Beginning from a poststructuralist position, Constructing the Child Viewer examines three decades of U.S. research on television and children. The book concludes that historical concepts of the child television viewer are products of discourse and cannot be taken to reflect objective, scientific truths about the child viewer. Widely disseminated constructs of the passive viewer, the active viewer, the interactive viewer, and the media literate viewer are seen as problematic. Nearly all academic studies published from 1948 to 1979 on the subject are included in this volume. Each receives close textual analysis, making this a useful bibliographic resource and reference book. Methodologically and theoretically, this is the first text of its kind to read the history of research on television and children as an archaeology of knowledge.
Constructing the Child Viewer is an extensive bibliographical resource, a preliminary introduction to Foucault's discourse theory, and an experimental application of that theory to one major strand of the discourse of mass communications research. Students of educational psychology, sociology, and communications/media will find this work invaluable.
About the Author:
CARMEN LUKE is a teacher at James Cook University, Queensland, Australia where she lectures on educational sociology and mass communications. She co-edited, with Mike Manley-Casimir, Children and Television: A Challenge to Education (Praeger, 1987) and is the author of Pedagogy, Printing and Protestantism: The Discourse on Childhood (1989).