Many families on television are portrayed using symbolism, religion, and traditional authority. One of the television sitcoms that depicts’ all of these three focal points is “7th Heaven.” In this show the father is a minister of the Church, which is the symbolic setting for the family to go to concerning religion. Thus the portrayal of families through television is commonly used as a source of education rather than entertainment.
The manner in which the 7th Heaven family is directed to its audience is that all families are devout in their beliefs in the sense that they attend church regularly like every avid Christian does. The Church is symbolic in the sense that whenever one of the kids did anything wrong in or outside of the house they would go to church to ask for forgiveness. They brandish the Church as their place to turn to when the turbulence of everyday life gets them down or poses an extensive problem that will affect them immensely in the future.
Faith is a universal feature of human existence, its one of the most dynamic, varied, and complex of all human phenomena. Faith maintains the existing social order, that’s why an individual’s credence is symbolic. Religion serves as a means of social control as well, by which members of society accept and conform to dominant norms and values. 7th Heaven speculates that believing in something or someone prevents people from doing regretful things, such as wanting to put someone through distress, because you know that you will be punished by your sins. Although this is true throughout most people, many individuals choose to make up their own beliefs and views on what is ethical and what is immoral, and in the television show 7th Heaven, they have everybody who exists on the show as Christian, when in real life, it varies throughout every individual. Something that is very noticeable and awkward on the show is how the people in the community come to ask for help from the preacher, and as soon as their problems are fixed those individuals are seen in the Church every Sunday. Of course this never really happens in real life; people don’t convert to a different religion or attend religious meetings just like that, because a preacher helped them out with their problems.
Definition of Religion: Religion is norms, values, or a way of life to an individual or community. A spiritual guide that governs the way a person lives from day to day by giving that person hope, belief, and reason to exist in this world. Religion can be whatever that person makes of it. Religion can be a persons assets, family, or other individuals or possessions, it can be many things besides ...
Television shows are often imaged as the stereotypical “traditional and customary” family in which the children in the family follow the statutes that the parents have set. TV parents lay down a set of rules for the children to follow as do other families. For example, the parents on Full House depicts the parents as having full authority and the children abiding by their every rule, with an occasional slip up, which is resolved by the end of the episode. Many of the rules set in the show and in real families today are corresponding, but certain rules aren’t emphasized enough, and they shy away from and conceal the genuine details of many of the real life issues that many teens face today such as drug addictions, and sexual tensions. Although they do graze over those issues briefly, they do not get into the actuality of it all and include the key constituents of the real life hardships as they should, in order to illustrate the situation instead of steering viewers off to a fictional solution. Another example of how television shows are often traditional is on “90210.” In one episode of “90210” when Brenda wants her dad to buy her a car, Brandon (her brother) jumps in and says “If you want to buy a car, get a job, that’s the American way.” This shows how “Americans” have grown custom to working hard at getting what they want, instead of having other people get it for them.
When children are young they are very impressionable by the things around them. Often kids are influenced by what they see. If kids are watching shows with a lot of violence they too will tend to act out this violence. Parents today have a lot of responsibility to make sure that their children are being supervised on what they are watching to make sure that they understand what they are seeing. ...
Another “Stereotype” in which most television portrays is the belief that all families are happily married. As much as there are television families that do incorporate that reality, the majority does not. TV portrays the perfect family- A fully supporting Mother and Father, no financial hardships, and so on. Rarely do they ever integrate the issues of parental abuse, or adulterous spouses, which are probably the two of the most common problems that arise in a marriage and unlike on television, they are solved with divorce and court orders. In 7th Heaven and as well in Family Matters the director never shows the father hitting his children for being deviant to his expectations. However, many people in the United States have accepted the idea that it is legitimate to hit family members- under some circumstances.
Many shows have started to incorporate adoption onto the script, which commonly seen by people today. They do not however render the emotional baggage brought on with adoptive children and the way they blend into other biological children the parents have. 7th Heaven does have an adoptive child in the picture, Lucy, but they never show the problems or adjustments that the other children might have had with the addition to the family.
Television is presumably one of the most common leisure activities and past times in all families across the globe. Television additionally becomes a sort of influence on peoples’ lives. The media attempts to use television as an educational tool for viewers to use, rather than an entertaining factor. TV creates their shows to be as lifelike as possible to viewers, but directors combine too much of fiction and reality causing viewers to veer off of the real solutions you should take to fixate real difficulties you face in life.