Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
Number of Pages
This thesis involves a historical and critical examination of the utilization and development of African Americans in television sitcoms. By reexamining the initial research by Riggs (1991) and extending it, I will introduce a new stage focusing on contemporary sitcoms; According to Riggs' (1991), study on the utilization and development of African Americans in television can be divided into four stages that represent various periods in television history. Each stage is indicated by the transition in role, increase or decline in visibility, and the changes in their image or portrayal on television. By furthering Riggs study by examining contemporary sitcoms using both a historical and critical approach I will propose a fifth stage of development in African American portrayal in television sitcoms; To ascertain a understanding of the subject matter a historical approach to the research is applied. The historical approach will provide an overview of each stage before introducing the fifth stage. This fifth stage is illustrated with the application of the same question posed by Riggs in the initial study; The study provides numerous opportunities for future research into the utilization and development of African American portrayal. Future research will enhance the study and perhaps increase overall comprehension.
Africa; Americans; Comedy; Development; Portrayal; Stages; Television
Mass media; Blacks; History
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Horn, Rashawnda Deve, "The stages of development in the portrayal of African-Americans in television comedy" (1999). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 974.