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Which children are to consume Swedish public service TV?
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Moving Image Production.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

How children are represented and visualized in Swedish public service television is the key focus in this paper and the purpose is to discuss which children that come forward as targeted in the television programmes for a child audience. The overarching aim of this paper is to investigate which children are addressed and hence are thought to consume public service TV for children. Underlying this aim is the idea that the TV institution produces and reproduces notions of children (cf. Hall, 1997; Pettersson, 2013), which makes it important to study television. The ways in which the TV industry portrays children have implication for how children are positioned and viewed in society at large (cf. Prout, 2005). Sweden has a strong public service TV heritage and public service television companies are strong actors in the Swedish society also in present times (cf. Hadenius, 1998; Hadenius et al, 2011; Rydin, 2000). The Swedish public service companies, both the Swedish Public Service Television Company, SVT and the educational public service company, UR, have both actual and social contracts with the state and the public and they thereby have obligations to all citizens and specifically to the target group children, as stated in broadcasting policy. Therefore, how these institutions represent children and their childhoods are a matter of obligation for the companies on behalf of the public and it is a possibility of democratic rights for the category children. To be visible and represented in public discourse is a crucial way to exist as an actor in society and children have the right to do so if the UNCRC is consulted (cf. Barnombudsmannen, 1999; Casper & Moore, 2009; Rogoff, 2002; Söderlind & Engwall, 2005). When children are portrayed in stereotypical ways in public service TV some children and some childhoods are neglected (cf. Pettersson, 2013). In addition to this the child-TV relation is often discussed in terms of risk, both in public and in academic discourse (Pettersson, 2013). If there are problematic aspects within this relationship I argue that it is of crucial importance to investigate this potential risk focusing on the targeted children. This paper therefore aims to apply a child perspective (Halldén, 2003) on television and discuss how public service broadcasting in Sweden represent and address their targeted child audience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Media and Communications Educational Sciences
Research subject
Intercultural Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-22819OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-22819DiVA: diva2:954441
2014 The 5th international conference on multidisciplinary perspectives on Child and Teen Consumption: Being, Becoming and Belonging, 9th-11th April, The University of Edinburgh, Business School.
Available from: 2016-08-22 Created: 2016-08-22 Last updated: 2016-08-24Bibliographically approved

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