2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

Perceptions of Success in American Television

Tierra L. Griffin
Dr. Anton Daughters, Faculty Mentor

How does American television portray success? As part of my capstone course in Sociology/Anthropology I carried out a content analysis of the 2015-2016 season of the top 5 primetime television shows in order to answer this question. These shows included Empire,  The Big Bang Theory,  The X-files, Modern Family, and Grey’s Anatomy (altogether about 50 hours of television). Using sex and race as variables, I examined the attainments of the main characters in the shows. Out of six categories of attainments, I found that Romantic Relationship attainments and Career attainments were the most frequently depicted. White and female characters were more likely to participate in Romantic Relationship attainments while minority and male characters were more likely to participate in Career attainments. Family related attainments were also more prevalent than expected. These findings were discussed through the lens of George Gerbner’s Cultivation Theory.

Keywords: Success, Attainment, Television, American


Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 6-5
Location: SUB GEO
Time: 3:00

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