ERIC Number: ED303146
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
What's Wrong with This Picture? A Look at Working Women on Television.
DeGooyer, Janice; Borah, Farfalla
This study examined 10 years of prime time programming--from 1972 to 1981--to discover how television has portrayed women who work outside of the home, together with the new technologies of cable and satellite television, their current programming for and about working women, and the possibilities for the future. The programs selected for each year were the top 25 shows as rated by Nielsen's. The programs were divided by genre, and for those programs having one or more continuing female leads, each female character was coded for race, age, economic status, marital status, occupational category, and number of children under 18 years of age. Analyses of these data showed that women television characters tended to be younger then women in real life; tended to be white in race; tended to have a professional occupation; tended to be single and without children if they worked outside of the home; tended more to be married in the earlier part of the decade, but then less so by the early 1980s; and were more likely to appear in situation comedies than in action/crime programs. In comparison to male television characters, working women were underrepresented, especially in professional occupations. In addition, men on television were older than women, and more likely to be married. A discussion of the future of cable television observes that, since cable television programming targets specific segments of the population, working women are a sizable group with special viewing interests and they would be a likely target for programming services. (EW)
Descriptors: Cable Television, Commercial Television, Employed Women, Family Characteristics, Longitudinal Studies, Programing (Broadcast), Sex Stereotypes, Television Research
National Commission on Working Women, 1325 G Street NW, Lower Level, Washington, DC 20005 ($5.00 prepaid).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Commission on Working Women, Washington, DC.
Note: For related reports, see IR 013 617-622.