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Humanities & Social Science

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Southern New Hampshire University

Good Times was a sitcom that ran from (1974-79) that portrayed an African American family that emphasized the good parenting skills of the parents James and Florida Evans despite the hardships that they faced on a regular basis. the show was one of the first sitcoms that featured a mostly majority black cast in some twenty years. I can relate to this show due to the fact that my mom and dad both were strict but my mother was way more strict than my father and when I wanted to do something it depended on what my mother decided and whatever she decided my father was ok with it but when it came to the James and Florida Evans the final decision came down to the father most times although they both had a say so most times it was the fathers decision that took precedence. How can I relate this show to my professional life is how they stressed the importance of an education and having a good job and both of my parents made sure that I was able to do that.

The theoretical framework that I believe best fits the artifact of Good Times is through the lens of humanities would be the psychological theory. One of the major factors that made the sitcom standout was first it was an mostly all African American cast that had not been seen in the last twenty years then you have a two-parent family home who wants the best for their children. Parents will sometimes do what they must do to provide for their children and that is what James Evans did in Good Times by taking odd jobs and having two to three jobs in one day to make up an 8-hour day. So the audience could relate to that. Florida Evans was a stay at home mom and that also was relatable with a lot of women. The show was important because of its views of not only Black family life but American family life in general. Good Times offered comfort for both black and whites, who could identify with the difficulties of the Evans family.

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The Good Times artifact provides a social interpretation of an African American family attempting to navigate the hardships of life in a apartment complex in an urban slum. Psychology is a large viewpoint that is a part of the lens of social science. The sitcom shows how an ordinary family trying to survive can go through different situations that could leave them mentally drained and damaged. With the father James Evans always losing his job for whatever reason through no fault of his own, to the mother going through illnesses, the two sons getting involved in gangs and the daughter falling in love every other day causing more stress.

The theoretical framework that I believe best fits the artifact of Good Times through the lens of social science would be the psychological theory. According to our text Audience Research has shown that audiences negotiate the interpretation of a media text according to their background and life experiences (Danesi, 2015). Psychological theory is based on how the affects of popular culture can be on an individual. This can be done by any part of the show whether it be a character, an episode, or just the premise of the show.

No matter what we look at whether it be a television show or a movie there is there is something that we will see that fits into our life. James was a beaten down man no matter how hard he worked he could never bring his family above the poverty line and that takes a psychological tole on any man trying to provide for his family. As women we see ourselves in Florida being run ragged by the children and whatever they have going on, trying to make sure they keep their school grades and stressing how important that it is, and most of all trying to keep the moral of her husband up. The show impacted all cultures and all races in one shape or form. The show touched on the issues of discrimination, financial problems, evictions, gangs, muggings which all will have a psychological effect on a person.


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