Prime Time: How TV Portrays American Culture

S. Robert Lichter, Author, Carlton Books Ltd, Author, Stanley Rothman, With Regnery Publishing $22.95 (478p) ISBN 978-0-89526-491-6
The authors of this in-depth study analyze ``the royal road to America's fantasy life''-television, which viewers watch for some four hours daily. Concentrating on prime-time series, their characterization and plotlines (news and documentaries are ignored), each area of programming is evaluated: the proliferation of violence (the authors find more violence on one cable outlet than on all the networks combined); sex (``foreplay has surpassed gunplay as prime time's favorite pastime''); female characterizations from Lucy Ricardo to Murphy Brown; the American family as portrayed from Father Knows Best to Roseanne; homosexuality; race (from Amos 'n' Andy to Archie Bunker); and abortion, one of the few sex-related issues that TV treats ``gingerly.'' The authors, (the Lichters are on the staff of the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C.; Rothman directs the Center for the Study of Social and Political Change at Smith College) have written an insightful study aimed at a serious audience. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1993
Release date: 01/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
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