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ERIC Number: ED464750
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Pages: 49
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Fall Colors, 2001-02: Prime Time Diversity Report.
Parker, McCrae A.; Miller, Patti; Espejo, Eileen; Grossman-Swenson, Sarah
Television is an integral part of American culture, and has the ability to play a major role in shaping belief systems, particularly for the youngest and most impressionable viewers. This study is the third annual study of diversity of characters in prime time television programming. The study examined the first two episodes of each prime time entertainment series airing on the six broadcast networks. The findings indicate that despite ongoing emphasis, encouragement, and pressure on the part of media advocates, civil rights groups, government officials, and even some entertainment industry leaders, the networks have yet to produce a prime time season that is representative of the diversity that young people experience and will undoubtedly continue to experience as maturing adults. Among the major findings are the following: (1) family structures are more obvious for white youth than for youth of color; (2) a majority of white youth were shown interacting with their parents but only a fourth of Latino youth were shown doing the same; (3) African American families served exclusively as the focus of situation comedies; (4) marital and parental status was more easily identifiable for women than men; (5) gay and lesbian characters are increasingly visible, with white males playing the majority roles; (6) disabled characters are increasingly visible, also with white males playing the majority of roles; (7) positions such as service workers, unskilled laborers, and criminals were played only by persons of color; and (8) whites and Asian/Pacific Islanders were portrayed more often as professionals; African American and Latino characters were more often portrayed as law enforcement; and Native Americans were typecast as spiritual advisors. (HTH)
Children Now, 1212 Broadway, 5th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612. Tel: 510-763-2444; Fax: 510-763-1974; e-mail: For full text:
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Mott (C.S.) Foundation, Flint, MI.
Authoring Institution: Children Now, Oakland, CA.