The Values And Structure Of Sitcoms In The 1950's

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Television sitcoms of the 1950’s through the 1990’s demonstrated the values and structure of the American family by portraying stereotypes. Since television sets became mainstream and entered almost every American home, the content of American sitcoms has reflected the culture of the times. Thus, as the popular American sitcoms of the 1950’s suggest, families living in the 1950’s were very tightly grouped and did everything together with roles of males and females clearly defined. In the 1950’s women have the housecleaning and child care and men worked, providing for the family. In the sixties, women acquired more freedom in their lives. The 1963 Equal Pay Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act came into effect. It was the end of the baby Boomer era. In the seventies, women continued to fight for equal pay to their male counterparts. Many families had a color television by the 1970’s. In modern day, women are equal to men and feminism is decreasing. Four sitcoms, Leave It To Beaver, What’s Happening, The Wonder Years, and Malcolm in the Middle, portrayed the relationships and values of families during different decades. First of all, most sitcoms in the 1950’s showed families as a traditional family structure. It was referred to as a nuclear family, two parents and their children. Divorce was not common. In the sitcom, Leave It to Beaver about being a Caucasian family in the late fifties, the father was the dominant figure of the household and the decision maker of

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