ERIC Number: ED390579
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Saturday Morning Cartoons and Children's Perceptions of Social Reality.
This paper examines the effects of Saturday morning cartoons on children's perceptions of social reality. The study consisted of an analysis of programs appearing between 8 and 11 o'clock in the morning on September 15, 1990, and June 9, 1992, focusing on the ethnicity, gender, and age of characters, the positive or negative portrayal of characters, and the characters' positions of authority. The study found that the Saturday morning cartoons reviewed contained few older characters, and that the majority of these were depicted as either evil or incompetent. Of the characters whose ethnicity could be determined, 32 percent belonged to ethnic minorities, though fully 60 percent of these minority characters were in one show ("Kid 'N Play"). Only 17.8 percent of the characters in 1990 and 23.8 percent in 1992 were female. Cartoon settings, plot types, values, morality, and inherent consumerism are also analyzed and discussed. Overall, the paper concludes that Saturday morning children's programming teaches children that white men are the most important and powerful people in society; that women are underrepresented everywhere; that the world is a scary place; and, that they should belong and be loyal to a group and never act on their own. (Contains 23 references.) (MDM)
Descriptors: Age Differences, Age Discrimination, Cartoons, Childhood Attitudes, Childrens Television, Consumer Economics, Ethnic Bias, Mass Media Effects, Mass Media Role, Moral Values, Programming (Broadcast), Racial Differences, Sex Bias, Sex Differences, Sex Stereotypes, Social Cognition, Socioeconomic Influences, Values
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cartoon Characters
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1995).