Notes on Children as a Television Audience

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Considering children as an audience can help to clarify the ideological issues that surround any discussion of television audiences. Cultural studies has an important intervention to make in the representation of children as a television audience by challenging the adequacy of developmental psychology as a theory and method for studying children and disputing the belief that children's relationship to television is essentially passive. The middle class belief in the badness of television viewing for children has proven to be exceedingly durable. It circulates constantly in the media targeted to parents: pediatrician's pamphlets, magazines, agony columns, advice literature. In sharp contrast to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Anglo-American notions about children, where submission, obedience, and docility were prized, and passive is about the worst thing a child can be. This is one reason television viewing is considered so bad by childhood experts, yet is so convenient for parents.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Audience And Its Landscape
EditorsJohn Hay, Lawrence Grossberg, Ellen Wartella, James Hay
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780429496813
ISBN (Print)9780813322858, 9780367318307
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 1996


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