The Influence of Essentialst Attitudes Portrayed in the Modern Day Sitcom on the Views and Beliefs of Modern Society.
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* The Influence of Essentialst Attitudes Portrayed in the Modern Day Sitcom on the Views and Beliefs of Modern Society.
Throughout its long history, the sitcom has been commonly understood to define the cultural norms of modern society through such comedy techniques as satire and irony. Like modern society, certain characteristics of the sitcom have evolved over time, while others have remained consistent. The evolution of the sitcom coincides with the generational shift in attitudes of society towards certain beliefs and values. So, it would seem that there must be some sort of correlation between the evolution of the sitcom and that of society, as if one is the cause of the other. * * While this can be safely said about…show more content… Recent sitcoms have challenged and broadened the idea of traditional stereotypes. For example, Gencarella (2005,394) argues that the four main characters of Seinfeld represent four distinct political stereotypes: the individualist, the hierarchical, the egalitarian, and the fatalist. The way these political stereotypes interact with each other and their community have no doubt contributed to the comicality and thus the success of the show. *
Unlike the 2005 sit-com The Office (American version), Seinfeld does not consistently display essentialist traits in its characters. It conveys essentialist themes through satirical situations involving essentialism. This is none more evident than the following example (“The Yada Yada”), which Gencarella (2005,398) also uses to describe the egalitarian nature of Kramer:
* Jerry: Those people can be so touchy. * Kramer: “Those people.” Listen to yourself. * Jerry: What? * Kramer: You think that dentists are so different from me and you? * They come to this country just like everybody else in search of a dream! * Jerry: Kramer, he’s just a dentist. * Kramer: Yeah, and you’re an anti-dentite! * Jerry: I am not an anti-dentite! * Kramer: You’re a rabid anti-dentite! Oh, it starts with a few jokes and some slurs – “Hey denty!” Next thing you know you’re saying they should have their own schools! * Jerry: They do have their own schools!