During a number of workshops, children and young people were given the opportunity to make their own animated films. The messages these films contain have now been interpreted as part of the project, which is supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF. Initial results indicate that the young generation is in two minds about technological progress and is extremely worried about our impact on the environment. The study also showed that gender stereotypes are far from being overcome.
If a picture speaks a thousand words then films surely speak volumes. Yet it is not always easy to get to grips with the real message behind a movie. The project "2D Movies as the Media of World Views of Children" explored the world through the eyes of children aged 8 to 14 years. Animated films created by the children were analysed and the children were asked about how they use technology, their expectations for the future and gender roles.
Results showed that the children have mixed feelings about the future. Whereas technical progress is regarded as both the root cause of, and solution to problems, fear and worry were the dominant feelings where man’s impact on the environment and the labour market were concerned.
The information contained in the children's films was not always immediately identifiable but had to be "decoded", as principal investigator Dr. Alexander Pollak explains: "Technological progress, for example, is often depicted in these films in the form of spaceships and linked to the USA. This illustrates the key significance of film consumption for how children view the world. The role of the children themselves is also unclear at first glance. They rarely appear in the films as themselves, but are often represented by animals hemmed in by the world of adult humans. Due to a lack of social standing and power, the animals have to work together, relying on courage and ingenuity to help one another out of awkward situations. In contrast, the children were explicitly critical of damage caused to the environment, which was a central theme in several films."
The roles the children assign to their own and the opposite gender are equally complex. Men are depicted either as depressed and lonely losers, or as successful go-getters. It was in films made by girls that men are most often portrayed as losers – a role that is never applied to women. According to Dr. Pollak, "What is particularly noteworthy is the scale of clichéd gender stereotyping prevalent in these children's perceptions of the world around them. The children clearly differentiate between making a man’s film and a woman’s film and the same applies to the characters that appear in the films."
NO MORALS TO THE STORIES
During the project, a total of over 50 workshops were observed and 200 animated films subjected to detailed analysis. Workshop participants included primarily young grammar school pupils, but pupils from mainstream secondary schools were also involved, all of whom worked in small groups to create their films. A specially equipped film lab and a specially developed computer animation program were made available to them.
Once the children had completed the much-enjoyed job of producing their films, project workers began the difficult task of analyzing them. This work incorporated numerous different disciplines, ranging from semiotics and sociology to film studies.
Looking at the films on the basis of narrative theory, it is particularly interesting that many of the films did not conclude by communicating a moral. As a result, the children tasked viewers with unlocking the meaning of the films for themselves – a task that was taken on enthusiastically by Vienna’s Children’s Museum during the FWF project. Indeed, the project succeeded in demonstrating that animated films represent a medium that enables children to broach complex issues. The task now is to ensure that children’s views on the world they live in and their messages are taken as seriously as they ought to be.
Till C. Jelitto | alfa
New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT
On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy