Week 5 Discussion: Reaganism, Yuppie Youths, and Cultural Resistance

Please engage at least one of this week’s authors (Jane Feuer and/or Herman Gray) and both of the week’s screenings (Family Ties, “Citizen Keaton” and A Different World, “A World Alike”) to craft an organized and coherent 300-500 word response to the week’s material. You may choose to address any one or multiple of the below prompts and/or pose your own questions, critiques, and assessments. Please address specific and relevant aesthetic/thematic/narrative details about the episode(s), though, and use direct quotes or substantive paraphrases of the readings. You may start with some summary but synopsis should not comprise the bulk of your post. Some questions you might choose to consider (you do not need to answer all of them):

How do these shows address (or fail to account for) 1980s social policies? How do they speak to youth constituencies about American life and civic practices?
How are the episodes of Family Ties and A Different World similar or different in their aesthetic, narrative, thematic, or ideological orientations? How do they align with or diverge from youth-targeted sitcoms of the 1960s and 1970s?
In what ways do these shows’ genre coding limit or amplify their political/social perspectives, and how so? How do Feuer and/or Gray grapple with the sitcom’s status re: 1980s audiences?
Which characters are we meant to identify with in “Citizen Keaton” and “A World Alike”? How do these perspectives position young viewers in relation to the episodes’ narratives?
How do Family Ties and A Different World reflect NBC’s 1980s marketing appeals, and what differences do you notice from last week’s ABC shows?
How might these programs reinforce or challenge “yuppie” values, and what aligns them with or distinguishes them from the ideologies of 1950s postwar action-adventure serials?

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NOTICE: Remember to WATCH the screenings BEFORE you start Writing. (Family Ties, “Citizen Keaton” and A Different World, “A World Alike”)
And you are NOT allowed to cite any resource other than the 2 uploaded reading files.

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