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ERIC Number: ED246889
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-May
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Television Viewing as a Dominant Activity of Childhood: A Suggestion for a Developmental Effects Theory.
Watkins, Bruce
Research on children and media has generally focused on the negative impact of media on developing minds. However, a theoretical framework is proposed for thinking about the role of television for American children from a developmental perspective. Instead of focusing on television's effects, television viewing can be examined as is any other childhood activity--as a constant series of interactions with social, cultural, and personal information that lead to a child becoming a functioning member of society. It is one activity, not necessarily the major activity, of childhood. However, the set of interactions with television can be examined as a dominant activity of American childhood and adolescence. (A dominant activity, long a theme in Soviet cognitive psychology, is composed of a set of tasks that are common to most children in a particular culture.) Television qualifies as a dominant activity because most American children participate in television viewing; there is a consistency in the social values it portrays; considerable effort is involved in understanding its symbol systems; and because certain sets of behavioral or cognitive outcomes have been linked to television viewing. A four-page reference list is included. (Author/LMM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Dominant Activities
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (San Francisco, CA, May 1984).