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The Representation of Animals on Children'S Television

The Representation of Animals on Children'S Television The representation of animals on British children's television was investigated by means of content analysis of 364 weekday programs, collected over a two-year period. Animals are a major subject area of children's TV, appearing at a very high rate in fictional and non-fictional programs alike. Two main themes concerning the portrayal of animals emerged. The first was a reinforcement of the notion of a phylogenetic hierarchy in animals' capacity to suffer. Cruelty to mammals was explicitly admonished, while fish and invertebrates were largely excluded from moral concern. The second was an apparent tendency to avoid discussion or depiction of the use of animals for meat. In fictional programs, farm animals tended to be used to portray neutral, minor characters. Mammal meat consumption was rarely shown, but when it was, its origins were either heavily disguised or exaggerated into a joke. These findings are interpreted as an expression of adult society's discomfort with the paradox of advocating kindness to animals (especially mammals) on one hand, but the acceptability of meat eating on the other. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Anthrozoos Taylor & Francis

The Representation of Animals on Children'S Television

Anthrozoos , Volume 9 (4): 13 – Dec 1, 1996

The Representation of Animals on Children'S Television

Anthrozoos , Volume 9 (4): 13 – Dec 1, 1996

Abstract

The representation of animals on British children's television was investigated by means of content analysis of 364 weekday programs, collected over a two-year period. Animals are a major subject area of children's TV, appearing at a very high rate in fictional and non-fictional programs alike. Two main themes concerning the portrayal of animals emerged. The first was a reinforcement of the notion of a phylogenetic hierarchy in animals' capacity to suffer. Cruelty to mammals was explicitly admonished, while fish and invertebrates were largely excluded from moral concern. The second was an apparent tendency to avoid discussion or depiction of the use of animals for meat. In fictional programs, farm animals tended to be used to portray neutral, minor characters. Mammal meat consumption was rarely shown, but when it was, its origins were either heavily disguised or exaggerated into a joke. These findings are interpreted as an expression of adult society's discomfort with the paradox of advocating kindness to animals (especially mammals) on one hand, but the acceptability of meat eating on the other.

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References (29)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 1996 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1753-0377
eISSN
0892-7936
DOI
10.2752/089279396787001400
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The representation of animals on British children's television was investigated by means of content analysis of 364 weekday programs, collected over a two-year period. Animals are a major subject area of children's TV, appearing at a very high rate in fictional and non-fictional programs alike. Two main themes concerning the portrayal of animals emerged. The first was a reinforcement of the notion of a phylogenetic hierarchy in animals' capacity to suffer. Cruelty to mammals was explicitly admonished, while fish and invertebrates were largely excluded from moral concern. The second was an apparent tendency to avoid discussion or depiction of the use of animals for meat. In fictional programs, farm animals tended to be used to portray neutral, minor characters. Mammal meat consumption was rarely shown, but when it was, its origins were either heavily disguised or exaggerated into a joke. These findings are interpreted as an expression of adult society's discomfort with the paradox of advocating kindness to animals (especially mammals) on one hand, but the acceptability of meat eating on the other.

Journal

AnthrozoosTaylor & Francis

Published: Dec 1, 1996

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