Toronto Metropolitan University
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Discursive Constructions of Death and Dying in Childhood Films

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posted on 2024-02-12, 22:39 authored by Rose Bonello

Death and dying is often an uncomfortable and controversial topic within Western society. The ambiguity and often silent nature surrounding death and dying led to the question of how death is depicted in childhood Disney-Pixar films. This paper begins with a review of the relevant literature surrounding death and dying in childhood. Then, through the theories of the new sociology of childhood, neoliberalism and developmental theory, an interdisciplinary approach was used to explore death and dying in 33 Disney-Pixar films. Using critical discourse analysis, the audio, visuals, and close-captions of each film were analyzed for discourses of death and dying. The findings explain how Disney-Pixar films discursively construct death, and how these messages may be interpreted by children, and in particular, sick children. The discussion and findings presented in this paper can support Child Life Specialists (CLS) in their practice when caring for children experiencing end of life.

History

Language

English

Degree

  • Master of Arts

Program

  • Early Childhood Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP

Thesis Advisor

Dr. Esther Ignani

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    Early Childhood Studies (Theses)

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