The last time I tuned into my favorite TV show or watched a movie, the farthest thing from my mind was the type of education I was receiving. I'm also making the assumption that when most Americans settle down on the couch for their favorite night on television; they aren't thinking "boy, what do these TV shows do to "disseminate ideas to bring about behavioral and social change"? As entertainment education is further studied and considered as a medium to spread messages to developing populations, I couldn't help but wonder...are we using TV shows as a new form of soft power?
In the readings about strategic communication, one point became very clear. If the United States wants to increase its credibility, maybe we should focus on our own faults - allowing critique from outside sources, being open to criticisms, and changing our communication style to accept these new ideas. Entertainment Education would certainly allow us to improve these attributes. Our society has become more open to change and diversity and this can be seen in the TV shows that consume our lives. One example is the new ABC sitcom, Modern Family. This popular show is one of the first to display the new version of the the family: "Modern Family is the first primetime sitcom that has embraced American society as a true melting pot. Homosexual and interracial couples, are now practically as common as traditional couples and the show is all about living and coinciding together" Perhaps shows like Modern Family are increasing our soft power so that populations that view the United States’ culture as unfavorable are now seeing through our entertainment style, us in a positive light.
Maybe, if we found a way to export the comedian Jeff Dunham (complete with his terrorist puppet, Achmed), The Daily Show, Modern Family, Family Guy, and a whole multitude of others….we could use soft power in a way never used before.