Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Deron Bolyes - Chair

Second Advisor

Donna Breault

Third Advisor

Eric Freeman

Fourth Advisor

Jennifer Espositi


While there have been numerous studies regarding television and its influence on modern life conducted in the past sixty years, there has not yet been a critique of television grounded in the work of John Dewey. John Dewey died when television was still a new technology; however, I believe that Dewey would have been critical of television had he lived to further experience it. One need only look to Dewey’s writings regarding mass communication and media to see that he was critical of how communication technologies influence human society. Television programming is nearly ubiquitous today and it requires ongoing inquiry as its influence is widespread and continues to grow. This dissertation extends television studies by developing a Deweyan critique of the medium. I assert in this dissertation that Dewey’s philosophy, especially his notions of experience, knowledge, and democracy can inform a current critique of television.