DEFINING FAMILY IN A BROAD SPECTRUM Universally, people recognize family as “a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, and co-residence. ” From the rudimentary explanation, family has the simplest structure composed of mother, father, brothers, and sisters living harmoniously in a house in a certain community, having definite roles to portray as demanded by their culture, regardless where they maybe defines the layman understanding of it.
But beyond personalization and visualization of family itself, several different established groups and organization based their context of family according to what qualities are acceptable for them to be qualified a family. According to Dr. Gordon Neal Diem, the Assistant Professor of Political Science at North Carolina Central University and a former member of the North Carolina Marriage and Family Therapy Certification Board, he cited several social groups who advocate new ideas of family in the society. Selected highlights of his article depicted two uniquely interesting definitions.
From Diem’s article he clearly summarized, “In a Conservative free society, individuals and couples merely exchange the state’s definitions of family for definitions imposed by other social institutions. ” In a conservative society, church does not include couples cohabiting without getting married. Church strictly abides by their rules on pre-marital living of men and women. In a “free society”, as he quoted, description of a family lies on how people they perceive it for themselves, of what suits their needs and fits their situation.
Parents who are incapable of caring for their children can delegate their social responsibilities to members of the nuclear family or to close relatives. In a modern American society where divorce is prevalent and is on the rise, the practicality of this modern context is highly invaluable. FAMILY VALUES DEFINED The Encyclopedia of American History describes “Family Values” “as a set of beliefs or morals that help provide for family unity and social interaction as well as providing for a societal view for childhood development.
These beliefs have encompassed such topics as the roles of marriage, divorce, childbearing, gender roles, and sexual activity and have shaped not only the family’s interaction with society, but also legislative policy. ” The Encyclopedia of American History base their grounds on moral standards a particular society and culture imposes on families inhabiting in a particular area. Also, the government plays a crucial role in keeping family values as standard and top priority by means of enactment and enforcement of pro-family laws.
Laws against physical and verbal abuse on women and children, corruption of minors, and unrestricted, unhealthy media programs have been firmly supported by the government to ensure preservation of moral values in individual family members and to the members of the society at large. REACHING A DECISION Television is ubiquitous and has become a visibly essential possession in almost all American households and the world in general.
Taking into account the growing number of reality television programs, American family have been the usual target of media to market morally corrupt TV programs feeding and competing against other same program on rating share. I affirm television promotes further degenerating family values then and now. According to Mary Winn, one of America’s respected television critiques, television has imminent adverse and long term effects to the relationship of American family. Television promotes a “passive and non-challenging” attitude towards children.
Immobile and focused on the TV program, a child learns one way communication rather than the normal interactive conversation in real situation. Since family members are living in one house, they are being robbed with quality time; thus, television wears precious time of “family rituals” such as intermingling, simple face to face talk, and chance to discuss unsolved personal burdens. She has used the effects of television as manifested on the shift from nostalgic heart-warming family rituals to depressing cold, careless family. Some families use TV as “defense mechanism” to avoid opening-up of serious personal troubles.
On the other side of the coin, Winn offered Kubey and Csikzenymihalyi’s research grasping on affirmative values of television to the family. Based on research they conducted, majority of the viewers feels good and calm; nonetheless, those situations were felt during watching TV together with their families compare to families who allocated less time to TV viewing. Pragmatically, families share the quiet time together but they can’t express real family values; they can only relate to the portrayed inaccurate and “pseudo community” adaptation of TV programs.
Other significant studies show the relevance of television impact to the children’s social development. Hilary Jackson, on her research work on the effects of television to children as absorbed from violent themes of various television programs, stated that …“Over thirty years, findings have consistently demonstrated that violence on TV correlates with subsequent aggressive behaviour” This study proves how TV can easily corrupt upright, innocent without discerning the basic human values of right from wrong.
In 2000, CBS has risen the pop television culture “Reality TV” through Big Brother . Do you realize why this program this program isn’t beneficial to us? First, it gives the idea of dependency on game-shows offering fat cash, leaving respectable value of hard-work elsewhere. Second, contenders are willing to show and do malicious acts for the sake of winning the $500,000. 00 cash prize and some intently camouflage their true identity even if the truth is the opposite of who they are in the Big Brother house for the same goal.
Third, they only result to voyeurism. In a recent study on reality-based programs conducted by Robert Nabi and collegues, “results suggest first that though voyeurism (i. e. , curiosity about others) appears to be a key distinguishing gratification between reality and fictional programming, it is not always a predictor of reality television enjoyment. ” In his popular commentary in The Guardian in 2001, Salman Rushdie shares similar view on voyeurism in television. as Nabi.
Big Brother house is like a human size aquarium. It permits a consented invasion of privacy of the contestants; thus, insatiable sex perverts can freely view them bare 24 hours a day. Finally, programs like Survivor and Big Brother, are just trivializing sacred human feelings for network rating’s sake and an equivalent affluence and popularity for the winner who has capitalized on either pretending or immorally real. They definitely can’t give us decent family values. It all ends to business as usual.