The Mechanics of Relating Substance and Meaning in Television Programs
Bamberger, Keith F.
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No one is really sure how people become socialized; Claude Levi-Strauss believed that it was through the use of oral traditions in oral societies. He believed that the function of the different parts of the oral traditions worked together to create a social knowledge and conscience. The same functions work together in modern television to create a social knowledge and conscience in a contemporary culture. The conscience is formed by the programs and the news, and the programs which are the most successful will use the knowledge found in the new and other programs to guide its own material. The author discusses five popular television programs: The Cosby Show, Cheers, A Different World, The Bob Newhart Show, and Family Ties.