Executive Summary

In the course Viewing America, we have studied how films portray American society and politics from the 1940s onward. When looking at our nation’s history, there are many different topics to cover, from civil rights to conformity. Our group figured that the best way to capture as many of these topics as possible was to look at the contemporary 1970s… Read more →

Lecture Outline

Gender roles- Gloria Stivic Shows shift in female agency in the 1970s Speaks her mind but looks to her husband for support Progressive throughout the series Starts as traditional housewife and becomes more of a active feminist Edith Bunker Portrayed as ditsy Does not speak against her husband, Archie, often Her job is to carry out housewife duties as well… Read more →

Film and Film Review

1) “Cousin Maude’s Visit”  Edith’s liberal cousin, Maude Findlay, arrives to help in caring for a flu-ridden Archie and Mike. Cousin Maude’s Visit   2) “Gloria Discovers Women’s Lib” Gloria has been reading books on women’s lib and encourages Edith to try a little liberation herself. However, Mike won’t take any of her ideas, which leads to huge fight in… Read more →

Primary Source Data

Interview with Jean Stapleton (Edith), centered on how “All in the Family” used humor to expose and mitigate major social issues. https://youtu.be/RVkr81jeKF8 (0:37 discusses bigotry) Interview Stephanie Harrington, “The Message Sounds like ‘Hate Thy Neighbor,’” New York Times, January 24th, 1971 Original, critique of season one (show aired Jan. 12th, 1971) http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic209978.files/October_30/Adler_All_in_the_Family.pdf (pg. 76) David Itzoff, interview with Norman Lear… Read more →

Additional Info

http://www.avclub.com/article/ten-episodes-that-show-how-iall-in-the-familyi-cha-82986 This article is a compilation of 10 episodes and their descriptions that show how “All in the Family” was influential to television. They explain that they were able to incorporate touchy and controversial topics by having a light-hearted and comedic tone.   http://www.ibtimes.com/jean-stapleton-dies-how-all-family-permanently-changed-us-television-society-1287373 This article from the International Business Times is a tribute to the late Jean Staples, who… Read more →

Major Topics – Gender Roles & Politics

Gender Roles Gender plays a significant role in All in the Family. Each character has a unique relationship to gender and how gender is perceived. The different perspectives about gender roles and equality parallel the array of sentiments that many Americans felt at the time this show aired. All in the Family made some significant strides in the way gender… Read more →

Major Topics – Race & Homosexuality

Race Archie Gives Blood Season 1 Episode 4 This episode provides a great example of race interaction in ‘All In The Family’. The episode begins with the clash between Mike and Archie on whether or not all blood is the same. Archie believes that not all blood is the same. He claims separate races have their own blood and they… Read more →

Review Questions

How do plot lines in All In the Family reflect and draw on social movements of the time (e.g. the Women’s Liberation Movement, the emergence of the New Left, etc.)? Does it have a positive view of these movements? Why or why not? How does All In the Family support and contradict the idea of the traditional nuclear family? In… Read more →