ERIC Number: ED310434
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Television Autobiographies: The Audience Speaks for Itself.
Spangler, Lynn C.
Students in a children and television course wrote their "television autobiographies" (that is, their relationship with TV). Forty-three students at a mid-size upstate New York college participated. The autobiographies corroborated the results of previous quantitative and qualitative research, but added a personal, more in-depth look at the individual members of television audiences. Entertainment and information were frequently listed as reasons for watching TV, but escape and companionship were special needs for some individuals when they were children. Many subjects remembered television more because of interaction with their families than actual specific content. Children sometimes used television programs and characters as the basis for play and imagination activities. In terms of behavior, television affected subjects most in how they spent their time. It also affected what they talked about with friends and sometimes caused conflict with family members. Television influenced their play and provided role models to imitate. All but one of the subjects grew up watching educational children's shows on public television, and some programs were mentioned as instructional in social relationships. The most striking influence television seemed to have on the subjects was in the affective domain. Identification with characters often influenced how they felt as children not only while they watched a program, but also after the program ended. For most subjects it was the context of the television experience, not the content, that they most remembered. (Eighteen references are included.) (MG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (72nd, Washington, DC, August 10-13, 1989).