The Impact of Television in the 1950s
Short Paper 2 – The Impact of Television in the 1950s
I. Choose one of the following popular 1950s television family
situation comedies (sitcoms) and watch at least 2 episodes:
“Father Knows Best” (1954-1960)
“Leave it to Beaver” (1957-1963)
“The Danny Thomas Show – Make Room for Daddy” (1953-1964)
“The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” (1952-1966)
“The Donna Reed Show” (1958-1966)
II. Conduct outside research on the American family of the 1950s.
III. Discuss the show’s impact on American society by considering
the following questions:
What did the show’s family look like?
- As far as its race, socioeconomic status (wealthy, middle
class, poor), level education, number of members, dual or
single parent household, etc. is concerned.
How were the men, women and children portrayed in the episodes?
- What were their roles, behavior, relationships, etc.?
What types of issues or problems did the family encounter?
What message or messages do you think this show trying to
convey to Americans about family life?
Lastly, how does the 1950s American family compare to the
American family of today?