The Notion of Violence in Television Fiction: Children’s Interpretation
Keywords:Representation, interpretation, children, fiction, television, violence, content analysis, interviews
In this paper we analyse child viewers’ interpretation of television violence shown in television programmes specifically aimed at children. The justification for this work is based on the research that considers that more theoretical and empirical studies need to be carried out on the conceptualisation of violence, and about how much violence is legitimised and through what mechanisms such legitimacy is constructed. It is aimed at providing a notion of television violence as interpreted by child television viewers which takes these mechanisms into account. The methodology used is based on an analysis of the content and the dialogue of in-depth interviews conducted with sixteen children under the age of 12 years, after showing them two sequences of television programmes with types and various formalisation of fictional violence. The results, as well as providing a conceptual map of the responses, also show how children define and differentiate different types of violence. We can also verify how their reception process is framed by their cultural history and specific reading and consumption experiences, in which contextual narrative aspects play a very important role in children’s interpretation of violence. Thus, the results of this study indicate how children give an unrestricted significance to violence..