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Defining Women in American and Indian Prime Time: A Cross Cultural Perspective
Unformatted Document Text:  1 INTRODUCTION The last century has witnessed unparalleled changes in the history of the mass media. Every two decades have replaced the popularity of an existing medium of communication, with a more recent innovation. One of the changes that have affected human beings the most is the unprecedented opportunity to pry into the world from the shelter of the living rooms. Prior to the recent invention of the Internet this miracle was called television. Diana Meehan (1983), in the introductory chapter of her work Ladies of the Evening: Women Characters on Prime Time Television talks about a10-year-old boy from Brooklyn who grew up watching Ozzie and Harriet and Leave it to Beaver. The little boy always wanted to misbehave at home and hoped that his parents would send him upstairs much like Ricky Nelson and Beaver Cleaver of his favorite television dramas (1983, p. 3). However, neither he nor anyone he knew had an "upstairs" in their house. According to Meehan, the different images that originate from the corner of American living rooms not only convey attitudes and values about the world but have a powerful impact on audience demeanor as well. Television has numerous impacts on the lives of the viewers who consume the media messages and there can be numerous ways of examining the impact. For the purpose of the present study, the focal point of analysis is reading gender portrayals on prime time television in two different cultures. The two media contexts taken into consideration are the United States and India.

Authors: chaudhuri, tanni. and Bergen, Lori.
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1
INTRODUCTION
The last century has witnessed unparalleled changes in the history of the mass
media. Every two decades have replaced the popularity of an existing medium of
communication, with a more recent innovation. One of the changes that have affected
human beings the most is the unprecedented opportunity to pry into the world from the
shelter of the living rooms. Prior to the recent invention of the Internet this miracle was
called television.
Diana Meehan (1983), in the introductory chapter of her work Ladies of the
Evening: Women Characters on Prime Time Television talks about a10-year-old boy
from Brooklyn who grew up watching Ozzie and Harriet and Leave it to Beaver. The
little boy always wanted to misbehave at home and hoped that his parents would send
him upstairs much like Ricky Nelson and Beaver Cleaver of his favorite television
dramas (1983, p. 3). However, neither he nor anyone he knew had an "upstairs" in their
house. According to Meehan, the different images that originate from the corner of
American living rooms not only convey attitudes and values about the world but have a
powerful impact on audience demeanor as well.
Television has numerous impacts on the lives of the viewers who consume the
media messages and there can be numerous ways of examining the impact. For the
purpose of the present study, the focal point of analysis is reading gender portrayals on
prime time television in two different cultures. The two media contexts taken into
consideration are the United States and India.


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