Trenholm (2008) explains that television can be an important tool for spreading messages from the dominant group in a culture to other groups (305). Now this can be done to households all over the world Messages can be sent about how people should keep their house, what their kitchens should like, and what the receiver (the audience) should wear. All this is being done while the audience thinks the only thing that is happening is entertainment. The messages aren’t sent like a lesson plan that (a) you should wear stilettos to work or (b) all the men in your life should be gorgeous. Instead the messages are sent during hours programming with commercials on television.
Daytime soap operas are relaxing, enjoyable and sort of modern day fairy tales for today’s housewives and for househusbands, too. Indianapolis, Indiana’s daytime ABC lineup is on WRTV which is called the Indy Channel. General Hospital (GH) and Days of Our Lives (DOOL) are two long running soap operas that continue to be popular year after year with viewers. The theory of hegemony suggests that people become so comfortable with the imaginary television world that they become passive about real life; in other words, they don’t speak up about subjects like inequality or injustice. Television can make powerless groups remain passive and powerless (Trenholm, 2008, 305).
In general both the soap operas I watched stress and admire the importance of a strong monogamous marriage. On the other hand, there was some flirting going on but I think that it is acceptable generally because the couples are truly in love. Unfortunately they are star crossed lovers that one day hopefully will find a way to marry each other. Parents should always love their children although the children can be monsters when they grow up.
In General Hospital, Helena and Elina, are a mother-daughter pair that work out their difficult relationship with each other by manipulating other people. Sonny and Dante are a father-son pair that have been at odds for many years. Fortunately Sonny was close by when someone tried to kill Dante so Dante is now looking at Sonny and his businesses in a more accepting way. (Both Elina and Dante are adults in their early twenties.) My point is that family values are stressed no matter how strained they may become in a family everything will work out.
The women and the men in the shows are gorgeous. They dress well. Women often wear stilettos. Certain characters use their feminine power over men to get what they want. On DOOL after spending the night in Sami’s bed, Kate wakes up early to plug in her computer and start work while waiting for Sami to wake up. Before they even have their first coffee Kate is trying to manipulate Sami into telling her the product line of a competitor. At the hospital the ethical dilemma being faced is whether a doctor should save Jason’s life even though it is Jason’s fault Robyn is dead.
Through all the trials and tribulations at the hospital, at work and at home the characters look perfectly well-groomed with fashionable clothes and expensive haircuts. The days I watched everyone was white although Lexi and her husband on DOOL are black.
The rooms of the homes where the ‘action’ took place were expensively and tastefully decorated. Carpets and tiles were on the floors, expensive lamps and furniture were in each room
After watching the shows I agree that these shows are role models of what people want to buy, maybe even what their goals in life should be. There was not any talk of politics. All the drama was interrelationship problems, not about economic problems or anything stressful from real life.
The commercial breaks showed dishwashing and clothes washing detergent that would help free up time from cleaning. Also the food that was advertised was ready to go or quick to mix-up. There were ads of the other soap operas that made them look interesting.
Five examples of media convergence.
1. Many shows (and commercials) encourage viewers to go to their Facebook page to click “Like.” Also the Twitter address is given so you can receive Twitter messages all day long about the product or TV show.
2. Medicine and food products write their web link address for the home page of the product on the TV screen.
3. Prizes are offered so that when you go to a web address to enter a contest you will have to sign in with your email. That way the company will obtain your email address.
4. Product placement on television shows is pretty obvious. Bing is used a lot. 30Rock even has made jokes about it on the show (while doing product placement, I think).
5. Some shows are integrating their show with YouTube. For example, on the Jimmy Kimmel show, they can create videos during the live filming then the videos are uploaded on their own YouTube channel.
Nature of the interaction between old and new media
Old media has incorporated new media in order to take advantage of the easy way to communicate with viewers and to keep viewers interested. The receivers can now communicate in real time with the senders through emails, chats or taking polls. Receivers can be ‘on-site’ and ‘live’ to ask guests questions or to share their opinion. Television advertisers can find out the tastes, values and income of the viewers, too.
Trenholm, Sarah. (2008). Communication and the Mass Media. Chapt. 11. Thinking Through Communication: An introduction to the Study of Human Communication. Fifth Edition, Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. pp. 296-339.