Cinema Children & Media
print the article

Related articles
  1. Andrzej Wajda: a spiritual resistant in the communist world
  2. “Movie Moments of Grace” Explained at Catholic Media Conference
  3. The 100 greatest films of the 21st Century
  4. Maren Ade’s "Toni Erdmann" Wins FIPRESCI Grand Prix 2016
  5. Indian nun writes script for Malayalam cinema
  6. St Peter’s and the Papal Basilicas of Rome 3D: An amazing film production
  7. 80th anniversary of Vigilanti Cura and OCIC
  8. "Ignacio de Loyola" advanced screening in the Vatican
  9. Catholics and cinema in Italy: An international perspective
  10. Documentary Filmmaking Practices in Africa : an International Conference
  11. Mombasa Archbishop applauds the role of film-makers in educating society.
  12. The 12th Asian Women’s Film Festival
  13. New production company to tackle Hollywood gender gap
  14. Spotlight is not an anti-catholic film
  15. The Oscars 2016: addressing important issues
  16. New documentary on life of Sr Dorothy Stang
  17. Marathi Jesus of Nazareth Online
  18. Leela Santhosh, a tribal woman film director
  19. Frames of poverty and social class inequality in children’s movies
  20. In 2015 more spectators in Europe’s cinemas
  21. Call for papers for the conference "Catholics and cinema in Italy between the 40s and the 70s "
  22. ‘Pope won’t ‘play himself’ in upcoming film
  23. Ave Maria - Palestinian short film nominated for Oscar
  24. SIGNIS Sri Lanka film appreciation seminar
  25. Documentary film: ’All You Need Is Love’
  26. Video takes Laudato Si’ to the people
  27. Film on displaced tribal people named ’Best Film’
  28. SIGNIS statement - Spotlight
  29. SIGNIS Statement on The Letters
  30. The LAFF launches a new african film student competition
  31. Rome’s homeless form audience for Vatican premiere of film about Pope Francis
  32. Indian film and its role in promoting a culture of peace
  33. American Bishop on Spotlight: praise for the media
  34. Latest James Bond film confronted with the Indian censor
  35. Interview with David Oelhoffen, director of Far From Men
  36. “Joy and hope, grief and anxiety”: a short film project of the German Bishops’ Conference.
  37. World Toilet Day: the importance of promoting sanitation via films
  38. “Fr. Gaetano Nicosia. The Angel of the Lepers”. A documentary movie
  39. ’India’s Daughter’ brings gender inequality, violence against women into sharp focus
  40. 24 writers and filmmakers return national awards
  41. Young CAFOD supporters show their climate change films to MPs
  42. Georges Khabbaz’ new film ‘Waynon’ to represent Lebanon at the Oscars
  43. Stations of the Cross chosen for the Italian Critics’ Award
  44. Are horror films C(c)atholic?
  45. Muhammad: The Messenger of God on Iranian cinema screens
  46. Insight Student Filmmaker Award 2015
  47. The south-Korean cinema - Office by Hong Won-Chan
  48. Participate in the Showing Film Award’s V Edition
  49. "Healing" Named ‘Australian Film of the Year’ by the Catholic Film Office
  50. "The Vatican Museums 3D": Experience the Greatest Art Collection in History
  51. "The Railway Man" Named ‘Film of the Year’ by the Australian Catholic Film Office
  52. The Iñigo Film Festival Awards Short Films at WYD Rio 2013
  53. SIGNIS Co-Sponsor of International Conference on Jesus Films in Poland
  54. SIGNIS Workshop Trains a New Generation of Jurors in Lyon
  55. Ken Loach Receives the Robert Bresson Award 2012
  56. SIGNIS Workshop for a New Generation of Jurors in Lyon
  57. Cinema, Religion and Politics in the Air
  58. New Egyptian Cinema: the Presence of Religion
  59. Exchanging One Habit for Another: "A Nun’s New Habit" Screened at Cahayasuara
  60. Angelus Winner Nominated For Academy Award
  61. A New Generation of Filipino Filmmakers: Mark Meily Awarded at the Brussels Independent Film Festival
  62. Faith Shorts
  63. "Samson & Delilah" Named Australian Film of the Year by the Catholic Film Office for 2009
  64. Priests Honoured at 56th Indian National Film Awards
  65. SIGNIS Award Winning Film Chosen as Best Film in Asian Pacific Film Festival 2009
  66. "Yarwng", a Salesian Priest’s Award Winning Film
  67. The Face of the Other (Den Andres Ansikt) in Oslo
  68. Angelus Announces 2009 Festival Winners
  69. Religion and Film in Armenia (1911-2009): From the Arrival of Cinema to the Establishment of the Ecumenical Jury
  70. Images of the Afterlife in Theology and Film
  71. "Slumdog Millionnaire" - A Brief Note
  72. H2Onews: Vatican Applause for “Slumdog Millionaire” Oscar
  73. "The Black Balloon" Named Australian Film of the Year by the Catholic Film Office for 2008
  74. Film Workshop "Cinema: Going Beyond the Barriers" in Prague
  75. First SIGNIS East Asia Film Seminar 2008: "Depiction of Core Family Values in East Asian Movies"
  76. Classic Film about the Life and Work of St Vincent de Paul Re-released
  77. Meeting Daniel Burman
  78. The Bresson Prize for Daniel Burman
  79. The Life of St.Thomas on Celluloid soon in India
  80. Egoyan’s "Adoration" Wins Ecumenical Prize in Cannes 2008
  81. SIGNIS Film Seminar to Give a “Face for the Faceless”
  82. Australian Catholic Film Office Names "The Jammed" Best Film of 2007
  83. Ken Loach to Speak at Homeless Movie Club in London
  84. ’Evening of Angelus’ returns to Sundance Film Festival
  85. Church and Film: 90 Years of History in Brazil
  86. Peacemaking in the World of Film
  87. "Ten Canoes" Named Australian Film of the Year by the Catholic Film Office for 2006
  88. Interreligious Screening of "Bamako" in the UK
  89. Alter-Ciné Foundation Documentary Film Grants 2007
  90. U.S. Bishops Choose Top 10 Films for 2006
  91. "Grbavica" Wins John Templeton Award 2006
  92. Vatican to Host World Premiere of "The Nativity Story"
  93. SIGNIS-Romania’s “Facing Children”: a Film Festival for Child Rights
  94. Angelus Student Film Festival selects 26 finalists
  95. Indian Catholic church makes Bollywood film on AIDS
  96. ’Evening of Angelus’ draws 400 people in Sundance
  97. Look Both Ways named Australian Film of the Year by Australian Catholic Film Office
  98. US Bishops’ Film Office Chooses Top 10 Films of 2005
  99. ’L’enfant’ Wins 2005 Templeton European Film of the Year Award

