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Children, the Mass Media, and Consumerism

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Kayla Melo

on 8 October 2015

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Transcript of Children, the Mass Media, and Consumerism

Parental Supervision
Children like to multi-task when watching television. For example, they will do their homework, or eat.
Children from Grade 3-10 (90%) admitted to interacting with people (mainly family members) while watching television.
There is a very large number of children that admit to not having any parental guidance while watching television shows or time limits. Families preferred to leave indirect rules than direct rules about parental guidance or limiting time. Such as, what they will watch, the amount of time they have to watch, etc. Studies show that younger children focused on when they can watch television and older children focused on what they can watch.
It has been proven that when children have a discussion with their family members about the television show that they will gain communication skills and learn.
Parents tend to not talk to their children (Grade 3-10) about sexism, violence and racism throughout the media. Parents do speak to their sons about violence and talk to their daughters about racism, while sexism is the least spoken about subject.
Gender Differences
Girls 'go to' thing to do in their free time is to hang out with their friends. While boys preferably chose playing computer games but later on changed their decision to also hanging out with their friends. Boys in Grade 3 (50%) chose electronic entertainment whereas only (24%) f girls chose this option.
Another comparison is that boys and girls have different interests when it comes to electronic entertainment. For example, boys enjoy animation, sports and comedy. While girls prefer relationships and realistic situations. Also, girls will be more opened minded about watching boys shows while boys will not do the same for girls.
Young children tend to watch shows for older kids and older kids will watch shows aimed for younger ones.
Gender role socialization: men surpass women by 2 or 3 to 1 in prime-time programming. Most times, women are young in age than men when appearing on television.
Stereotyping is also shown in advertising.
Stereotypical roles: television tries to teach boys and girls what is acceptable roles and behavior.
Children tend to act like or follow the characters viewed on television since the television is a prescriptive role (tells us how to act) and gender schematic knowledge (gender stereotype).
There are no more male characters on television than female characters. But as girls grow older they tend to like show that have lead female characters more.
Race: people that have color in their skin tone are not seen as positive role but are seen as negative.
1999: Reading for pleasure was slowly becoming unpopular in both sexes and all ages and an increased number of children did not read for pleasure anymore.
2003: Children between Grade 3-10 had their own: television (48%), VCR (35%), DVD player (19%), a computer and was able to gain internet (26%), gaming system (53%), and cellphones (16%).
2005: Children (94%) had dramatically increased pertaining to having internet access in their households.
2002-2004: A positive during this time was that children only watched half an hour of television per week nationally (closer to international patterns). BUT in America the average is four hours per day.
Class lines has a major impact on how much television is watched in a household. Blue-collar (people who build society) families watched more television than white-collar (business men) families.
Hispanic and black children were discovered to watch more television than white children.
Advertising and Consumers
By the time a child turns 7 they have already seen over 20,000 commercials. By the time they turn 12, they realize that the commercials do not always tell the truth.
Children (ages 4-12) have about $1.1 billion in spending power in 2001. Tweens (age 9-14) rises their spending power by $100 million each year throughout the last four decades during the 1990s. For example, in 1999, tweens spent $1.6 billion.
Companies like to target tween girls by sexualizing everything. Some people believe that the influence in pop stars, tween magazines, the Internet and television. For example, there is a trend called 'sex bracelets'. Each color means a different term. pink means 'kiss', blue means 'blow jobs' and white means 'lap dance'. if a guy pulls it off then the girl will have to do it.
Children get their money from: their birthday (90%), money for basic needs (85%), allowance by doing chores (76%), money as gifts from holidays (66%), allowance (52%), 'back-to-school' money (28%), and a job (24%).
Kidfluence: this is the power a child holds for any purchases made.
Children (4-12) directly effect $300 billion in 2004 regarding purchases made by parents.
Advertisements change children's self-esteem, and construct how they think or act towards medicine, alcoholism, food, smoking and health. This mostly effects girls. Advertisements overplay stereotypical images of both genders and racial groups. They also affect how kinds view others, themselves and how they play.
Health and Food Commercials
1979: children (3%) were obese and in 2004 (8%---500,000) of children were obese. This increase was mainly in older kids. Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Alberta and Quebec has the largest obesity ratings in Canada.
In a study, children (age 6-17) have a link between how much food they each and watching television (also time spent watching), playing, video games and use of the computer.
American researchers say there is also a link between preschoolers and having a television set in their room. Television is now replacing time for physical activity.
The more immature a child is, the easier it is into persuading them to eat fast food.
There is now a link between obesity rates and socio-economic status. (Poor families watch television more since they have more time to do things in their home.
British study: more than half of all advertisements that were intended towards children (60%) were about unhealthy food. But in America advertisements consisted of animations, happiness, humor, stories, and fun.
Race: black people were in more commercials for fast food than white people are.
By the mid-1980s children had watched over 18,000 television shows about murders before they graduated high school. Also, children's television shows are six times more violent that adult television shows. After this study was released, the results remains around the same.
Child (Grade 3-10) favored shows that did not proposed a lot of violence in it.
Games: boys (Grade 3-6) favorite game was 'Grand Theft Auto' while girls favored games that had social interaction and a story line like Mario, The Sims, etc.
A study shows that parents (75%) did not tell their children what games were acceptable or not.
Back Round
1884: moving images or picture dates were created. BUT it wasn't until the 1950s when television became popular worldwide. Television's are one of the few items that all children have access too.
The first "well-known" television producer company was known as RCA in which stands for "Radio Corporation of America." This company worked closely with the American military, national defense and advertisement companies that were becoming extremely popular quickly.
1960s: television was mainly used for advertising and to collect advertising revenue.
Television's was and is still currently mainly used for selling a company's product and to obtain a sale.
1950s: the 30 minute episodes that only came on to air once a week become popular during this time.
1960s: Peoples interests then shifted towards the Saturday morning cartoon.
People got used to producers running the same episode more than once a year
Children were viewed as a special class of citizen.
Children, the Mass Media, and Consumerism
By Kalya Melo

