• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the ways in which situation comedy can be analysed in ideological terms

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the ways in which situation comedy can be analysed in ideological terms Situation Comedy (or Sitcom) began in Britain in the late 1960's. It is a narrative series comedy and is usually 25-30 minutes per episode and focuses more on the 'situations' the characters get themselves into rather than the comedian as a performer. Because the sitcom is more of a 'series' rather than a 'serial' viewers get to know the characters and can relate, in a broad sense, to their everyday lives and the situations they get themselves into. Sitcoms have been extremely popular since they began and have continuously dominated the airwaves in Britain and America. The continuing popularity of the television situation comedy can be accredited to two complementary characteristics: '..(1) Its multivalent social ideologies and mores that function within the larger framework of liberal democratic ideology and (2) the commercial system that produces and distributes the product for private profit alone. The former characteristic has tended toward emancipation, the latter, repression...' (Hamamoto, 1991, p. 1) I will be focusing my essay on the liberal democratic ideology of situation comedy in America and Britain. By this I mean the interplay of ideologies within the sitcom that have derived from the social culture and beliefs in the time in which they were made. ...read more.


The ideological implications in sitcoms are used to form a better and more structured society. By this I mean that every episode of every season shares views and ideals that can be spread throughout society and therefore imposing a general view or fear of something. For example in Only Fools and Horses the family usually end up having an argument about something and they fall out but by the end of the episode the person who was in the wrong makes amends. This establishes the closing of the narrative and that whatever happens a family should stick together. It is also the victory of good over evil or in the case of sitcoms right over wrong. The appeal of sitcoms lies in the familiarisation of the characters and the stereotypical approach to how they are represented. Usually this approach is to ensure that viewers continue to watch the shows and characters often, for example, dumb blondes, are funny to them due to them doing actions or saying something that reminds them of themselves or someone they know. he dominant force becomes the natural way of life while others that go against this are perceived as being 'radical' no matter how logical their approach may be. Viewers enjoy the idea of watching a 'dysfunctional' family because everyone aspires to have the perfect family but this doesn't really exist. ...read more.


If you analyse it by what Bowes said above you only see them in one way, and from one perspective which is not their own, and you don't learn anything new about their culture or lifestyle. In conclusion, the points in which I have talked about help to form the ideological framework within sitcoms. Ideology in situation comedy is derived from the social implications of the time in which they were made. In time stereotypes may have changed and the situations the characters get themselves into may mirror events in society but in the whole it reflects how people think society should be and how people should behave. It encapsulates the ideal that everyone should hold the same views, or similar views, on certain topics be it political or social and it helps to build a stereotype of certain people. The 'dumb-blonde' for instance, is taken to the extreme in the majority of sitcoms and it has led to idea that most women who have blonde hair are stupid and say silly things. Many forms of ideology can be displayed in sitcoms such as political; a set of ideas and principles that explain how the society should work, and offer the blueprint for a certain social order. The dominant ideoloy in sitcom is from the political angle and sitcom will always be structured on the views of those in power. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Choose a group which faces barriers in terms of participation in sport and leisure ...

    (p16 as above issue.) Cycling achieved extraordinary popularity amongst both working class and middle class women. But this popularity was challenged by those who believed that cycling was an 'indecent practice which would destroy the sweet simplicity of a girl's nature and which might cause her to fall in to

  2. Crime - 'The media portrays ethnic minorities in negative ways', Discuss.

    know if I proved my hypothesis, by having both sides of the arguments, also by having a one sided view will make me think that the public were being biased and giving false data, and this would affect my results.

  1. Unraveling of cultural meaning and sociological dimensions of Sex and the City by means ...

    While sexual freedom is undoubtedly a bold proponent of feminist theory, the female characters in Sex and the City also adhere to a traditional exhibitionist role of being looked at and displayed (Mulvey 1989, p. 19). The four characters as sexual objects have fused male voyeurism and desire with that

  2. Discuss the ways that domestic ideology constructed femininity and what this meant for women's ...

    In 1890 the term signified a young prostitute and prior to the war it referred to any female with a boyish figure. (Beddoe p.23) Pugh argues that by the 1920s a flapper was on the one hand, denoted as 'ultra feminine, shallow minded ...

  1. Max Weber: Basic Terms (The Fundamental Concepts of Sociology)

    The Religious Foundations of Worldly Asceticism However, this idea of the calling was not sufficient for the development of the spirit of capitalism. We needed the effects of forms of ascetic Protestantism: Calvinism, Pietism, Methodism and the Baptist sects. An important thing to keep in mind is that these folks

  2. China - Ethnic boundaries.

    Minority nationalities are guaranteed special representation in the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (see Glossary). Areas where minorities form the majority of the population may be designated "autonomous" counties, prefectures, or regions, subject to the authority of the central government in Beijing rather than to provincial or subprovincial administrations.

  1. Langston Hughes's The Ways of White Folks,

    and someone who is forever indebted to him for their immeasurable benevolence. They even feel as if, "nobody in the town need ever again do a good deed: that this acceptance of a black boy was quite enough," (137). They raise him in a completely white environment, however, where his

  2. American film comedy and issues of social class in America

    In his film The Count once again Chaplin is portraying a lower-class citizen in the role of a tailor's assistant. After losing his job, he goes to get food from his mother who works as a cook for a higher-class family, which exemplifies his lower social status.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work