"Adverts make me want to break the television": children's responses to the audiovisual media environment in India.
South Asian media cultures: audiences, representations, contexts.
Anthem Press, London, pp. 51-72.
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||The media environment which surrounds children in urban and small town India has altered almost unrecognizably in the last two decades. Children can watch Peppa Pig or Hanna Montana dubbed in Hindi or in English or programmes in a number of vernacular languages; some have access to Japanese children’s cartoons, Manga, MTV-India and more. However, discourses about children and mainstream media have remained almost unchanged. These discourses tend to fall into one of two paradigms – a stridently protectionist one and one which views all developments as good because they construct children-as-consumers, thus making India feel more ‘modern’ and giving advertisers or ideologues a larger market. While other positions do exist amongst both parents and especially young people, these are rarely articulated publicly. The voices that get most coverage in the media are related to calls for censorship or economic growth. Built around a small-scale interview-based study with Bombay children, focus groups of children in Kerala, and a group of children in the Himalayan foothills about their media viewing, this chapter disentangles rhetoric about values and ethnic identity from the realities of children’s media and family experiences. It asks questions about children’s media experiences from infancy onwards, their encounters with and responses to notions of Indianness, sexuality, language and marketing on screen, their understandings of parental concerns and their own perceptions of ‘effects’ arising from their viewing. The findings reveal children’s critical negotiations of class, gender, ethnicity, regionalism and age in a fast-changing social context. The chapter argues that rather than calling for banning or censorship of certain media products on South Asian screens, there is space for more consistent regulation of both advertising and films, as well as a clear need for contemporary, entertainment-based Children’s channels in India that are run in a public service mould.
||Childhood studies, Media, Informal learning
||IOE Departments > Departments > London Knowledge Lab
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||03 Feb 2010 14:33
||14 Oct 2013 10:42
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