Television and the American Family

By Jennings Bryant | Go to book overview

Chapter 10
Television and Family Interaction

Alison Alexander
University of Massachusetts

Media, particularly television, have been accused of transforming family interaction. Claims that media usurp socialization powers ( Meyrowitz, 1985), increase family tension ( Rosenblatt & Cunningham, 1976), and turn the family into noninteractive zombies ( Winn, 1985) have received public and research attention. These charges reveal a common concern: Media, particularly television, harms family communication.

An increasing number of mass communication scholars argue that a more useful perspective sees television as a social and symbolic resource used in the creation and maintenance of interpersonal and, particularly, familial relations (cf. Lull, 1988; Morley, 1986). This perspective is congruent with the perception that media behavior is only one of many factors within a family system.

Any conceptualization of the role of television in family interaction must begin by considering the family as the context in which viewing is performed and made meaningful. If the family is viewed as a rule-governed system characterized by organized and repetitive behaviors (cf. Goodman, 1983), a communication perspective on the family would focus on the interactive processes wherein family systems are created and maintained. A mass communication perspective on the relationship of television and family interaction requires that we examine the uses and effects of media in relation to the communicatively constructed structures, patterns, and systems of the family. This chapter, in its focus on the relationship of television and family interaction, addresses the existing research literature and critical issues for future research. It begins with an overview of theoretical perspectives on family interaction that have been taken by mass communication scholars. The second section examines attempts to describe family interaction

-211-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Television and the American Family
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 385

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.