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The Effect of Television on the Family

            There are many systems within a society that contribute to the socialization process by which people learn the rules and regulations of their culture and society. An analysis of the socialization process involves the study of various social institutions, how they interact and ultimately how they form roles and values within a society. For example, gender roles within the family are passed down from generation to generation. A daughter will learn from her mother how to play the role of a mother and in turn, she will transmit this role to her daughter. The family is the most important social institution in transmitting values within the socialization process. However, within the last four decades, television has continuously progressed to compete with the family in the socialization process. Through the theoretical framework of the Systems Theory, this paper will examine contemporary family television's influence upon the transmission of roles and values within the familial socialization process. Since television programming transmits preconceived notions on the roles of family members, these preconceived notions will therefore influence the ideologies of its viewers. .
             A field study was conducted to examine how teenagers view their parents and what characters are similar to the roles their parents play in their lives. It is important to aim this survey towards recent television shows because it will provide the current data regarding stereotyping on television. Testing teenagers and young adults ranging from the ages of 13 to 21 will limit the search in terms of opinions and ideas. The age range of the subjects has been chosen in order to avoid any biases towards older television programs. Multiple choice questions have been preferred because they will not bore the subjects, they are right to the point and they can be easily graphed and charted. Several open ended questions will also be used to provide some personal feedback regarding how the subjects feel about the family and its members portrayed on television.

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