Fake, fact and fantasy: childrens interpretations of television reality.

By: Davies, Maire Messenger.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: 1997; Lawrence Erlbaum Ass. ISBN: 0805820477.Subject(s): CommunicationDDC classification: 302.23DAV
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Standard Loan Book Standard Loan Book AUB Library
Book 302.23 DAV (Browse shelf) Available 026655
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Based on a study examining the meaning of the term "media literacy" in children, this volume concentrates on audiovisual narratives of television and film and their effects. It closely examines children's concepts of real and unreal and how they learn to make distinctions between the two. It also explores the idea that children are protected from the harmful effects of violence on television by the knowledge that what they see is not real.<br> <br> This volume is unique in its use of children's own words to explore their awareness of the submerged conventions of television genres, of their functions and effects, of their relationship to the real world, and of how this awareness varies with age and other factors. Based on detailed questionnaire data and conversations with 6 to 11-year-old children, carried out with the support of a fellowship at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, the book eloquently demonstrates how children use their knowledge of real life, of literature, and of art, in intelligently evaluating the relationship between television's formats, and the real world in which they live.<br>

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Lea's Communication Series (p. ii)
  • Preface (p. ix)
  • 1 The Mediated World: The Uses of Media Literacy (p. 1)
  • 2 The Real World -- and the Real Child (p. 8)
  • 3 Reality Perception on Tv (p. 21)
  • 4 Formal Features, Literature, Art, and Education (p. 35)
  • 5 The Sample and the Study (p. 48)
  • 6 The Interview Methodology: Recognizing the Not Real (p. 67)
  • 7 A Show for Little Kids": Sesame Street" (p. 82)
  • 8 Everyone is Talking About Ross Perot": Real News for Kids" (p. 93)
  • 9 A Comedy Fiction Type of Thing": The Cosby Show" (p. 101)
  • 10 It's Supposed to Be a Fairytale": The Sand Fairy" (p. 110)
  • 11 Modality: Conversations About the Relationship of Art to Life (p. 124)
  • 12 Charming Our Leisure": Why Media Matter" (p. 139)
  • References (p. 151)
  • Appendix A Questionnaire for First and Second Graders (p. 155)
  • Appendix B Questionnaire for Third, Fourth, and Fifth Graders (p. 177)
  • Appendix C Sample Interview Transcript, First Grade Boy (p. 183)
  • Appendix D Sample Interview Transcript, First Grade Girl (p. 191)
  • Appendix E Sample Interview Transcript, Third Grade Boy (p. 199)
  • Appendix F Sample Interview Transcript, Fourth Grade Girl (p. 207)
  • Appendix G Sample Interview Transcript, Fifth Grade Boy (p. 217)
  • Appendix H Interview Schedule (p. 229)
  • Author Index (p. 231)
  • Subject Index (p. 235)

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Much current critical writing in media studies finds the relationship children have with television to be problematic, particularly with regard to the deleterious effects of televised portrayals of violence and mindless consumption. Davies (a self-styled "cultural optimist" from the London College of Printing) attempts to rebut this negative view and the critical-viewing-skills curricula it has spawned. This rebuttal is woven into Davies's account of a 1993 survey/interview study she conducted (as a research fellow at Univ. of Pennsylvania) on a group of 82 middle-class Philadelphia schoolchildren, ages 6-11. The purpose of the study was to investigate the interplay of televisual cues and individual real-world experience in the child's construction of meaning, and Davies provides a cogent explanation of the theoretical underpinnings from cognitive psychology and semiotics along with a detailed and engaging presentation of the experiment's design, methodology, and findings. However, along the way she jousts with straw men, creates some fuzzy categorical constructs, misreads some of her own evidence, and cheerfully ignores a universe of popular-culture scholarship. But the writing is lucid, and Davies celebrates the pleasures and value of viewing and emphasizes the importance of respecting the child as critic. Recommended for collections in media studies, upper-level undergraduate and above. T. Gleeson; Neumann College