ERIC Number: ED307651
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-May
Reference Count: N/A
Sex and Social Status: Television Use and Occupational Desires among Adolescents.
Griffin, Robert J.; Sen, Shaikat
Recent trends in television programming, in which women characters are portrayed more frequently than in the past in what had been traditionally male occupations, present new opportunities to examine the relationship of television use to the occupational desires of male and, particularly, female adolescents. A study examined this relationship in the context of social status constraints on the perceived opportunities of high school students. Subjects, 542 randomly chosen high school students in the Chicago suburbs, were given questionnaires on television viewing habits and perceptions. Findings indicated (1) that sex and social status interact to affect occupational desires, such that higher status females are more likely to desire traditionally male occupations than their lower status female counterparts; (2) identification with male and female characters in domestic and occupational roles still follows traditional lines overall, and adolescents are more likely to identify with characters if they perceive the shows to be more realistic; and (3) depictions of non-traditional female characters may be affecting the occupational desires of some lower status female adolescents who identify with television characters in occupational roles. This last finding supports a model that proposes that television portrayals of occupations will be more effective among those who have the least personal experience with these occupations. (Four tables of data are included, and 25 references are appended.) (MS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (39th, San Francisco, CA, May 25-29, 1989).