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Mary Tyler Moore & Murphy Brown The nature of the relationship bet

The nature of the relationship between women and the mass media has been considered in recent years by sociologists and psychologists as well as media critics, in part based on a concern that the way women are portrayed in the media has a deleterious effect on the way women are viewed in society at large. Women's roles in society have been changing through the determined efforts of feminists and sympathetic political groups over the past two decades, and some of these changes are clearly reflected on television, in film, and in other media portrayals. At the same time, it is evident that progress in changing media portrayals is behind the curve as far as the degree of equality that should be depicted, the roles given to women in the media, and the roles women play behind the scenes in the media as well. When it first went on the air in the 1970s, The Mary Tyler Moore Show was considered a breakthrough because it presented a young woman in the working world rather than as a wife and mother. A more recent example of a working woman in a television comedy is found on Murphy Brown. A comparison of the two shows will be performed using two methodologies, one considering the shows as television shows and analyzing how they are produced and what need they seem to fulfill for a television network, and the other considering the nature of their treatment of women and of other social issues and considering the positive and negative images that infuse each of the shows.

Television is an advertising medium, and the images presented on television as a rule are designed to be as innocuous as possible for the given social setting in which they are produced so as not to offend any viewers. Television has become more and more dependent on ratings as a way of proving that there is an audience, and as the taking of ratings has become most sophisticated, demographics has been used to sell specific age groups and types of consumers to advertisers...

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