Effects of mainstream media on upper-middle-class children of middle-school age: A qualitative study
AuthorRicker, Audrey, 1941-
KeywordsBusiness Administration, Marketing.
Sociology, Individual and Family Studies.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study shows the findings of a qualitative study undertaken in the homes of seven primary participants of middle school age in Tucson, Arizona, Southern California, and New York City. The purpose of the study was to determine whether mainstream media has commodified these children into saleable audiences who would consume its media products. Findings show that all participants, at all levels, were ready to buy, and wanted to buy, at least one kind of mainstream media at any time. All participants with the exception of one, who did not seem to care about one form of media over another, pursued at least one form of mainstream media, usually more, during most of his waking hours and often. During the ninety hours of observation, at least two or more mainstream media products were used consistently. All participants expressed the desire to buy more specific products and wanted to have more than one title at a time. No regionally or locally distributed media were desired by any subject, only the mainstream media on forced-choice menus. Limitations of the research included difficulty of finding parents and children willing to allow the researcher into the home. Another problem was the invasion of privacy that some subject felt during the study. These were the major two limitations. Further research should be conducted on preschoolers' use of media. This study suggests that children aged one to five may already be addicted to Disney media in ways that preclude their enjoyment of other mainstream media. This study also suggests that these children may be so affected cognitively by their constant use of mainstream media products that their placement in school must be reassessed. Another area that requires more research is the ability of students with diagnosed learning disabilities to concentrate on, and operate, interactive media and to read any manual, article or electronic text having to do with their chosen media, without any problem. The conclusion is that participants in this study are, by their desire and willingness to buy, members of a commodity audience. Thus, the commodity audience actually exists.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading and Culture