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Title:The business of children's television
Author(s):Pecora, Norma Odom
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Wartella, Ellen
Department / Program:Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Mass Communications
Abstract:This dissertation examines the distribution of resources and the integration of the social, political and economic forces that came together to encourage the increasingly close relationship between the toy and television industries. Applying the tenets of political economy, it will demonstrate that the conditions that led to children's programming were based on economic expedience rather than intellectual challenge.
The social factors that were important to creating an environment include the evolution of the concepts of child-consumer and child-audience. The concept of the child-audience parallels the child-consumer because, in a commercial broadcast system an audience of consumers is essential.
Because television is a regulated industry, until recently it was constrained by attempts to serve the "public interest convenience and necessity." Thirteen years of testimony in the best interest of the child were negated by changes in the broadcast industry. Growing encouragement of market place rule opened up possibilities that had previously been constrained by threats of government intervention.
The economic boon for the industry created by the growing sophistication of a child-audience and increasing regulatory freedom came together in a more competitive television market place. From 1975 to 1985 the number of broadcast stations quadrupled creating unprecedented demand for programs and advertisers.
These shifts in industry structure will be examined, first, through an analysis of programming on broadcast stations and, second, using representative programs of the genre--the "Smurfs," "HeMan and the Masters of the Universe," and "Thundercats."
It will be demonstrated that children's entertainment has come to be defined, not by intellectual curiosity or creativity, but by commercial expedience; not in the best interest of the child but rather by the business of children's television.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Pecora, Norma Odom
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI8916295
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI8916295

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