ERIC Number: ED347589
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Boys' Talk: Television, Masculinity and Media Education. Draft.
Drawn from a much more extensive research project about children and television, this study examined the social processes through which the meanings of television are established and negotiated. A series of small group interviews with boys aged between 8 and 12 years were conducted. Two series of interviews focused on the cartoon television series "Thundercats," which has provoked adult criticism for its alleged violence and sexism. Results indicated that the program was perceived as strongly gendered by the children, and this led to gendered positions and discourses, yet these positions and discourses did not derive primarily from television, nor was television's role within them straightforward. Another interview was conducted with two eight-year-old working-class boys about the domestic viewing context. Results indicated that the boys were constantly putting themselves at risk--primarily of humiliation or ridicule by each other--and then rapidly withdrawing. An interview with three 12-year-old middle-class boys concerned their liked and disliked characters on television. Results indicated that there was a remarkable absence of "drooling" among the boys for the female characters. For boys of this age, the discussion of sexuality may hold more dangers than pleasures, in that their own power and security are so uncertain. Findings suggest that, at least to some extent, masculinity is actively defined and constructed in the direct experience of social interaction. (Nine extracts from the interviews and 29 footnotes are included.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Small Group Communication
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).