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Ethnographic Essay

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,885 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,938 Views

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Human lives can be impacted by various occurrences. But it's how a person takes in the affair that will determine what they gain from it. For one thing there are a great many more factors influencing our lives than in the 20th century. The TV was invented in 1927, shortly after came cable. TV shows were like visual literature to the general public of the 1900's. They had a new idea of what "society" should be like. TV sitcoms back then showed what we would consider the typical American family. Dad going to work, mom cooking and cleaning, and the kids going to school. Drinking mindlessly and engaging in fornicating acts wouldn't have dared to be aired on television in the 20th century.

Sociology professor Mark Fishman of Brooklyn College, The City University of New York, has made a study of reality TV, "The Germans have a word for it, the appeal of some of these shows," he says. "It's called 'schadenfreude.' It means taking delight in the misfortunes of others. It's a guilty pleasure. You feel you shouldn't be watching. It's always been in good taste not to look at these things.... It's a moral envelope that's being pushed.... We seem to be in a new age of making public what [we used to think] shouldn't be seen." Who says these things should not be seen. This is their reality. They live how some would see as rebellious. Others however see it as typical. Our society is accepting of many of different ways to live. TV and movies portray all these different ways of living because they are all accepted among different cultures. Reality TV is a marketed reality that attempts to sell itself as a lifestyle to its viewers.

Similar to the evolution of mankind, TV has also evolved. Five channels expanded to thousands and not only are there sitcoms but documentaries, soap operas, TV series, reality TV and so many more. Reality TV seems to fill the most channels lately. But what is to be gained from watching other people live their life? The motive of an action is not always obvious. This is why the reason for watching TV is different for everyone. Some people watch it because they want to live in someone else's life. They want to experience their drama and their feelings. Others watch to learn. Learn how to act or learn how to have fun. Most people's answer however will be that it's entertaining. It is comical watching people look stupid, or watching other people fight, but what is it teaching. Maybe it is not meant to teach anything. People, like TV have evolved and TV doesn't just show that perfect family with the perfect life anymore. An "acceptable" society isn't the same for everyone and neither is the way people act on "reality TV".

I watched an episode of Jersey Shore. The episode I encountered was all about one of the cast members Sammi and another cast member Ronnie, and there relationship. It


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