Browsing Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta by Author "Koivusalo-Kuusivaara, Raisa"

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  • Koivusalo-Kuusivaara, Raisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Characteristic of today s media environment is intensity and constant presence. The media also play a significant role in the lives of small children since they, on average, start regular following of media at the age of three. The contents, tools and social relations linked to the media do form an environment for the children by means of which they form their concepts of culture, society, social relations and build their identities. The research explains the interpretation of audiovisual media and the role of the media in the lives of Finnish, British and German children between four to six years of age. The aim of the research is to deepen the scientific knowledge on what kind of significance socially and culturally the media have in the lives of small children and how they interpret the media contents. In the study, the relationship between children and the media has been observed as a tool, as a social, symbolic and cultural interpretation environment. Additionally, the possibilities what the Theory of Symbolic Interactionism which is rarely used in communication research can offer in the observance of children s media relationship. Based on the international material collected in Finland, UK and Germany, also the cultural differences connected to the media between the comparison groups are examined. In spite of the relatively similar media environments between the countries compared, the study suggests cultural differences in the media interpretations. The media enable the development of a child s various skills and can thus create social, symbolic and cultural resources which have a significance in a child s development. The relation between a child and media is a two-way interrelationship and in the interpretation of media information, the earlier intellectual and social experiences are included. In his or her active media relationship, a child develops his or her vocabulary, perceptions, thinking and emotional life. Using the media as a social event, the social readiness of a child is, for its part, developed. Thus, for example, the rules and regulations concerning media uses guide how the family functions and define the position of a child within the family. The contents of the media and different supplementary products form, for their part, a child s cultural codes and categorizations. The study also demonstrates that the Theory of Symbolic Interactionism offers a rather interdisciplinary research reference setting for the study of children and the media and facilitates the studying and understanding of children s media relation as a proportion of different factors.