Toronto Metropolitan University
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McKoy, Taeja.pdf (3.56 MB)

“I’m Unique!” Children’s Perceptions of Diversity and Representation in the Media

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posted on 2024-02-12, 22:39 authored by Taeja McKoy

Recent research shows that television and film media have steadily become more diverse, with more BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) characters present on-screen than ever before (Higginbotham, Zheng, & Uhls, 2020; Johnson, Ruggiero, Wilson, & Buchanan, 2021; Lemish & Johnson, 2019). In this study, eight children ages 5 to 8 from various racial backgrounds participated in interviews and the co-construction of collages to explore and share their perceptions of diversity in some of the media that they consume. Children were presented with ten racially diverse, popular TV and film characters, and were asked to create collages that reflect their likes and dislikes. Participants expressed an appreciation for diverse characters but surprisingly showed little racial preference. The children valued diversity, but as reflected in a character’s personality, design, and combat ability. Diversity mattered to them, but not in some of the ways that I had anticipated. It also revealed that the new sociology of childhood benefits from an intersectional approach and insights from critical race theory.

History

Language

English

Degree

  • Master of Arts

Program

  • Early Childhood Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP

Thesis Advisor

Dr. Patrizia Albanese

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    Early Childhood Studies (Theses)

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