Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. i

Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. iv

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-ix

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xviii

"A most confusing thing in American History," observed William Carlos Williams, "is the nearly universal lack of scale."1 Television is very much at home in this history. Inviting nothing but superlatives ("dullest," "greatest opportunity," "most asinine," "quickest," etc.), it has generated more cash and less prestige than any other activity that could be even...

read more

Foreword to the Revised Edition

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xix-xxii

In this edition of Demographic Vistas David Marc directly addresses the fundamental question that underlies the first edition and all his subsequent work: What is television? Here, in a new concluding chapter, the question is framed in the past. Marc argues, and I agree, that what we have generally accepted as a social, cultural category and phenomenon referred to as "television," what he more...

read more

Introduction to the Revised Edition

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xxiii-xxxi

I attended college at a school that changes its name quite a bit. It was founded as Harpur College in 1948. When I enrolled in 1968 it was in the process of switching over to the State University of New York at Binghamton. The last solicitation for alumni funds I received had it...

read more

1. Beginning to Begin Again

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-38

An unholy marriage of sociology and art—the shotgun is pointed at art—American television is a perplexing montage. The programs are conceived as stimuli for the masses, but it is left to the viewer to establish a text in a personal, even private, way. Whatever is exposed to television is under attack. Ideals are confounded by the depressing spectacle of astonishing technical acumen aimed at gross simplification. Belief is...

read more

2. The Situation Comedy of Paul Henning: Modernity and the American Folk Myth in The Beverly Hillbillies

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 39-63

While relatively much critical attention has been given to the "sophisticated" sitcoms of Norman Lear and Grant Tinker, little has been said about what was probably the most popular sitcom—if not the most popular show—in television history, Paul Henning's Beverly Hillbillies (CBS, 1962-71). Even among those critics who do not...

read more

3. The Comedy of Public Safety

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 65-98

The sitcom offers representation of the interior, the domestic, the banal, and the intimate. The genre comments on American society microscopically, portraying the effects of culture on a family, extended family, vocational group, or other microcosmic social unit. Culture is revealed in the opinions and styles of the various demographic components of...

read more

4. Gleason's Push

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 99-128

The television personality develops in one or more of three general modes: the representational, in which he dons the mask of a frankly fictional character; the presentational, in which, as "himself," he addresses the audience within the context of theatrical space; and the documentary, in which...

read more

5. Self-Reflexive at Last

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 129-166

Whitman and Poe were the major urban poets of nineteenth-century America. Their visions are diametrically opposite. Whitman saw a new beginning for humankind in the teeming polyglot masses of the new nation; Poe was horrified by its chaotic formlessness. The imaginative agenda...

read more

6. What Was Broadcasting?

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 167-189

Like the national debt, the homeless population, gun ownership, and job insecurity, television grew prodigiously in the 1980s. In terms of quantity, a steadily increasing number of channels served a steadily increasing number of audiences who were putting their sets to a steadily increasing number of uses. In terms of quality, programming...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 191-203

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 205-213

Glossary

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 215-220

Main Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 221-231

Index of Television Series

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 233-238

Index of Films Made for Theatrical Release

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 239-240