Why Care?
Social learning theory: children learn and will copy the behavior that is presented in front of them.
Impacts on media violence: age, sex, family and the consequences given to the violence.
Children develop aggressive behavior by how much they see and who is doing the violent action.
A major influence of violence can be the parents. The parents may not discipline them properly (spanking).
Companies are realizing how much violent television shows are affect children so there are recommendations of how to stop it. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commissions establishes a public hearing to hear other people opinions on what should be done. The UNESCO conducted a study on the topic at hand. A parent rating system was put in place and showed parents how to us the 'V-chip', which blocks certain channels. Child say that parents (19%) used their V-chip.
Educational Television
People who watch television for a reasonable amount of time will do better than people who do not watch television at all. It all depends on who is watching television with the person and how they choose to watch it.
There are television producers that create shows for educational purposes such as to help children develop pro-social behavior.
Sesame Street (1969): was created because of the human rights movement and wanted to expand on Martin Luther King's idea. Also wanted to help educate preschoolers that did not have a better schooling opportunity. Has been aired for four decades and will continue too. Has 120 million viewers from over 130 different countries. 'Glocalization' was created because the producers allow each country to locally change the show to form to their culture.
Targeting Children
& Internet
At the age of 2, a children's visual attention increases. By the time the child is 8, they will have the same attention patterns as an adult. But 'look' durations do gradually go down over time. Some children have difficultly visually like understanding causation, recalling events and segments, etc. A child will not remember or is unclear of point-of-view shots when they were a baby.
There are not shows that have been created for infants specifically. But infants from 8-16 months old who watch videos score lower than infants that watch nothing (17 points lower on average).
Canadian children (Grade 4-11) (94%) are able to access the Internet from their homes and children (61%) have access to high-speed Internet. Almost half (44%) of children that have cellphones are able to access the Internet through their phones. Children (22%) have their own personal web cam and children (17%) have cameras on their cellphones.
Children (Grade 4) go on the Internet to play online games and then eventually transfer to instant messaging. Girls (Grade 6) already prefer instant messaging and boys (grade 8) also begins to prefer instant messaging. Kids (Grade 9) use instant messaging and listen to music on a daily basis.
Study: Children from Grade 3-10 admitted that television was used to pastime (75%). Grade 3 girls (33%) played electronic games a day and Grade 10 girls (6%) played much less. Kids Grade 7-10 (49%) admitted to instant messaging.
Study: mothers admitted than living in neighborhoods that were considered unsafe caused families to watch more television.
Four genres: traditional adventure, non-traditional adventure, educational/family and comedy. There were more male characters in cartoons than females. But in non-traditional cartoon there were strong females involved that demonstrated masculine characteristics . Male characters were physically aggressive in traditional adventure. While females were supportive, polite, displayed fear and romance. Superheroes were seen to have traditional gender-roles (such as masculine).
Teletubbies and Barney & Friends: discovered eight gendered themes.
Themes: social skills, gender representation, activities, appearance of characters, play roles, gender differences in leadership roles, occupations and roles. Researchers noticed that the female characters were under-represented because they were only seen as followers. While makes were leaders, were larger by body mass and had masculine roles and occupations. Both shows demonstrates pro-social behavior (how to respond in public situations).
Cultivation theory and social learning theory is present since they are learning by observing the advertisements. Kids are easily persuaded when it comes to views and behavior so it is important to teach them the right ways.
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