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Television was the most popular product of the 1950s, with about 55 million people owning it in the United States alone. Viewers could watch shows from over 530 different television stations. Television prices were not prohibitively expensive, and they continued to fall over time. TV, like radio and other electrical devices, has had a significant cultural impact. Only by viewing and interacting with television have dramatic cultural changes occurred from one community to another. With a focus on the influence of TV on cultural values, particularly in third-world and other industrialized countries, the effects of TV are similar to those of other emerging technologies. This discussion covers the cultural effects of television on gender and the results the television programs have on the cultural activities and values of many people. Having a tv or setting it up is not a problem, the problem comes with the programs that we watch from these televisions. Many TV stations also are there to be blamed on the deuteriation of cultural values of many societies. This is based on the programs that are aired for viewers.
Setting up a television station is not a great deal, more so in the developed countries. Technology must be embraced to the latter, and being that television has become a significant form of communication, more so to many people, it's therefore preferred by many people to set up these TV stations. For cultural values of a specific society or group of people to spread, television has been used as a significant platform. To utilize culture successfully, vital and essentialit is for other communication media to be developed. Having tv in the third world country, one should be aware of the of the impacts that this type of media will have on their culture. Can it lead to upholding of the cultural values or does it entirely delete and do away with the cultural values? When it is assumed that television will have no severe impacts on culture, it can be hazardous. Mostly, it has entrenched in the cultural values with people arguing that it's about uniqueness in culture.
Use of television has dramatically impacted on the gender, race and social classes. This paper will be discussing the impacts of tv on gender. To go specific, it will look at the effects of the television program like soap operas on sex. Many youths nowadays watch these soaps operas, and they are viewed anytime. Some of the early soap operas have shown significant impacts on gender. Soap operas have gained much popularity in the whole world. It has been associated with family dramas and fights within the house. Very many studies conducted on the influence of soap operas on different people shows that the audience of soap operas increase daily with the audience adding every day. These soap operas have influenced the socio-cultural values of varying individual and people. Therefore, this discussion will give the impacts of Telegu soap operas to the different gender. It will discuss the effect Balika Vadhu; a Telugu soap opera has on the culture. This soap opera is the third longest aired, and it has been airing more than 2248 episodes since 2008 up to 2016. This soap opera is widely broadcasted, and it has the whole worldview.
These soap operas have become part and parcel of people, with most people not able to go without watching these soap operas. Many have the series of these soap operas on their phones, laptops or in disk format. Still, others follow directly from the television as they are aired live. These soap operas are nowadays ruling most of the television stations and industries, both nationally and globally. Soap operas had got history as it can be dated back to the 1800s when there was a series of novels written in newspapers. For example, there was a novel series known as Dickens which appeared in newspapers daily. In the United States, soap operas started radio dramas, and they were also done in Series. (Aaliya, 2012). They were daily programs and were broadcasted daily for people to listen unto them. These soap operas were initially directed to women, majorly for advertisements. Women were seen to be attracted to these soap operas, more than men. But nowadays, even men are targeted.
The term soap came from an advertisement that was about soaps and soap products (Brown &Barwick, 1987). A very crucial point that defines soaps is its nature of being open-ended. It has stories that span different and several episodes, over an extended period. According to Albert Moran, the defining feature of soap operas is the form that these soap operas are presented with each end leaving the audience with the erg to continues watching the soap opera. (Anitha, 2014. The first soap opera to be televised was known as Payton palace from. It ran from 1964 to 1969, and after that, it was televised by the British TV. Soap operas have been successfully advertised in many countries, for example, the US and they have gained the severe audience. Nowadays, soap operas have gained momentum in most of the states, for example, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It’s gone viral all over the world. Even the Indian soap operas are not left behind as they have tried to attract the audience, more so women, by making the unique storyline.
