Media, Children, and the Family: Social Scientific, Psychodynamic, and Clinical Perspectives

Media, Children, and the Family: Social Scientific, Psychodynamic, and Clinical Perspectives

Media, Children, and the Family: Social Scientific, Psychodynamic, and Clinical Perspectives

Media, Children, and the Family: Social Scientific, Psychodynamic, and Clinical Perspectives

Synopsis

This book brings together a group of scholars to share findings and insights on the effects of media on children and family. Their contributions reflect not only widely divergent political orientations and value systems, but also three distinct domains of inquiry into human motivation and behavior -- social scientific, psychodynamic (or psychoanalytical), and clinical practice. Each of these three domains is privy to important evidence and insights that need to transcend epistemological and methodological boundaries if understanding of the subject is to improve dramatically. In keeping with this notion, the editors asked the authors to go beyond a summary of findings, and lend additional distinction to the book by applying the "binoculars" of their particular perspective and offering suggestions as to the implications of their findings. One of the goals of the conference that resulted in this book was consensus building in the area of media and family. From examining the findings and insights of a diverse group of scholars, it seems that consensus building in several areas is a distinct possibility. Addressing the concerns of educators about the influence of the mass media of communication -- entertainment programs in particular -- on children and the welfare of the nuclear family, this volume projects directions for superior programming, especially for educational television. The influence of sex and violence on children and adults is given much attention, and the development of moral judgment and sexual expectations, among other things, is explored. The critical analysis of media effects includes examination of positive contributions of the media, such as the search for missing children and exemplary educational programs.

Excerpt

The weather in Pittsburgh during November 9 to 11, 1990, was uncommonly gloomy. Fog, rain, wind, and cold chilled to the bone those who dared to venture outdoors. The atmosphere inside the Green Tree Marriott was considerably different, however, as a small group of scholars meeting therein generated enough heat and light to warm and illuminate several hotels.

The locus of the intellectual combustion process was an assemblage of scholars brought together by National Family Foundation President Barbara Hattemer to share findings and insights on the effects of media on children and family. The kindling that created an occasional hot flame was diversity. Not only did the participants reflect widely divergent political orientations and value systems, but they represented three distinct domains of inquiry into human motivation and behavior: social scientific, psychodynamic (or psychoanalytical), and clinical practice. Representatives from these three areas rarely speak to each other, much less listen. Yet Barbara Hattemer recognized that each of these three domains was privy to important evidence and insights that needed to transcend epistemological and methodological boundaries if understanding of the topic was to improve dramatically. For her awareness of and appreciation for diverse . . .

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