CUP Undergraduate Research


New Media, New Networks, and the American Mind: The Television Revolution of the 21st Century

Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2019

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Arts & Sciences



Degree Name

History, BA

First Advisor

Gerd Horten, Ph.D.


The purpose of this thesis is to examine the ways in which the prevalence of online television streaming has affected the direction and development of television and popular culture moving forward. The first section will focus on the origins and technological accomplishments of three major television streaming services—Netflix, HBO, and Hulu—and how these specific companies have influenced the changing landscape of television media. The second section will focus on three original series produced by Netflix, HBO, and Hulu and discuss the ways in which these series contribute to a growing trend of diverse narratives in television streaming. Both of these sections will include discussions of the glaring challenges facing racial and socio-economic equity in the profit-driven entertainment industry, and the ways in which television streaming services misuse consumer data. While this is not a comprehensive study of all the factors contributing to the development of television media in the 21st century, this thesis will attempt to identify and qualify positive trends that result from the burgeoning era of online television streaming.

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