ERIC Number: ED334981
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: 0
Square One Television and Gender.
De Vaney, Ann; Elenes, Alejandra
Focusing on gender issues in the visual text, this paper describes one stage of a post structural analysis of "Square One TV" (SOTV), a program originally designed to provide instruction in mathematics for 8- to 12-year-old viewers which now emphasizes changing their attitudes toward mathematics. Post structural textual analysis was used to uncover the path by which sexism and racism were unwittingly enfolded in SOTV, which has borrowed the structure of 1980s commercial television programs. Consecutive programs were sampled during two summer weeks. The team then formulated focus questions about messages surrounding gender, segments in which these messages appeared were located, and the specific formats were identified. Segments were reviewed to identify visual codes within the format, codes of similar formats on broadcast TV were identified, and relationships between codes on broadcast TV and SOTV were drawn. The analysis showed that SOTV programs incorporated sexism or racism in 20% to 40% of each program, and segments selected for the study included examples of both blatant and subtle sexism. Patterns found in biased segments were also found to be clearly present on current day broadcast television, although some sitcomes and ads used ironic distancing to present sexist materials. Although children may be sophisticated viewers of television, they are hardly ironic distancers and the pace of SOTV almost guarantees that they only have time to process the dominant message. Even if children were ironic distancers, such distancing from patently sexist and racist discoursers works as an ethical sleight of hand for the practice of sexism and racism. (8 references) (BBM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Childrens Television Workshop NY; Square One TV; Textual Analysis
Note: In: Proceedings of Selected Research Presentations at the Annual Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology; see IR 015 132.