THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF CHILDHOOD IN AMERICAN FILMS (1927-2018)
This study explored the social construction of childhood in American films from 1927-2018. A content analysis of 30 films was conducted. The sample consisted of films that were near the top of the list of the highest grossing films of the year and that featured a child in a lead or supporting role. Data were obtained to examine children's character and role types; children's activities, locations, coactors, behaviors, and characteristics; and the attitudes and behaviors of adults towards children. Children were overwhelmingly portrayed negatively, stereotypically, and in need of socialization to become fully evolved adults. In relation to adults, children were oppressed and controlled while being socialized, enculturated, and used in adult plans to achieve selfish ends. However, positive portrayals included children being helpful and caring, intelligent, deserving of empathy and protection, and competent in interpreting and acting on their social world. These themes were explained within the context of significant sociohistorical factors occurring between 1927 and 2018. Finally, childhood as a social construct was positioned and explained within a larger system of hegemonic power.
Lucas, Sherrie. (December 2019). THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF CHILDHOOD IN AMERICAN FILMS (1927-2018) (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7644.)
Lucas, Sherrie. THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF CHILDHOOD IN AMERICAN FILMS (1927-2018). Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, December 2019. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7644. May 29, 2020.
Lucas, Sherrie, “THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF CHILDHOOD IN AMERICAN FILMS (1927-2018)” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, December 2019).
Lucas, Sherrie. THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF CHILDHOOD IN AMERICAN FILMS (1927-2018) [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; December 2019.
East Carolina University