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ERIC Number: ED253222
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Oct-5
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Television and the Humanist.
Zigerell, James
The mass media and especially television pose problems for teachers in humanities disciplines traditionally associated with leisure, time for reflection, and the quiet contemplation of the good, true, and beautiful. Although other media have been criticized for their deleterious effects, television most affects humanists in their mission because of its pervasiveness. We humanists must understand television as an educational force and somehow come to terms with it. An article in the August, 1984 Atlantic Monthly by David Marc, entitled "Understanding Television," argues that, although television is the most effective purveyor, image, and narrative in American culture, it has failed to become a subject of lively humanistic discourse. Television poses dangers to thought and informed decision-making that humanists must be prepared to address. Much television programming is mere spectacle and can be negatively employed to manipulate, form attitudes, and incite to action. While television has tremendous educational potential, instructional broadcasters sometimes place too much emphasis on entertainment values in their desire to appeal to viewers other than those looking for direct instruction; too much delight can get in the way of the business at hand. Television programming tends to be superficial, not questioning the meaning of life or human experiences. Individuals who daily spend hours passively viewing television are in danger of "remaining what they are," rather than living life to the fullest. Four references are listed. (LMM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Community College Humanities Association Banquet (Kalamazoo, MI, October 5, 1984).