Representation of men and women in TV, 1950-2000

by rosemarie_laporte on October 15, 2017 - 10:53pm

1. Identify 3 television shows to explain how men/dads/husbands have been depicted since the early days of TV (1950-2000)

-Father knows best

-The Dick Van Dyke Show

-All In the Family


2. What was unique about the Archie character in All In The Family? (NOTE: this show aired from 1971-1979)


Archie has revolutionized the depiction of the father/husband in television as he showed a more human side of the patriarchal figure; instead of encouraging the stereotype in which dads and husbands were the wise men who would be working hard to support their family, Archie had flaws, such as being awfully stubborn and even racist at some times. The show, being aired from 1971-1979, also used the character of Archie as a satire to segregation, which "technically" ended in all states of the United States with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, racism was still a predominant part of the U.S.' daily life. Therefore, the authors of the show wanted to depict that reality by creating a character who would uncover the banality of racism in the 1970's America, which was unique at that time.


3. Identify 3 television shows to identify how women/moms/wives have been depicted since the early days of TV (1950-2000)


-I Love Lucy

-The Good Wife

-Murphy Brown


4. How was  the “ideal” woman represented over time in TV; and, how and why did the representation change?


In the 1950's, the ideal woman was invariably depicted as a housewife, who would always listen to her husband and take care of the children. She was resilient, always "happy-go-lucky", and her husband's problems would be significantly more important than hers, therefore she wasn't welcome to complain about anything. However, this vision changed when women started to enter the labor market and slowly became financially independant. TV industry would use the image of the independant woman, who would work and wasn't that resilient anymore; female figures started to take their stand. Then, TV shows introduced the modern woman, who had a strong personality, flaws, and that people could identify themselves to. For instance, the alcoholic businesswoman who's just got out of rehab, or the unemployed. broke mom who doesn't fit in beauty standards and struggles to keep her head out of the water. TV gradually presented women as they truly were, and not as society wanted them to be.



Rosemarie Laporte