Date of Award

5-1-2002

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Africana Women's Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Josephine Bradley

Abstract

This study examines the images of African Americans in black-themed sitcoms and mediated messages presented here. The study was based on the premise that the images of African Americans on television sitcoms are one dimensional and comedic. A content analysis approach was used to analyze various television sitcoms. Definitions were used to determine what type of image existed using the foundation provided by Donald Bogle and Stewart Hall. The researcher found that although many of the African-American-themed sitcoms investigated represented traditional stereotypical images, there were mediated messages in these sitcoms, which offered a new and different perspective on African Americans. This suggests that African-American images on black-themed sitcoms are moving forward. Additionally, the researcher found that sitcoms depicting African-American life from a comedic point-of-view seem to be more acceptable in popular culture than those which depict life from a dramatic and/or realistic point-of-view.

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