Television and Digital Media

Lynn Spigel and Max Dawson

in American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780748626014
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670673 | DOI:
Television and Digital Media

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In this chapter, Lynn Spiegel and Max Dawson show how American television remained the central medium not just for entertainment, but for discussion of gender roles, race relations, family life and other major moral and social issues of the day. They examine the new emphasis on taste and lifestyle in network programming, as well as the continuing under-representation of Latino and other ethnic groups on prime-time shows. They also examine the rise of reality television, the development of a new scheduling policy based on the ‘social arrhythmia’ of the 24-hour information economy, and the rising importance of time-shifting by the end of the period. Finally, they argue that viewers now form a part of television audiences that transcend the old boundaries of the nation-state – even though worldwide audiences continue to interpret programmes in the light of their own local contexts and national concerns.

Keywords: American Television; Network Programming; Ethnic Groups; Reality Television; Time-Shifting; Television Audiences

Chapter.  6732 words. 

Subjects: Cultural Studies

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