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Discussion of Assignments Assignment # 1: 2 parts Design analysis: Product Review: Assignment # 2: research projects Researching the Cultural Industries Regulation: CRTC, Codes and Regulations, Panics: Hearings and Committees, Advocacy Groups -- ie McDonalds, Via Com, Coke

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discussion of assignments

Discussion of Assignments

Assignment # 1: 2 parts

Design analysis:

Product Review:

Assignment # 2: research projects

researching the cultural industries
Researching the Cultural Industries
  • Regulation: CRTC, Codes and Regulations, Panics: Hearings and Committees, Advocacy Groups -- ie McDonalds, Via Com, Coke
  • Stabilizing Taste: creativity and production economics
    • cartoons: $, simplification (Hanna Barbara), labour, computers)
    • developing genres (what do kids like to watch?)
    • Business models, financing
  • Programming: producing a children’s audience:
    • programming choices and time schedules: sitcoms and cartoons -
    • targeting for advertisers (segments -and the rise of syndicates and gendered programmes)
    • Advertising, audience flow and intertextuality (ie Ranging with Power-Kinder)
  • Creation of a TV production aesthetic
    • Values and tastes of producers, who controls family choice, differences between parents and kids taste (Van den Voort study - kidfluence)
sponsored research projects
Sponsored Research Projects
  • 1) A comparative analysis of advertising on children's time TV in the USA and Canada
  • 2) A study of children's understanding and use of money
  • 3) Children's brand preferences and discretionary purchases: what they buy for themselves
  • 4) Family negotiation over food: children's strategies for getting what they want?
  • 5) Children's advertising skepticism: what do they understand about marketing?
research ethics
Research Ethics
  • Informed Consent and Parental Permissions
  • Respect for subjects - not make them feel bad or frightened
  • Safety and Confidentiality
  • Terminate the research at any time
  • Deception is not advised concerning the objectives of the research
taking a historical perspectives on emergence of kidvid
Taking a Historical Perspectives on emergence of KidVid
  • Emergence of a Cultural Industry
    • Disney, Lucas, Viacom (synergy)
  • Construction of an Child Audience
    • Cartoon, Superhero
  • Definition of the Cultural Form
    • Character Toys
  • Perils, Panics, and Policies
    • Mass, violent, commercial
  • Impacts and Research
    • Himmelweit to Robinson
reisman historical changes in the matrix of socialization
Reisman: historical changes in the matrix of socialization

State Policy

Lessons of History

-avoid same mistakes

-imagine beyond givens

-look at whole to identify key issues


Media Industries









Children’s Culture

rhetorics of war for the sake of the children
  • Ending this tragedy is a moral imperative. It is also important to
  • America's national interest.
  • It is this challenge that we and our allies are facing in Kosovo. That
  • is why we have acted now -- because we care about saving innocent
  • lives; because we have an interest in avoiding an even crueler and
  • costlier war; and because our children need and deserve a peaceful,
  • stable, free Europe.….the challenge of ending instability in the Balkans
  • so that these bitter ethnic problems in Europe are resolved the force of argument, not the force of arms; so that future generations of Americans do not have to cross the Atlantic to fight another terrible war.
  • Our thoughts and prayers tonight must be with the men and women of our
  • Armed Forces who are undertaking this mission for the sake of our
  • values and our children's future. May God bless them and may God bless
  • America.
make poverty history are we a child oriented culture
Make Poverty History: Are we a child oriented culture?
  • 20% of total population (0-14)
  • 1.2 million children live in poverty (18 %)
  • 1:13 richest to poorist 10%
  • 1/3 of ‘racialized families’ live in poverty

UN convention on Human Rights of the Child includes right to “enjoy leisure, recreation and cultural activities” or the children’s media charter.

early tv
Early TV
  • McLuhan: through the rear view mirror (medium in search of a message)
    • Puppets, clowns, circus, talent shows; game shows
  • Hanna-Barbera: the rise of the kid cartoon
from rabit ears to mouse ears transformations of story telling
From Rabit Ears to Mouse Ears: Transformations of Story-telling
  • Why Stories?
    • Moral compass of a society
    • Cultural identity of a people
    • Psycho-social development of a child (identification and modelling)
    • Literacy and cognitive competence
    • Social bonding and cultural capital (peer and family)
  • Lost in Translation?
    • Oral to Literate to Electronic Storytelling (Narnia? Rings?)
a medium in search of a form
A medium in search of a form
  • evolution of genres- puppets, circus and variety, talent shows, drama, action adventure, comedy, super-hero
  • The Sat morning cartoon ghetto: From comic book to cartoon :
    • Visual language (comic)
    • Slapstick Humour
    • Episodic Plots
    • The child as character vs the superhero as character
medium in search of its audience
Medium in search of its audience
  • Live action and adventure - Sky King, Davy Crockett, Captain Midnight
  • Family Life/ Soaps: Luci, Father Knows Best, Beaver,
  • Nature- Wild Kingdom, Lassie,Sargent Preston
  • Tiny Talent, Kids say the darndest things
  • Children’s specials - wizard of oz, shirley temple
  • Science - Mr Wizard
  • Nursury -Mr Dressup, Howdy Doody
  • Frontier families
  • Game shows
  • Disneyland/ Mickey Mouse Club
  • Sesame Street, Electric Company, Edutainment
  • School Drama -Degrassi etc.
the mandate of canadian tv