Portraying the content of the soap operas, which are negative can impact society in negative ways. There are very many fans, who are very loyal to these soap operas, and they follow the day in day out. Many studies are also conducted to see the impacts of these soap operas on categories of people and age groups. Many types of research have been done for example Karaj did a study on a top-rated soap opera known as wonder women, which was aired in 2000. The content of the soap opera was analyzed, and very many variables were also analyzed based on the soap opera. Among the things studied include the status of marriage, employment of the female gender, age factor of the females, and change in character during and after the completion of these soap operas, roles of this female audience as mothers and how they support the families. Having formed a hypothesis that women watching these soap operas are young, single regarding marital status, and are professionals of an upper class, the study did confirm to him the exact things h had hinted. It also gave an outcome that most of these people never like their lives and the life they are living. Other studies like of Robert Jensen on Cable Television, gave a finding of serious domestic violence within many homes, more so toward women. In her book, Shoma Munshi, the prime time, she did examine the soap operas and argued that these things focus on gender and she also studied the format of soap operas of not ending and different outlines of the plot. It's not possible to ignore the popularity of soap operas. These things are becoming daily attractive to many people. Studies have also been conducted on how these soap operas have influenced the attitude of different viewers. The studies show that the effect of the soap operas on mentality is growing daily and it indicated the growing popularity of these soap operas. Most of these soap operas have got harmful content, that is not healthy for the viewers themselves. In Telegu soap operas, the socio-cultural values are depicted negatively. It present cultural values of no importance, and with the tome, it makes these cultural values null and void. People will no longer see the necessity of culture in their lives.
Impacts of these soap operas cannot be ignored. Some of the effects include broken families, lack of respect for the traditional values, gender roles are stereotyped and increased negative characters within the society for example murder, rape cases and the rest. There is a common assumption made that people are very critical about soap operas and the content. Many are saying that soap operas have got more negative content than positive content, but still, they can't go without watching these soap operas. The viewership of soap operas is increasingly high. Most of the viewers are aged 25 to 45 years, and most are of the same age group. (Anitha, 2014) The relationship in families is negatively viewed in the Telegu soap operas. A relationship with in-laws, husband, and wife, a parent-child relationship is negatively portrayed in the Telugu soap operas. The main aim of giving this kind of view is to attract the large audience, because most marriages are faced with problems, thinking that watching such kind of soap operas can provide solutions and way forward. Viewers are always attracted because of the severe adornment of the actors, from expensive and costly lifestyle and costly jewelry.
Soap opera has predominantly had women as the primary viewers and statistics shows that 30% of the total viewers are men (Brown & Barwick,1987). Some argue that men are attracted by the business relations and the expensive things shown during the shows. Women, on the other hand, are drawn because of family issues and matters of live (Aaliya, 2012). Some argue that the soap opera programs are inscribed, and their primary target is women, though men are sometimes involved and included in the audience. The issue of gender stereotyping is significant, and it's an open charge of elitism of culture. Others have argued that soap operas are having a theory of feminism. Stereotyping of women in the soap operas has dramatically changed how modern women behave. They have created a world that is interpersonal relationship dominated (Aaliya, 2012). The discussions arrange for marriage, romance and problems of the family. Soap operas have increasingly been hazardous due to the continuous breaking of relationships by different characters. Most of the soap operas writers have hinted that their primary aim is to teach people life. But on the contrary, most of the teachings have been negative. It has changed the culture of women and men at large. A husband and wife are expected to take care of the children in the family, but it's not the case. Mostly, parents and children will be seated at the soap operas times, to watch. Children nowadays never know what values their cultures have. For example, there are certain things that a given culture allows while a different religion doesn't. The famous Balika Vadhu Soap opera has done away with such beliefs with people nowadays taking everything for granted.
The use of television has emerged the most prevalent way of passing information to a large number of people. Just take an example of how many viewers are reached at a specific time, when the soap operas like Balika Vadhu are aired. Many people are entered, and the content in the soap operas sink deep into most of the people unknowingly. Television can pass a given information at a speed of light. Images that the audience views during the airing of these soap operas remain in mind for extended times. Televisions do not only reflect the cultural values of society, but it also influences the viewers. Most people watch these soap operas because of isolation socially, emotionally, and as a result of being lonely (Anitha, 2014). They need a company, and the company they obtain from watching these soap operas seems the best for most. Some view these soap operas to release their emotions because from the viewing; they learn that others are also faced with the same problems they face. Others watch for wishful thinking for filling gaps in their lives. Others seek advice from these soap operas. They claim that watching these programs makes them learn new things that act as pieces of information for their daily lives.
There is a great relationship between a person watching soap opera and how he/she interacts with the physical or real world. Soap operas exaggerate the happenings of the real world, as it sometimes presents it as a world full of assumptions and imaginations. Soap operas provide a view of the world as conservative. Soap operas have formed a platform for entertainment just like other television dramas though they are different as they are always broadcasted over an extended period. Even the soap operas themselves differ regarding content and the format they are presented to the viewers. Soaps like Balika Vadhu has the most significant number of audience, and it has become a way of life. Many stay indoors to watch these series. It has made many seriously lazy. They are forming people's daily lives, and as days go by, they are becoming more popular. Balika Vadhu is considered to be realistic, and many watch it (Brown & Barwick,1987). Many reasons that it focuses on domestic and every day's problems such as marriage, divorce, romance, and death. Many marriages nowadays are breaking as a result of too much watching of soap operas. Even those who have not married, don't want to because what is shown on the television scares them of marriage.