Frames of poverty and social class inequality in children’s movies

Brussels, February 22nd, 2016 (Refinery29/SIGNIS). Could we have been taking in misleading messages every time we watched Beauty and the Beast? A new study found that kids’ movies not only teach them lessons about class structure and social inequality, but the messages that the movies are sending are often totally inaccurate.

The study, published in the Journal of Poverty on February 16, contends that kids’ movies aren’t just entertainment. Researchers from Duke University examined 32 of the most popular G-rated films released before 2014 — movies like Mulan, The Sound of Music, Cars, and Beauty and the Beast, according to New York Magazine’s breakdown of the study.

The researchers found that the way the movies addressed social issues suggested that “children’s media legitimates poverty and social class inequality in a new way — by presenting them as benign.” Social issues were left mostly unaddressed by movies that presented them as unimportant. Moreover, the movies presented the possibility of moving up the social ladder — such as a street rat turning into the prince in Aladdin — as easy.

Aladdin is a strong example addressing both issues. Besides the ease with which the poor boy meets the princess and eventually marries her, the study found that the movie played wealth and poverty as two sides of the same coin. Both Aladdin and Princess Jasmine are unhappy and feel trapped in their lives, one by a lack of money and social respect and the other by too much of both. In real life, the difficulties presented by either extreme wealth or poverty are not just a philosophical issue. As the study notes, the hardships of the lower and working classes “are generally downplayed or erased.”

When the movies did address social class, kids get their own take on what it’s like to be on the lower end of the social spectrum. “Media targeted at adults tends to portray poverty and social-class inequality as the result of individual merit and moral worth,” researchers wrote. But when aimed at kids, the lower-class person is usually portrayed as having something to teach their social betters. In both Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, a cheerful Julie Andrews teaches her employers lessons about love and living life to the fullest, allowing her to be their emotional superior just as they’re her social superiors.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, messages in the media that children consume can have a powerful effect in shaping their understanding of the world. While children might not be taking in messages consciously, movies shape the way that a child learns to think. The organization suggests that children be taught media literacy in order to "successfully understand and decode a variety of different media." So for those of us who are old enough to see through the messages, maybe it’s our responsibility to help present a more realistic take; that is something both a fairy tale and small children can always use.


print the article