The telly. Most of us switch it on to switch off. We watch it to "decompress." To unwind after work. Sometimes we even indulge in a little "trash." Commonly understood, television is an unserious and unintellectual medium. Something trivial, it serves as a diversion. Yet, such a view discredits both TV and its viewers, since each is capable of serious commentary. As the French Philosopher Jacques Derrida never tired of pointing out: what a society marginalises says a lot about what it holds centremost. Therefore, the idea that television comes after or apart from work, that it stands outside serious social and political inquiry, could tell us a lot about the political and social institutions it supposedly reflects.
At this event an expert panel of economists, television critics and media scholars discussed what TV says about the United States.