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Televison Audiences - Essay Example

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The media effects model of audience research and children. Introduction The nature of media research in reference to children and their viewing habits allows for cultural studies to frame the experience of media as it influences culture and society. The media effects theory pursues the idea that the media creates a paradigm in which autonomy is reduced through influential messages that train culture towards similar thinking…
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Download file to see previous pages Through exposure to media resources that promote an aligned consumerist pattern of thinking, children are being limited in the directions of philosophical discourse that can be learned. However, not all aspects of media are negative. Much of the research that has been done has focused on the negative, however, thus the general information suggests that media has a negative influence on children, thus changing society towards a detrimentally inferior state. The media effects model of audience research tends towards creating this negative balance between children and the media, however new forms of research, such as the gratification and uses theory, provide for a broader understanding of the influences of the media (Seiter 1999, p. 12). In doing research on children and the effects of media on their socialization, the media effects theory may be enhancing the negative effects without balancing the positive effects in such a way as to more fully understand the phenomenon. Children and Television Television and other easily accessible forms of media are an important part of life in modern society, thus the exposure of children to the messages that are imparted through the media has created a great deal of discussion and research on the topic. Much of that research has focused on the negative aspects. Buckingham (2003, p. 163) relates that children, in most homes, spend more time watching television than any other activity in their schedule. The influences of messages that relate to society that are imparted through literary methods of storytelling create a high impact on the socialization of children through their viewing habits. Buckingham (2003, p. 166) states that research “regards the relationship between television and children as one of cause and effect: the ’messages’ contained within the medium are assessed in terms of their quantifiable impact on viewers’ attitudes or behavior”. One can argue, however, that this is a limited point of view that influences research in a specific direction, assuming that behavior is a determinant of effect, thus providing for a negative regard to the results. Kelley, Buckingham, and Davies (1999, p. 221) created a study that focused on the influence of sexual representations on children, but used discourse analysis to further understand the phenomenon. It might, however, be important to realize that discussing where children get their messages might limit the observations. Although analysis of the linguistics used by children to relate their understandings might be central to understanding their experience, it is important to realize that despite how they frame their experiences, the messages that they receive are more complex, thus the research may only be hearing the easiest course of explanations, rather than flushing out the full extent of how information has been processed. Socialization Influences A primary concern in the study on the influence of media on children is that of sex-role socialization. The vulnerability of children to the influences of media have provided for characterizations of sex-roles to be created through messages that inform on how to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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