Fake, Fact, and Fantasy: Children's Interpretations of Television Reality, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Fake, Fact, and Fantasy

Children's Interpretations of Television Reality, 1st Edition

By Maire Messenger Davies


256 pages

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Paperback: 9780805820478
pub: 1997-02-01
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Based on a study examining the meaning of the term "media literacy" in children, this volume concentrates on audiovisual narratives of television and film and their effects. It closely examines children's concepts of real and unreal and how they learn to make distinctions between the two. It also explores the idea that children are protected from the harmful effects of violence on television by the knowledge that what they see is not real.

This volume is unique in its use of children's own words to explore their awareness of the submerged conventions of television genres, of their functions and effects, of their relationship to the real world, and of how this awareness varies with age and other factors. Based on detailed questionnaire data and conversations with 6 to 11-year-old children, carried out with the support of a fellowship at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, the book eloquently demonstrates how children use their knowledge of real life, of literature, and of art, in intelligently evaluating the relationship between television's formats, and the real world in which they live.


"Recommended for collections in media studies, upper-level undergraduate and above."


"This book fills an important gap in existing research about television viewing, content of programs, and understanding by children."

The Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. The Mediated World: The Uses of Media Literacy. The Real World--and the Real Child. Reality Perception on TV. Formal Features, Literature, Art, and Education. The Sample and the Study. The Interview Methodology: Recognizing the Not Real. "A Show for Little Kids": Sesame Street. "Everyone Is Talking About Ross Perot": Real News for Kids. "A Comedy Fiction Type of Thing": The Cosby Show. "It's Supposed to Be a Fairytale": The Sand Fairy. Modality: Conversations About the Relationship of Art to Life. "Charming Our Leisure": Why Media Matter. Appendices: Questionnaire for First and Second Graders. Questionnaire for Third, Fourth, and Fifth Graders. Sample Interview Transcript, First Grade Boy. Sample Interview Transcript, First Grade Girl. Sample Interview Transcript, Third Grade Boy. Sample Interview Transcript, Fourth Grade Girl. Sample Interview Transcript, Fifth Grade Boy. Interview Schedule.

About the Series

Routledge Communication Series

The Routledge Communication Series covers the breadth of the communication discipline, from interpersonal communication to public relations, offering textbooks, handbooks, and scholarly reference materials.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies