A Cultivation Analysis on the Influence of Childrens Exposure to Television in their Definition of Beauty

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Gaw, K. (2014). A Cultivation Analysis on the Influence of Children’s Exposure to Television in their Definition of Beauty, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines, Diliman: College of Mass Communication.

Sussanah Stern found out that in the United States, girls as young as five to six years old, who are heavy television viewers (watch television more than 14 hours a week), have already thought of beauty in ways congruent to what the television promotes.

Given that certain images of beauty are being constantly highlighted by the local television, this study aims to situate Stern’s work in the Philipppine context to see if children’s amount of television viewing in the country also influence their definition of beauty and to further see if there is, as Stern described, “cultivation effect” among the selected respondents from Quezon City.

In doing so, the study utilized George Gerbner’s Cultivation Theory as a guide and F. Landa Jocano’s Filipino Value System as a lens in bringing the study closer to the Philippine context. Same methods and procedures were employed to be faithful in the replication of Stern’s study. The researcher conducted a focus interview with the guardians of the 30 kindergarten girls and a separate interview with each of the 30 children (ages five and six). Findings revealed that heavy viewers tend to share more common definitions of beauty which, apparently, reflect those that are recurringly being portrayed on television compared to the light viewers (watch television from zero to 14 hours a week) whose definitions of beauty are more varied and look at their respective mothers as the perfect example of a beautiful person.

Key words: cultivation, television, beauty, heavy viewer, light viewer

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