Powerful and pervasive, or personal and positive? Views of young girls, parents and educators about media.
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There are concerns regarding the use and impact of media in relation to adolescent girls and young women, but there is relatively little research focusing on the experiences and perspectives of young girls. This paper reports on a key finding from a research study in a small Australian school. Interviews with educators (n=5), parents (n=7) and young girls aged 7-13 (n=14) were analysed using a feminist phenomenological approach to elicit the essence of the girls’ lived experiences with media. Common and contrasting perspectives were then identified. Adults felt that media were powerful and pervasive but also expressed some reservations about the proliferation of media. The girls showed strong personal emotional engagement with a variety of media. While further research is needed to examine children’s views, the findings point to some important recommendations for parents and educators.
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