The culture of marriage is done away with by these soap operas. Other forms of marriage have also risen due to too much watching of these programs. Gay marriages and lesbian marriages have also come into being the reality as the soap operas advocate for them. Initially, a union was set for man and woman, people of different gender, but nowadays, with increased television programs, same-sex marriage has become too familiar. The culture of man-woman marriage is done away with. All these are as a result of too much watching of soap operas. Differentiating between men and women has also become difficult. Men nowadays put on clothes worn by women and vice versa. Things are becoming too familiar. It's not easy to differentiate between a man and woman. Gender has been faded just because of soap operas. Most of these soap operas show women and men as of similar sex, and they can behave in any way they like. Many cultural behaviors are done away with.
Most findings show that most soap operas focus on negative socio-cultural values that attract viewers and enjoy such negative approaches towards culture. Most soap opera viewers are a severe audience and watch them for the extended period. Some view these programs for the whole day or night. Others do not leave their rooms, and in the process of watching these, they need no disturbance, they need total peace. Some of the severely addicted people admit that what is shown is the soap operas are real, and they believe them to be real. Some homemakers think that the real world is corrupt and very violent. The stories about soap operas have become the mostly told stories. People at some point see no need of understanding their cultural beliefs and origin. Two types of viewers exist; there are substantial and light viewers (Anitha, 2014) Heavy viewers watch television for more than 4 hours while light viewers watch video for not more than 3 hours. Heavy viewers suffer from the world syndrome, and they have an idea that the world is a worse place. Themselves they are in fantasy worlds. In Telugu soap operas, they were majorly associated with violence and other negative cultural traits.
There has been a dangerous assumption that soap operas have several contrary contents, and it's genuine. Research shows that cultural values and the relationship between families are negatively portrayed in the soap operas. Cultural values mostly are misinterpreted, as languages used lack respect towards customs and traditions. They also lack connection to God. To the extreme ends, even teenagers and young children nowadays watch these programs. They come from school, and the first thing they do is to turn on the TV. They sit several waiting for these programs that have severe consequences for their behaviors. The soap operas were designed for entertainment, but it's losing its design principle as in many cases there are adverse effects associated with watching it, more so to the teenagers. The soap operas create fictional characters that have negative and positive aspects, though the positive roles are very limited.
It would be of great help if television stations could broadcast cultural contents that could be trenching people excellent and essential things. If the TV stations could be broadcasting these programs, then the coming generations would be better, regarding characters and behaviors. There is fear of losing the next generation as there will be no much to be taught. Even the current generation has lost much regarding culture; it, therefore, shows that even the coming generations will be worse, as, at some point, different cultural beliefs will be washed away. These soap operas programs are exposed, and the topics they discuss mostly are of drug trafficking, prostitution, and murder. Children are allowed to watch these in front of parents, and if these are what they are allowed to attend then, this generation is not okay, and the coming age is even more unsafe.
In conclusion, programs shown on the television should be of cultural importance with high levels of training to the viewers. The productions made should be of positive values. Educating the new generation should be the priority because children are the next and future leaders. What they are taught now is what they will do in the future. One should check the content of the soap opera that is shown on the television and open to watching more so to the children. What children are trained to be is what they will be in the future. If they are required to be of good character and behavior then, soap operas must be out of their sight as much as possible. Even unto grownups who claim to be learning from these programs, for example, family matters, there are better programs that can correctly teach one on how to run a family. Soap operas have presented family relations, customs, and traditions in negative ways. Its therefore important to note that watching television does not interfere with our cultural beliefs, but the programs that one watches determines a lot. Careful analysis should be done before attending any television program, just like discussed above, the soap operas. What one observes determines greatly one's behavior in the society.
Aaliya, A. (2012). Women and Soap Operas: Popularity, Portrayal, and Perception. Media Education Research center, Kashmir University, India.
Anitha, J. (2014). Socio, Economic and cultural impact of Soap operas on Homemakers (A study in Andhra Pradesh). Department of Communications and Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Kielwasser AP, Wolf M A (1989) The appeal of soap opera: an analysis of process and quality in dramatic serial gratifications, Journal of Popular Culture 23: 111-124.
Brown ME, Barwick L (1987) Fables, and endless genealogies: soap opera and women's culture. Continuum: The Australian Journal of Media and
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