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The multimodal object I chose to focus on is an ABC Family television show called “Switched At Birth”. It’s about two families who discover that their daughters are not actually their blood related children because they were accidentally switched at the hospital when they were born. I believe that the goal of the show was to teach the viewers to feel comfortable about whom they are and not to let anything stop you from doing what you want to do. Whether it was standing up for them selves or for their loved ones every character showed a strong identity within the show. The identity of all the diverse characters and the different audiences the show reaches out to is what forced me to believe that they have a strong focus on self-acceptance, morals and determination.
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For any show to be successful it needs to have a focus on who their audience is going to be. Something I noticed with Switched at Birth is that it does not only capture one specific audiences attention but several others as well. Viewers of the show are teenagers from a range of various cultures including American, Hispanics and even the Deaf culture. The show connects with each culture individually and demonstrates different aspects and different hardships that families can go through and how to overcome it.The show attracts teenagers probably aged from 15-19 because main characters , Bay and Daphne, are both in that age group transitioning from high school to college; it shows them going through issues that could happen to any teenager at their age. The show had several episodes that are impactful in every person’s life fro example: the girls picking out their first car, going to prom, and being on school sports teams. Not only did it show important and exciting things that can happen in any teenagers’ life, but it also showed misfortunes and tragedies that can also happen to anyone. An example of this would be the episodes where they showed a character being cyber bullied and another episode where Bay, the main character, gets raped. This show isn’t only to entertain but its informative on what people should do in real life situations, whether they’re good or bad. At the end of those impactful episodes the cast would come out talking about how some people are faced with difficult situations but that by making healthy choices theirs always a way to overcome it, learn to prevent it, and to move on.
Switched at birth is not only a drama for teenagers; it also reached out to different cultures including Hispanics and the deaf not only by making both main characters either deaf or Hispanic but also showing different sides of each their cultures. The show reaches out to the deaf community by including sign language and captions in each show and they even broadcasted one episode completely silent in sign language with captions. Switched at birth teaches other people about the deaf culture and how important it is to not only be aware that it’s a serious culture but also for the Deaf community to be proud of who they are. One very important detail about deaf culture that Switched at birth taught me is when to capitalize the word “deaf”. When speaking about deaf culture in general the ‘d’ is lowercase, but when some one is proudly talking about Deaf Community and how impactful it is, its capitalized. One of the families that had to go through the unfortunate event of having their daughter switched when she was born was a Hispanic family called “The Rodriguez family”. In every episode theirs at least one scene including Spanish speaking and when both families had to merge to include both daughters in each of their lives the different cultural values and traditions had to merge as well.
A very important lesson that the show tries to make viewers understand is that you should always be proud and comfortable with who you are and to know its okay to speak up not only for yourself but for the people around you as well. Through out the show different characters had to make life-changing decisions that weren’t always the easiest given the circumstances. For example, one of the deaf characters, Emmett, has a passion for photography and wanted to go to film school. His mom, who was also deaf, raised him and she wanted him to go to a university for the deaf. Emmett got accepted to his dream school in California but was torn between going to California or staying and attending the school his mom wanted him to attend because he’s only been in deaf schools his entire life and knew it would be hard for people to take him seriously or even understand him since it was a hearing school. Of course in the show Emmett ended up going to the film school in California and it was very difficult for him, but since he never gave up on his dream he finally reached his goal and directed a short film. In another episode the importance of being proud of who you are is shown when Bay starts to accept her sister Daphne and the Deaf community and embraces it by transferring to an all-deaf school and learns ASL, sign language, to interact. Not only does Bay learn ASL but so does the rest of their family to be able to interact with Daphne and the rest of the Deaf community.
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Switched at Birth has a very strong identity and the reason that it is still aired on Television and keeps all its viewers is because the show still incorporates its first ideals and moral. The show doesn’t try to change their original concepts or try to attract different viewers. The story line stays not only educational but also entertaining which keeps its current viewers captivated. To conclude, my multimodal object, Switched At Birth, is identified as a teen drama that teaches self-acceptance and tries to convey confidence to their audience. The show attracts not only teenagers but also different cultures including Americans, Hispanics, and the Deaf culture.
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