Understanding Society, Culture, and Television

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 141 pages
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What is the real nature of television, and what is its place in contemporary society and culture? In a provocative rethinking of the medium and its ensuing effects, this book argues that we have misunderstood television and have thus contributed to a distorted view of art and culture in the 20th century. During the final quarter of this century both in academic and popular circles, we have spread wildly exaggerated claims about television's undermining of human consciousness and behavior. Television has become a scapegoat for all sorts of societal and cultural ills. The arguments presented by many researchers on behalf of the ill-effects of TV are fundamentally weak and flawed. On the eve of the 21st century, the claimed distinctions between high art and popular culture have become a final, hopeless repository of pedantry. Television can be understood only by viewing it as an art form, and measuring its role in society and culture in concert with the first principles of human reason and liberty.

 

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Contents

Storytelling and Television
1
Television and the Aesthetics of Power Virtuosity and Repetition
15
Common Contemporary Themes
27
Agendas Politics and Television
37
Globalization and Television
47
Wellsprings of Our Discontent with Television
59
Television and Advertising
75
Television and Government
87
Art for Whose Sake?
99
What Everyone Must Know About Television
113
Afterword
127
Bibliography
129
Index
137
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About the author (2000)

PAUL MONACO is the Department Head of Media & Theatre Arts and Professor of Cinema/Video at Montana State University, Bozeman. He is the author of several books on the cinematic arts and the history of culture, as well as being a filmmaker and video producer. As a producer/director for Montana Public Television, he has been responsible for numerous productions which have shown on public television, both regionally and nationally. Among these productions are Home to Montana, Bison in the Killing Fields, and Women, War, and Work (co-produced with his wife Dr. Victoria O'Donnell).

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