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Making Sense of TV-narratives: Children's readings of a fairy tale
Department of Child Studies, Linköpings university, Linköping, Sweden.
1996 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present study deals with young children's reading and reception of television fiction. Theoretically, the study is inter-disciplinary, combining text-reader oriented approaches within literature theory and sociocultural approaches within psychology and sociology. A television program within the genre of fairy tales is analyzed by using both narratological and psychological theoretical frameworks. Issues of intertextuality, dialogism, narrative codes, cinematic and literary conventions are considered in the analysis.

Empirically, the study takes a qualitative approach and the process of reception is studied by in-depth interviews of 86 six and eight years old children. The interview is regarded as a social practice or meeting-place between interviewer and informant. This approach has roots in Piaget's early work, in which he employed and developed the méthode clinique as well as in Vygotsky's sociocultural psychology. Sociocultural variation is primarily studied by focus on gender and age.

One analysis concerns narrative coherence and how the children "hatched the plot". It appeared as if many of the younger children had difficulties in producing a coherent narrative of the program, whereas most of the older children did. The younger children often focused a particular scene or episode. Apart from age, schooling experience is assumed to explain these differences. Another analysis focuses on how children master the narrative codes of the story and the process of identification. The girls seemed to be more emotionally involved in the story and believed it was "real" to a greater degree than the boys. The analysis shows how emotional involvement and identification play a role in the interpretative processes, i.e. how emotion and cognition are interrelated in media reception.

Methodological issues are addressed, for example, how drawings can be used in the study of media reception. The children were asked to make drawings in relation to the program, which can be seen as a "different" reading, in which children project what is of subjective importance to them.

Cultural dispositions represent another type of sociocultural variation. The older children's literary repertoires and other cultural dispositions were studied in relation to their reconstructions of the television narrative.

The dissertation challenges such notions as "children's understanding of television" as a unitary concept and points to a variety of readings. Finally, the dissertation has implications for media literacy and media education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 1996. , [10], 284, [9] p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 142
Keyword [en]
Television, media reception, the fairy tale genre, narrative coherence, cultural and narrative codes, identification, qualitative interviews, cultural dispositions, media literacy
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-22250Libris ID: 7671656ISBN: 91-7871-712-4 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-22250DiVA: diva2:622481
Public defence
1996-05-31, Sal C3, hus C, universitetsområdet i Valla, Stratomtavägen, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-10-25 Created: 2013-05-22 Last updated: 2016-03-01Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf