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Title: All in the Family (1971–1979)

All I Want (All Series Book 4)

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Still of Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers in All in the Family

Without fail, all studies confirm that the truly bigoted liked Archie more than others. But this only concerned a comparatively small camp. All indications were that the cheering white racists (between 5 and 15 percent) were vastly outnumbered by a large majority (60 percent or more) of “mid-dogmatics.” These groups were then complemented by a small camp of progressives (about 20 percent). Thus, “All in the Family” had not only two different audiences, as contemporaries suggested — the progressives laughing at Archie, and the bigots laughing with him — but at least three. The group most neglected by researchers, the middling majority, was key to the program’s overall impact on racial relations.

Producer Norman Lear’s hope that the comedy would have a cathartic function, that laughter could chip away at bigotry, was futile. For the true bigots, the show was a welcome relief valve and might have reinforced attitudes. But the sitcom did not radicalize or multiply bigots. Nothing points to Archie Bunker fueling the white ethnic revival and rise of the right during the 1970s. “All in the Family,” while being unable to challenge a small faction of true bigots, accelerated the ongoing decline of racial prejudice in society by slightly shifting attitudes in the mid-dogmatic majority of viewers.

Still of Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton in All in the Family

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current04:16, 14 July 2012738 × 858 (177 KB)We hope (talk | contribs)Photo has been cropped and auto corrected.
04:15, 14 July 20121,610 × 1,000 (188 KB)We hope (talk | contribs){{Information |Description=Photo of the cast of the television program ''All In the Family''. Standing, from left: Jean Stapleton (Edith Bunker), Mike Evans (Lionel Jefferson), Carroll O'Connor (Archie Bunker). Seated: Sally Struthers (Gloria Bunker ...

Pictures & Photos from All in the Family - IMDb

Producer Lear’s own kin served as the, well, Archie-types of the series, and even before word was out that Norman was himself deserting TV for movies, no less an arbiter of the national treasure than the Smithsonian Institution formally requested Archie’s and Edith’s chairs for its archives. All in the Family was not only TV’s most popular entertainment series (with an unequaled five straight years as No. 1); it was also the most important…

Creator Norman Lear’s landmark All in the Family was succumbing to a very contemporary malady: career mobility. Sally (Gloria Bunker Stivic) Struthers and Rob (son-in-law Meathead) Reiner were taking their tearful leave of the show for their own projects (the scripted reason was a new teaching job for Mike Stivic in Santa Barbara).