Drama Television and Teenage Identities

This post was written by a student in Susan Schuyler’s Narrative, Rhetoric, and Identity class at Stanford University.  Each student in this class will complete a research-based argument related to the course topic.

In my research project I will be discussing how drama television shows affect teenagers and contribute to the shaping of their own personal identity/how they act.  I will observe the social affects, the psychological effects, the mental effects, and the emotional effects that these shows have on teenagers and young adults in today’s society.  Whether in my research I find these effects to be positive, negative, or both, my thesis will most likely support the argument that drama television shows are not the best influence on my target group.  I will focus on a few specific shows that are popular in today’s culture in order to form the most appropriate and conclusive argument.  Examples would be Gossip Girl, 90210, One Tree Hill, House, etc.

I may even choose to implement a survey into my project, asking my fellow students about drama television.  Some possible questions could be: What is your favorite drama television show?  State one reason why?  Can you relate to the characters?  If so, how?  By asking these questions I can gain insight into the relationship between my peers and drama television.

Possible evidence to support my argument could be how the interactions and actions between TV characters are unrealistic, yet convincing enough to affect how teens form their own relationships with people.  Also, appearance and image will be significant factors.  I could argue that the images portrayed on these shows not only affect how teens dress but also how they affect how teens view others and form opinions about who a person is, based solely on appearance.  I know I will come across quite a few articles about these shows that are non-scholarly (i.e. People Magazine, personal blogs, etc.) but my focus might have to be on the general idea of how TV shows affect teenagers and their identities.

Amelia Herring, Stanford University

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This entry was posted in CCR exchange: Stanford-CCNY, Fall 2010: Humanities, Identity, and Social Justice. Bookmark the permalink.

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