Beyond patronizing? The area of tension between educationalization and commercialization in the lifeworld of children.

Nele Van Den Cruyce, Nico Carpentier (Editor), Pille Pruulmann-vengerfeldt (Editor), Richard Kilborn (Editor), Tobias Olsson (Editor), Hannu Nieminen (Editor), Ebba Sundin (Editor), Kaarle Nordenstreng (Editor)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)


Last century, the concept of childhood has
changed in the midst of a tension field between pedagogical and commercial
sources. With this evolution, the perception of the average healthy child and
the notion of what is considered to be a healthy childhood have altered too.
This PhD research will firstly try to capture the historical alteration in the societal
discourse about healthy children and illustrate this shift by means of a visual
content analysis. Commercial and governmental advertisements containing
information about children or childhood are used as data. This because they are
marketing what the average healthy child should look like or what is needed for
a child to approximate the societal idea about childhood at a given moment in
time. Stereotypically, the topics children and childhood are coloured by a
female bias. Being the first women's magazine published in the Flemish part of Belgium, the
magazine Libelle will be used as the main data source. The historical
part of this PhD research will help to shed light on the different sources that
have been occupied with defining the average healthy child and demonstrate
that health is a social construct.
In the second part of this PhD
research, the present situation of children and childhood will be examined.
Following the paradigm of the sociology of childhood, children are hereby seen
as capable actors and they will be actively involved in this part of the research.
The main research goal is to frame children's thinking as part of a larger
socio-economic and cultural context. Next to questioning parents and
schoolteachers about their views on the average healthy child, children themselves
will be questioned about health, a healthy childhood and their main information
sources concerning these topics. The children will also be confronted with historical health messages
and images. In order to do this adequately, a child appropriate research method
will have to be developed. Considering the pitfalls of doing research with
children, it is recommendable to use a mixed method approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunicative approaches to politics and ethics in Europe
PublisherTartu University Press
ISBN (Electronic)978–9949–19–250–2
ISBN (Print)978–9949–19–249–6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2009
EventECREA European Media and Communication Doctoral Summer School - Tartu Estonia
Duration: 2 Aug 200915 Aug 2009

Publication series

NameResearching and Teaching Communication Book Series


OtherECREA European Media and Communication Doctoral Summer School
OtherThe ECREA European Media and Communication Doctoral Summer School 2009 brings together members of the European research community to this summer school in order to debate contemporary issues in media, communication and cultural studies. The main emphasis of this summer school is on providing structural and individuated PhD-support for young European scholars, through a variety of working forms, including feedback seminars, workshops, and lectures. The summer school aims to provide a supportive international setting where doctoral students can present their ongoing work, receive feedback on their PhD-projects from international experts and meet students and academics from other countries, establishing valuable contacts for the future. The summer school also generates a clear picture of the international landscape of communication and media research, and its diversity of academic cultures, allowing PhD-students to situate themselves within this academic field
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Nico Carpentier, Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, Richard Kilborn, Tobias Olsson,Hannu Nieminen, Ebba Sundin, Kaarle Nordenstreng


  • Media and society
  • children
  • tension field

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