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The notion of violence in television fiction: Children's interpretation

by Sue Aran-Ramspott, Miquel Rodrigo-Alsina
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Abstract

In this paper we analyse child viewers' interpretation of television\nviolence shown in television programmes specifically aimed at children.\nThe justification for this work is based on the research that considers\nthat more theoretical and empirical studies need to be carried out on\nthe conceptualisation of violence, and about how much violence is\nlegitimised and through what mechanisms such legitimacy is constructed.\nIt is aimed at providing a notion of television violence as interpreted\nby child television viewers which takes these mechanisms into account.\nThe methodology used is based on an analysis of the content and the\ndialogue of in-depth interviews conducted with sixteen children under\nthe age of 12 years, after showing them two sequences of television\nprogrammes with types and various formalisation of fictional violence.\nThe results, as well as providing a conceptual map of the responses,\nalso show how children define and differentiate different types of\nviolence. We can also verify how their reception process is framed by\ntheir cultural history and specific reading and consumption experiences,\nin which contextual narrative aspects play a very important role in\nchildren's interpretation of violence. Thus, the results of this study\nindicate how children give an unrestricted significance to violence.

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