From Publishers Weekly
Based on an extensive study, funded by Bill Cosby himself, of audience responses to The Cosby Show , this provocative book reinforces criticism that, despite the show's great popularity and positive influences, it promotes the dangerous myth that blacks who don't "make it" have only themselves to blame. The authors, who teach in the department of communications at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, interviewed 52 focus groups, learning that viewers involve themselves deeply with the show and often see it as reality. White viewers can identify with and accept TV's Huxtable family as "nice" blacks; black viewers appreciate the show's lack of racial stereotyping. However, the authors argue, The Cosby Show 's images of the black upper class--like most images broadcast in recent years--hide and distort how most blacks live, thus relieving white viewers of responsibility for such inequalities. Neither blacks nor whites interviewed think clearly about class, the authors say; thus, our society cannot think clearly about how race and class intersect. While the authors' class analysis can be simplistic, their overall argument is convincing.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Sut Jhally and Justin Lewis are associate professors in the Department of Communication at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Both have written extensively on media and popular culture. Sut Jhally and Justin Lewis are associate professors in the Department of Communication at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Both have written extensively on media and popular culture.