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ERIC Number: ED575520
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 173
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3696-3301-6
A Qualitative Content Analysis for the Presence of Propaganda in Select Juvenile Whitman Books Published during World War II
Riesterer, Becky A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Oakland University
Scholars have determined popular literature often contains propaganda imperatives (Berelson, 1952; Budd, 1967; Davis, 1942). Given the persuasive impact children's literature has upon the reader, children's literature containing propagandistic intent is a powerful force (Desai, 2014). This is especially true during times of war. Several studies have analyzed the impact of war-themed literature on children (Collins, 2012; Holsinger, 1995; Schmidt, 2013; Westman, 2009). Qualitative content analysis is an instructive methodology that can be used to identify underlying themes in children's literature and reveal hidden persuasive propaganda (Bekkedal, 1973). This qualitative content analysis study examined the presence of propaganda imperatives in a select group of texts published by Whitman Publishing during World War II. Drawing from the imperatives of three official propaganda agencies and contemporary children's literary agents, an instrument was designed to determine the presence of the defined imperatives in the texts. The texts used for this study were taken from three series of books published by Whitman between 1942 and 1945. The series were the Comic Series, the Fighters for Freedom Series and The Authorized Hollywood Editions. Using an instrument as a measure, the texts were read and coded by a team of coders looking for the presence of the imperatives. This study's findings determined many of the propaganda imperatives did have a presence in the texts examined. The presence of three imperatives was most frequently found in the texts. Home Front Support, Military Recruitment, and Enemy Hatred imperatives were repeatedly found. Home Front Support imperatives encouraged children to watch for spies, keep military secrets and participate in rationing. Military Recruitment imperatives encouraging careers in aviation and female recruitment were found. In addition, there were imperatives stimulating enemy hatred. The Japanese and Germans were the most frequent target. While the imperatives called for racial equality to be stressed in the texts, there was a disturbing absence of any sincere effort to advance the image of American Blacks or Native Americans in the texts. In contrast, the texts contained references supporting the continued subjugation of Blacks. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A