Journals Higher Education

$34.99

Paperback

29 October 1992

272 Pages | 20 halftones, 30 line drawings

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195079142


Also Available As:

Ebook


Bookseller Code (06)

Electronic Hearth

Creating an American Television Culture

Cecelia Tichi

We all talk about the "tube" or "box," as if television were simply another appliance like the refrigerator or toaster oven. But Cecilia Tichi argues that TV is actually an environment--a pervasive screen-world that saturates almost every aspect of modern life. In Electronic Hearth, she looks at how that environment evolved, and how it, in turn, has shaped the American experience.
Tichi explores almost fifty years of writing about television--in novels, cartoons, journalism, advertising, and critical books and articles--to define the role of television in the American consciousness. She examines early TV advertising to show how the industry tried to position the new device as not just a gadget but a prestigious new piece of furniture, a highly prized addition to the home. The television set, she writes, has emerged as a new electronic hearth--the center of family activity. She also discusses long-standing suspicions of TV viewing: its often solitary, almost autoerotic character, its supposed numbing of the minds and imagination of children, and assertions that watching television drugs the minds of Americans. Ranging far beyond the bounds of the broadcast industry, Tichi provides a history of contemporary American culture, a culture defined by the television environment. Intensively researched and insightfully written, The Electronic Hearth offers a new understanding of a critical, but much-maligned, aspect of modern life.

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