TV Snapshots: An Archive of Everyday Life

English | 2022 | ISBN: 1478015640, 1478018283 | 329 pages | True PDF | 42.33 MB

In TV Snapshots , Lynn Spigel explores snapshots of people posing in front of their television sets in the 1950s through the early 1970s. Like today’s selfies, TV snapshots were a popular photographic practice through which people visualized their lives in an increasingly mediated culture. Drawing on her collection of over 5,000 TV snapshots, Spigel shows that people did not just watch TV: women used the TV set as a backdrop for fashion and glamour poses; people dressed in drag in front of the screen; and in pinup poses, people even turned the TV setting into a space for erotic display. While the television industry promoted on-screen images of white nuclear families in suburban homes, the snapshots depict a broad range of people across racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds that do not always conform to the reigning middle-class nuclear family ideal. Showing how the television set became a central presence in the home that exceeded its mass entertainment function, Spigel highlights how TV snapshots complicate understandings of the significance of television in everyday life.