Domesticity

In media, domesticity is everywhere. Media present a vision of being happy and settled in the home, but also dysfunctional families and estrangement from the home. Domestic life has been part of media history from the very beginning. One of the first films ever made was an actuality of the Lumière family, parents feeding the baby (1895), perhaps the first filmed record of domestic life. Throughout media history, domesticity has been a site for examining and challenging identities. Much of media’s wrestling with identity politics—gender, sexuality, class, race, and ethnicity—often takes place in the realm of domesticity.

Domesticity is also an industrial force, an economic pillar of the media industries connecting audiences to programming and markets. Radios and television sets, the means of delivery, have often been tied to domesticity through design and placement in the home—from the bulky corner radio with a single speaker to the television console integrated …

This essay may be found on page 62 of the printed volume.

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