Media is important to society as it is one of the main information sources. It has many influences, and the roles people play, have a significant effect on the way society views media. Many shows and individuals have left their mark on society and media adjusts to these influences by creating new shows.
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The “Cosby Show” and the character of Cliff Huxtable had a significant effect on media and society. Human beings are social creatures spending a lot of time socializing, interacting and participating in activities that involve others. Cliff Huxtable was able to show that a family is a unit, a single “organism”, with its own culture, beliefs and traditions. Cliff Huxtable influenced the way family was shown on TV, which in turn, led to people adjusting their behavior and views to the sitcom.
The way a family life is represented, adheres to several media principles and values, which are open ended information transfer, truthful episode recall and specific representation of what took place. Moreover, it is seen as a work of art within the media society. The work and character prove that the producers considered media ethics values of truth-telling, public’s right to know, legal and religious values. Additionally, the show signified loyalty to the company, clients, art, society, colleagues, and family itself by presenting a truthful representation of life.
The outcome of the role played would have been different if the media had thought of other principles in media ethics. For example, if the participants had considered the loyalty of the actor to himself and society, the results would be much different. The producers have included values such as truth-telling and public’s rights to know. Following the numerous representations the show had in relation to real life, made it a role model among other mediums.
According to the media ethics principles such as the utilitarianism and Mean principle, it is possible to see why media had such a great effect on the following culture. At the same time, this case was ambiguous and complicated, as it showed a life some people doubted. Therefore, media had to make the best decision. The facts show that media considered the loyalty to the clients and continued providing what was wanted. Further, it considered legal, religious, and balance values (Browne, 2001).
Another reason the show has proved to be an inseparable part of media standard is that it was a first in its kind. Everyone had to learn the much needed rules of society, the way the world was made up and what was expected by the norm or what was considered a deviation. The show provided security, stability in basic human needs and moral happiness.
It was illustrated how the family supported the implementation of a persom into the world, the views of media, society and the individual needs. The fact that a person has the support and the acknowledgement of the family creates a very beneficial environment for people to develop strong personalities. The Cosby Show was so influential because it showed that the more relatives participate in the common goal, the more different perspectives and pieces of knowledge there will be which is undeniably a positive influence (Biagi, 2011).
Many shows, after the “Cosby Show”, wanted to create the same effect and following. This is due to the fact that there were many values that were shown to be stored within a family. All the traditions, rituals and culture in general are passed on through relatives. No person’s life is exactly the same as the other’s, and so, everyone has a different and very unique personality that is created at a certain time and place which is influenced by a great number of environmental circumstances.
Bill Cosby has captured the essence of parenting and how father should behave. He has supported the notion which says that it is important to stay close to own roots, remember the relatives and their lessons, as there are many things that they can teach from a different time perspective and setting that could possibly not happen again in the lives of the new generation.
Also the stories and the information that is passed on through generations creates a perspective that help an individual to form a relation towards the world, its purpose and what the major values and goals of humanity as a civilization are. There is no denying that “The Huxtables” have been an example to the society and other media. It has set a guideline as to how people should behave and how shows should be made. It went down in history as one of the greatest influences on the media and people’s lives.
Throughout time, television has stayed one of the basic building units of any society and how television is viewed. It carries its unique originality and a set of schemas about the general knowledge that play a great part in any person’s life. The influence the “Cosby Show” had is great in many aspects, proving how valuable representation is to people in their opinion of family and life.
Biagi, S. (2011). Media Impact: An Introduction to Mass Media: An Introduction to Mass Media. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Browne, R. (2001). The Guide to United States Popular Culture. Madison, WI: Popular Press.