Western is a genre of various arts, such as film, television, radio, literature, painting and others. Westerns are devoted to telling stories set primarily in the latter half of the 19th century in the American Old West, hence the name. Westerns often portray how desolate and hard life was for frontier families. These families are faced with change that would severely alter their way of life. This may be depicted by showing conflict between natives and settlers or U.S. Cavalry or between cattle ranchers and farmers or by showing ranchers being threatened by the onset of the Industrial Revolution.
The Western genre sometimes portrays the conquest of the wilderness and the subordination of nature in the name of civilization or the confiscation of the territorial rights of the original inhabitants of the frontier. The Western depicts a society organized around codes of honor and personal, direct or private justice, rather than one organized around rationalistic, abstract law, in which social order is maintained predominately through relatively impersonal institutions. The popular perception of the Western is a story that centers on the life of a semi-nomadic wanderer, usually a cowboy or a gunfighter.
The American Film Institute defines western films as those "set in the American West that embody the spirit, the struggle and the demise of the new frontier." Most of the characteristics of Western films were cowboys, gunslingers, and bounty hunters, often depicted as semi-nomadic wanderers who wear Stetson hats, bandannas, spurs, and buckskins, use revolvers or rifles as everyday tools of survival, and ride between dusty towns and cattle ranches on trusty steeds.