Childhood Representations in Media and Advertising

Representations of childhood in the media and advertising play a central role in the ways members of society perceive and understand this period in the life cycle. On the one hand, in general, these representations reflect the ways people think of childhood as distinguished from adulthood, the place it occupies in their social reality, aspirations projected for children growing up, and institutional responsibilities. On the other hand, media narratives are constructed selectively. Thus, they convey media producers’ views about proper childhoods, deviations from them, and how children should be treated. At the same time that such representations re-present selected ideologies and values, they also serve to shape social perceptions, some of which may well be stereotypical and/or misguided. Given the media’s ubiquity, these representations impact ...

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