5-7aastaste poiste ja tüdrukute meediaeeskujud
The aim of this bachelor thesis is to find out and analyse the media role models of 5-7 year old boys and girls. While media plays an important role in young children’s everyday life, it is important to find out why some characters are so popular while the others do not catch children’s attention. The other purpose of this thesis was to find out which characteristics are preferred by boys and which ones by girls. The study consists of four chapters. The first chapter gives an overview on theoretical and empirical material such as theories of child development and theory of social learning. Theory of wishful identification proves that children imitate their favourite characters by taking over characters’ behaviour. Differences between male and female characters are also emphasized in this chapter. The second chapter presents the research methodology and gives an overview of the selection. In the third chapter, main results are presented in six different categories by childrens’ quotations. The fourth chapter of the study concludes the results and discusses the subject in wider point of view. Very specific characters that everyone would have liked and idealised did not occur in childrens’ answers. Conclusions can be made by the specific features that children’s favourite characters have. For example, the characters are not realistic and they do not adapt easily to everyday life. These characters only entertain children having no serious meaning so they do not offer educational material. As presumed, differences occurred between boys’ and girls’ favourite characters. Boys prefer characters who have special skills and who act in concrete situations. Girls’ favourite characters are physically attractive but without any specific and memorable skills. The problem is, that girls can not find any meaning in their role models’ behavior and action. It is important to pay attention to television programs that children watch and give some parental comments on the characters’ behavior and actions. Watching violent programs does not necessarily lead to violent behavior but it is important to explain the action of the characters to avoid idealising unimportant values.
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