Seinfeld’s Influence on Generational Stereotypes
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The first Seinfeld episode was aired live in 1989; people of this time enjoyed this episode where people could not wait the ninth episode before rating it as the best episode ever. People of this time enjoyed Seinfeld comedy which has no meaning in today’s life as far as comedy is concerned. However, the Seinfeld is used in many ways and one of the ways is through a critical analysis of the whole episodes in order to get some facts about the comedy of the millennial generation. The question of the paper is what is the Seinfeld’s Influence on Generational Stereotypes? This this is a broad questions that covers the whole concept of Seinfeld in details.
Generation stereotype is a group of people who were born from 1980 to 2000. This is s special generation because it was born in a period of transition in every sector. The media expresses this generation in different ways, episodes of Seinfeld are representation of media and thus how Seinfeld preserves this generation in the media perspective (Shulman,177). This means that discussing Seinfeld’s influence on generation stereotype is the same as discussing the media influence on generation millennial.
There is a lot of impact on Seinfeld’s’ on generation stereotype because it present people of this generation in different ways from the normal expectation of the people. People would expect this generation to be a generation of wise and caring people but Seinfeld episodes demonstrates a generation of people who are not wise and uncaring. This shows that Seinfeld episodes introduces people into a new believe of this generation and that is where the influence of Seinfeld on generation stereotype is demonstrated.
The media’s portrayal of this generation is likely due to the fact that the success of Seinfeld has influenced the way other generations look and perceive the millennia’s. Throughout the nine seasons of Seinfeld, multiple stereotypes have been made from Jewish Priests. However, there seems to be a ‘main’ stereotype that constantly emerges throughout the series. One would notice that this main stereotype is about the clear portrayal of the generational age groups within the characters.
This clear portrayal of the generational age groups directly influences the way the media portrays these generations and other generations due to the success and popularity of Seinfeld. There are two generations that explain the whole topic, the first generation is genaration X, this is the group of people who were born from 1960 to 1980. They are the parents of generation Y which is the focus of the paper. People would expect the two generations to have the same charcteristics but all the episodes of Seinfled present the two generations in different ways. Seinfled focus on generation Y as a lazy generation who are just concerned with material things in expence of the wider community. This changes the minds of many people who had a positive point of view on this generation and that is where the influnce of Seinfled on this generation is demonstrated (Bial, 34).
After a critical review of all episodes, one can identify that people of generation Y are lazy and they do not stay in one job. They keep on moving from one job to another and most of the time is the time they stay jobless and that do not seem to be a problem to them. Throughout the show, George is either found without a job, or moving from one job to another. Most times he is living off his friends, or from the wealth of his parents.
He is never concerned about others around him, and is only concerned about his pathetic uninvolved life. George is so self-involved that he doesn’t have the time to involve himself in the outside world. The stereotypes of Generation X created by George’s habits have influenced the way that the media portrays the Millennia’s. In a quote from a generational study, “The workplace has been described as a ‘psychological battlefield,’ where in buttoned-down, self-centered Millennia’s clash with their stodgy, rule-abiding”. George behaviors are true reflection of generation Y which is evident form all episodes. One can make a conclusion that Seinfeld has great influence on generation stereotype (McDowell, 112).
The media portray the Millennia’s unfairly and it also portrays the elderly as a group of senile individuals. This is due to the fact that in the Seinfeld series, the elderly are described as often being helpless, confused, and absent-minded. George’s parents exemplify this portrayal because of their habits. They tend to overreact on everything, and their confusion state becomes open to all in “The Raincoats”.
In this episode, since Jerry’s parents are visiting from Florida, the Costanza’s invite the Seinfeld’s over for dinner. Having previous obligations, the Seinfeld’s are forced to decline. After being declined, the Costanza’s begin to defame the Seinfeld’s. They felt that the Seinfeld’s were lying to them, and that there was an underlying motive behind their declination. Millennials are people who were born between 1980 and 2000 (Trudeau, 223). The major characteristics of these people are laziness, carelessness and ignorance of the wider community.
The impact or the influence of media on this generation is great because 60 percent of the negative characteristics of this generation have been impacted by the media The Millennial generation has found a world of technology where they know everything in this world. This is called the role of the media where many characteristics of this generation are from the media. Since the Millennial generation is the modern generation, and many Millennials have not entered the workforce, or have not reached a working age yet, many of the generational ideals have not been coagulated.
One would argue that the media is using the popularity and stereotypes of Seinfeld to generalize the Millennials, even though they have not gotten a chance to create those ideals themselves. For example, the Millennials are “optimists, compliant, team players, obedient, naive, special, and conventional “This is importantsince this displays how the media is using the generalizations and stereotypes of the characters in Seinfeld to describe an unproven generation.
One could easily say that the Generation X is an enlightened generation, due to the time of which they emerged from. However, the producers of Seinfeld think differently of this generation. For example, George, Jerry, Kramer, and Elaine effectively portray the producers’ views of the Generation X culture. Since these are the main characters of the show, a stereotype of Generation X began to emerge from is popularity.
Throughout the series, there are multiple instances where we see the main characters often being unreliable, half-witted, and uncaring about the society/environment that they’re living in. The whole group in the play represents members of the millennial generation, each member represent different people who have different characteristics and thus one can depict that the play illustrates the world of this generation (Kowske, 12). Each character influences members of the generation in a unique way and that is why at the end of the day people of this generation have different characteristics which are all negatives because all members of the play portrays negative characteristics. For example, the laziness of Jerry in the play is a common characteristic of people in the millennial generation.
