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Issues in Educational Research, 2019, Vol 29(1), 38-54.
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Powerful and pervasive, or personal and positive? Views of young girls, parents and educators about media

Madeleine Dobson and Susan Beltman
Curtin University, Australia

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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Authors: Dr Madeleine Dobson is a Lecturer and the Course Coordinator of Early Childhood in Curtin University's School of Education. Her research interests include media, digital technologies, social justice, children's lives experiences and rights, and early childhood education and care.
Email: madeleine.dobson@curtin.edu.au

Associate Professor Susan Beltman, currently Deputy Head in the Curtin University School of Education, has been chief investigator, co-researcher and evaluator on several national and international research projects in resilience and mentoring. She is President and a Fellow of the Western Australian Institute for Educational Research.
Email: s.beltman@curtin.edu.au

Please cite as: Dobson, M. & Beltman, S. (2019). Powerful and pervasive, or personal and positive? Views of young girls, parents and educators about media. Issues in Educational Research, 29(1), 38-54. http://www.iier.org.au/iier29/dobson.pdf

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Created 19 Jan 2019. Last correction: 19 Jan 2019.
Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]