ERIC Number: ED159726
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Reference Count: 0
A Sociological Study of Children's Use of Television Commercials to Initiate Social Interaction in Family Group Viewing Situations.
Reid, Leonard N.; Frazer, Charles F.
In a two-stage procedure to discover how children use television commercials in family group viewing situations, researchers first conducted thirty family interviews with as many family members present as possible; then they selected nine children's families for extended (three month) participant observation to study the formative aspects of each child's interaction with television commercial content. The collected observation data supported the view that children are capable of knowingly interpreting and using commercials to change the character of viewing situations by involving others in planned social interaction. These interactions include (1) using commercials to draw others into conversations and activities (whether related or unrelated to message content), (2) seeking information from parents or siblings to resolve ambiguous or complex message presentations, and (3) using commercials to avoid the demands and requests of others, especially parents. The observed interactions indicate that television and its content are social objects used by the child to manipulate viewing situations and social actions. In effect, the child is not a passive observer of television, but an active viewer. (RL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Response
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (61st, Seattle, Washington, August 13-16, 1978)