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ERIC Number: ED419257
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Jun
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Deconstructing "Teletubbies": Differences between UK and US College Students' Reading of the Children's Television Program.
Gutenko, Gregory
In April 1997 in the United Kingdom (UK), "Teletubbies," a television program designed for young children, debuted. Unexpectedly, it developed a cult following among college students. In April 1998 "Teletubbies" debuted in the United States (US) on PBS. A study compared alternative readings and deconstructions of "Teletubbies" between UK and US college students to see what differences might be found and how these differences might reflect shared and unshared cultural significations between program and audiences. The study has been premature--UK student following probably matured during summer 1997, while the US student audience is currently unformed. Exposure to "Teletubbies" is not equivalent--"Teletubbies" airs much more frequently in the UK. Sampling methods are also now considered unreliable and invalid. No text records have been found of in-class deconstruction exercises occurring within two months of "Teletubbies" UK debut; the US exercise conducted occurred less than one month after "Teletubbies" debut, and study participants only had videotape exposure to the program. UK students have most often related integrated readings that deconstruct "Teletubbies" as either a "premier drug inducement program" or a portrayal of life after nuclear Armageddon wherein the Tubbies are mutants. In the US, 21 students in a culture/media studies class received guidelines regarding the conduct of deconstructive strategies. Six students read "Teletubbies" as being drug oriented, while a "comforting, mindless return to the womb" was noted by five students. The dominating influence of technology was apprehended by seven students. US students saw the Tubbies as being completely asexual in behavior, while UK students have tended to attribute sexual behaviors to the Tubbies. (Contains 25 references; program listings are attached. (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; United States