As discussed above, the play represents media which means that there are many Jerry’s in the media who are playing the part of influencing people of millennial generation. This answers the question how does Seinfeld influences generation stereotype. This generation is not established under any law or culture and this will be made clear later in the paper. This means that they take and apply what they come along with and everything they hear from famous people like those in the play. This means that they take everything said in the media and everything they see in the media and that is how they are influenced and it is also where they have inherited the negative characteristcs.
Generation X as discussed eariel in the paper, is the generation that introduced the mellenial or generation X in the universe. This is the generation that had good characters and they lived under no influence of anything except their work. However, they did not give the generation they intoruced a good background. Lack of foundation in life is clearly demonstrated in the play by George. Generation X failed to create a good foundation for generation Y because of many and understandable reasons.
One is because they were very busy finalising and coming up with their inventions. This means that they were busy working on their inventions like technology and media which were all created for generation X. Their time was also not conducive to them because their time was very difficult because of war and econimic crisis. Generally, generation X tried to make the life of generation X to be more comfortable and they failed to observe the issue of foundation. However, the blame is on the media and the millenial generation because it failed to stand and persue uprigthness and that is why they have the characteris they have today.
There are many ways that one can explain why millinial generation has been influenced easily by medea. This is because their world is aready made and they have nothing to worry because everything is in order. They now have all the time to spend on media as presented in the play by Jerry (Philp, 76).If they had any burden of making thier world better, they could not be lazy and they could not also have some characters that they have. The whole blame can be passed to this generation because there is always a room for improvment but they are contended with their current situation. The above explanation indicates that media has great infleunce on the generation stereotype as demonstratad by the play and also in real life.
The play can also be explained in another perspective with relation to outside sources. The issue of judaism is seen in the play here the jews actors are trieated in a different ways. This is demonstrated where different stereotypical belives are raiesed in the play. The first stereotypical beleave is that the Jewish actors expless their pain in form of comedy. This is demonstarted by some of the Jewish actors although there is no clear evidence on this issue.
The beleave affects many Americans where some do not like the Jewish comedians because of that beleave. The height of the Jewish comedian is also an issue where many short Jewish comedians are higly critisized by many people. Generaly, the medea has something to do with stereotype discrimination which is very common in this generation where it was not known there before in other generations and thus one can conclude on the influence of media on generation stereotype.
In this section, a new undestanding of the play will be dicussed and it will be based on comparison. During the time of generation X Jewish comedian, comedians were very popular in America and many people liked their performance. This is because they focused on the real things that were hapening in the life of Americans. They could adress the community, family or even individulas. Their comdedy had meaning in life and sometimes they could pass important message as a comedy. This means that thet did not make jokes just for fun, they had a purpose for their comedies.
On the other hand, the Jewish comedians presented in the millienian generation as potrayed in the play were different. The comedians make jokes which have no meaning and some comdedies that are not accepted in the society. This means that they have no message for the society, family or an individual and that is why they are mostly preferred by generation Y.
The worste part of them is that they even passed negative message to people of millenial generation through the use of their comdeys and that is why generation Y have negative characters. The comparison between the comedias of the two generations can give a clear explanation the difference in characters between the two generations. Comedians of generation Y mostly performed live to people but for the milliniars generation, comedians perfom through televisions and thus many people get a chance toview their perfoemnce and this explains why many people of generation Y are rotten (Main, 23).
Stereotype is a common issue in the socioety because there are both the positive stereotrype and the negative stereotype. However, in the pray sterotype of Jewish have been exagerated . This means that some beliaves on the Jewish people are not true and they are just exangerated. The idea of Jewish comedians expressing their pain in form of comedy have not yet been proved and thus no one can conclude that they are true. However, they have been extablshed as beleaves and it is difficult to change the situation.
However, it is good to note that this beleaves have been introduced in millianal generation because the issue did not exist in other generations. This has a lot of meaning because this generation will soon be tired of the media and it will start attacking the media. There is alot in this topic but the final conclsuon remains that the whole Seinfeld has a great influence on generational stereotype.
Shulman, Stanford T. ‘The Opinion OfMillennials’.Pediatr Ann 42.5 (2013): 176-177. Web.
Bial, Henry. Acting Jewish: Negotiating Ethnicity on the American Stage and Screen. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press, 2005. Print.
McDowell, Walter S. Broadcast Television: A Complete Guide to the Industry. New York: Lang, 2006. Print.
Main, Douglas. ‘Who Are The Millennials?’.LiveScience.com. N.p., 2013. Web. 23 Mar. 2015. http://www.livescience.com/38061-millennials-generation-y.html
Trudeau, Garry. “My Inner Shrimp.” New York Times (1923-Current file): SM76. Mar 31, 1996. Print.
Kowske, Brenda J., Rena Rasch, and Jack Wiley. “Millennials’ (Lack of) Attitude Problem: An Empirical Examination of Generational Effects on Work Attitudes.” Journal of Business and Psychology 25.2, Special Issue: Millennials and the World of Work: What You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know (2010): 265-79. Print.
Philp, Bruce. “In Praise of Millennials.” Canadian Business 86.6 (2013): 25-. Print.
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