Date of Award
Honors Thesis (Open Access)
Colby College. Psychology Dept.
The aim of this study is to offer an assessment of the common themes in feminist, Lacanian psychoanalytic and deconstructionist theory. It will then discuss the degree to which these three discourses allow us to grasp the implications of the political socialization which occurs through television programming directed primarily at children.
There are points of commonality and discordance between these approaches. My aim will not be to make the argument that one approach is best, nor to arrive at a final synthesis. Rather, I construe these theoretical approaches as different lenses through which we can apprehend and evaluate the messages promoted by this medium. Each offers its own clarifying vision and each has its points of blindness as well. However, a critical interaction or dialogue between these various approaches seems to offer the best possible understanding of the politics of children's television.
This research is by no means an exhaustive study of children's television. It does not discuss all the messages found within children's programming, e.g., violence, racism, greed or any of the others. This study will simply address the issue of sex-role stereotyping as it relates to power in society. It will assert that television programming for children on the major networks on Saturday mornings helps children to construct an image of femininity and masculinity which supports the current power structure. I will relate my observations of these processes to literature which addresses the construction of power relationships in society.
feminism, Lacanian psychology, deconstructionist theory, television programming, political socialization, social structure
Recommended CitationBurke, Christine, "Power and the Social Order: Sex Role Stereotyping in Children's Television" (1988). Honors Theses. Paper 607.
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