Contextualized Modern Canadian Culture

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Television is an important part of modern Canadian culture: "[n]o other medium reaches into every home or has a comparable cradle-to-grave influence over what a society learns about itself"(Waters 171).

The problem with television teaching different people about their own society, is that the television's views of society are actually a "reality warp"(Waters 167), and are not representative of the real world. The television does not accurately portray society. Most aspects of television present a "distorted picture of the real world"(Waters 167). To make this "reality warp"(Waters 167) even worse though, is the fact that television is primarily aimed at young children. Although television is aimed the most vulnerable people in Canadian society and presents a distorted view of what society is, it does not define the borders of a contextualized Canadian culture. Television does not define Canadian culture, but highlights what it truly means to be Canadian and, just as importantly, shows how we are not the same as Americans.

Television tries to effect culture the way it does "because the talent wants it that way"(Amis 112). Waters essay, "Life According to TV" claims that television's "distortions of reality can be attributed to its obsession with demographics"(Waters 171). Television is aimed at these particular people because those are the viewers that prime-time sponsors want to reach most.

Television is aimed at "its own best customers"(Waters 171). These "best customers"(Waters 171) are children. This is obvious to all regular television watchers. One fact that makes this obvious is that many of the most popular television programs are cartoons: which are marketed towards children. Another fact that makes this even more obvious is that many of the largest broadcasters on television, like Much Music and Youth Television also target young children.

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