children and the impact of child care and income support policies on children's development. She is a Principal Investigator in the New Hope Project, a study of the effects on children and families of parents' participation in a work-based program to reduce poverty, and collaborator in the Next Generation Project. She was a member of the MacArthur Network on Successful Pathways Through Middle Childhood and an Investigator for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. She is President of the Society for Research in Child Development and Past President of the Division of Developmental Psychology of the American Psychological Association.

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