What Did the ’70s Give Us?

I felt a bit discontent this week after seeing All in the Family and Good Times– the racist comments are unsettling even when knowing these shows are from over 40 years ago. The days after this, though when we watched a few shows where feminism is strongly brewing, I felt a bit more like the ’70s included at least some progress. Racial equality was still not the norm, but genders were finally becoming a bit more equalized (at least more than the past). I enjoyed most all of the shows this week except for one, All in the Family. While pondering all of these topics I decided I disliked it so much because it combined the two issues- gender equality and racial equality. Archie Bunker gives us neither. He talks down to his wife in front of her children and guests in their home and he is completely oblivious to his racism.

 

-MacLean Lessenberry

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One Response to What Did the ’70s Give Us?

  1. marymdalton says:

    Norman Lear may not have struck the right chord all the time (as Gerry Jones argues in his chapter), but it is important to note that with All in the Family, he was trying to critique racism and call it out rather than to reinforce it. Most media texts have competing messages (which is why even a mainstream sitcom can be more complex than it appears), and that makes them tricky to deconstruct sometimes.

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