The Mandate of Canadian TV

To tell Canadian stories

To represent the diversity of Canada

To educate, inform, or entertain.

canadian broadcast mandate
Canadian Broadcast Mandate
  • Perched at the northern edge of the American Empire, Canadian legislators were particularly sensitive to the precariousness of its broadcast system: we funded a national broadcaster, the CBC, to be an exponent and guardian of those Canadian values and standards and we mandated the whole mixed broadcast system with encouraging the “development of Canadian expression through programming that reflects Canadian attitudes, opinions ideas, values and artistic creativity.”
  • children were specifically mentioned as a key mandate of the broadcast system: “Serve the needs and interests and reflect the circumstances and aspirations..be varied and comprehensive providing a balance of information enlightenment and entertainment for Canadian men and women and children of all ages, interests and taste.”
the canadian production of children s tv programming
The Canadian production of children’s TV programming
  • Underfunding -The economics of children’s TV industries in Canada (trans border broadcast; cable industry policy in 1970’s)
  • The financing to encourage Canadian children’s TV production:
    • Protection from American culture
    • US-Canada production - cable
    • subsidy and licensing of specialty channels
the canadian production of children s tv programming20
The Canadian production of children’s TV programming
  • The policy context:
    • Spicer Violence Watershed (not apply to advertising)
    • Protection from American culture - CBC, Educational Networks (but need cable!)
    • US-Canada cable issues: transborder flows and cancon (different advertising regs)
    • subsidy and licensing of specialty channels- fragmentation and funding
  • Have we effectively developed a policy framework for children’s TV? If not what needs to be done to improve the role that media play in children’s lives.
  • Cancon Blues -The economics of children’s TV in Canada - Nelvana, Cinar, Reboot as leading industries or Telefilm scams?
  • Educate inform and entertain: evaluating TV’s window to the world?

issues in kidvid industries: cynicism of finance?

Channel One, Treehouse, YTV, Education, Transborder?

children s audiences what are canadian kids watching
Children’s audiences - what are Canadian kids watching?
  • Examine breaks for age and gender in BBM’s
  • Examine preferences by age and gender
  • 2-6
  • 7-11
  • 12-18
  • Review Data
children s audiences

Children’s audiences

15.3 Favourite television characters

It was of no surprise since The Simpsons and Yu-Gi-Oh were some of the top rated shows that 11% of the boys selected Homer and Yu-Gi-Oh character as their # 1 favourite shows. Bart Simpson was the second favourite with 10%.

Of the 87 girl respondents 7% selected Lizzie McGuire and 6% chose Lisa Simpson. Bart Simpson was also seen as a favourite with 5% of the girl selecting him.

15.4 Reasons for why they liked these television characters

The students were asked to give 3 reasons why they liked the television character they had chosen, some of most popular characteristics of the boys included; their first choice were characters who were funny 37%, second choice was funny again at 18% and stupid at 15% and finally their the third most popular choice was cool at 28% of the students.

The 33 girl respondents also selected funny (70%) as their first choice and pretty/nice/soft hearted as their second choice at 24% and pretty once again as third choice 44% followed by cool and smart/solves mysteries both at 17%.

15.5 Favourite television show characters gender

Character gender preferences revealed a tendency for the 69 male students to select male characters 94% with only 6% choosing female characters. The 57 girl respondents again selected a variety, with 44% selecting male characters and 56 % selecting female characters at 56%.

moral panic taste and the quality
Moral Panic, Taste and the Quality
  • Have we effectively developed TV as a children’s medium? (educate, inform and entertain vs selling audiences?)
  • The vast wasteland debates -
    • Sanitized Aesthetics: simple, unproblematic, constrained and middle class cultural traditions? (class disappears - Tramp)
    • Adultified Childhood: Homogenization of culture
      • Postman and growing up too soon.
      • visual and popular culture is inferior?
    • Escapist Imaginary - the scope of children’s imagination broadened but also became ‘uncritical’ (passive)
the impact of tv debates
The impact of TV:Debates
  • Content Effects: The new curriculum-tv culture/ mass culture as common knowledge and ideology in a globalizing society:
    • sexuality, violence, gender identity, cultural identity, amoral behaviour
  • Displacement of Time
    • (children attracted to new medium- effects on schooling, growth in time spent)
    • (trade off with play and family conversation, exercise)
  • Commercialization effects
    • development of marketing to kids - are kids capable of being good consumers
    • scripting the imagination
    • Total consumers
children s tv policy
Children’s TV Policy
  • 1950’s: As the world turns: educational vs commercialized mass society
    • Equality vs. Individualism
  • 1961 Vast Wasteland: high culture vs. popular culture
    • Passive viewers, America falls behind, educational standards
  • 1969 PBS: Project Headstart - Sesame Street
  • 1970’s Media Panics:
    • Grow up to soon
    • Parents loose control
  • 1981 Deregulation - time and content limits dissolved
  • 1995 Children’s TV Act:
  • 1997 V-chip and 3% ruling