Article

Changes in cultural representations on Indonesian children's television from the 1980s to the 2000s

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Abstract

This study describes the changes over time in the portrayal of socio-cultural characteristics; namely gender, age, ethnicity, religious outlook, family unit, violence experienced, living conditions, and cultural values in Indonesian children's television programs. Using systematic-quantitative content analysis of popular locally produced Indonesian children's television programs in the 1980s and the 2000s, this study found that all socio-cultural characteristics changed over time, except for gender representation with male actors consistently outnumbering female actors. There were some predominant socio-cultural characteristics in the 1980s, the era of authoritarian broadcasting system in Indonesia: most of the major characters were children and preteens, from Western Indonesia, not showing religious symbols or practices, having more than one sibling, and the majority of the adult characters were married. In the 2000s, the era of liberal broadcasting system, major characters were children and teens, showing certain religious symbols, having no or only one sibling, and the majority of the adult characters were single. Indonesian children's television brought certain cultural values to the fore for their young audiences to identify themselves with: self-direction and benevolence.

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... Cultivation theory links socialization processes with media exposure as "television offers a continual flow of stories … that serve to define the world and legitimize a particular social order" (Morgan et al., 2014, p. 480). Through its vivid and entertaining narratives, which reflect underlying cultural values, television shapes viewers' views of social reality, behaviors, and the norms associated with them (Hendriyani et al., 2016). The patterns of representations of socializing agents that are prevalent and repeated within television content create an enabling context for developing lasting cognitive schemas (Ditsworth, 2001). ...
... Consistent with cultivation theory (Morgan et al., 2014), as television viewing can lead to perception development which can serve as the basis for future expectations, the absence of meaningful adult characters from the content may be associated with an underestimation of their real-world importance. As Hendriyani et al. (2016) wrote, "invisibility in the media indicates the absence of social power" (p. 374). ...
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