Children and television: the looming media effect in Kenya
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The debate on children‟s behavior as competent television viewers and also cultural viewers today continues unabated in research. In the developed world, much of research has focused on the effects of television exposure on children‟s behavior and attitude formation. Other researches however, focused on effects on cognition. Yet the African child has been left out in such researches that continue to be conducted in developed world. Indeed, media research in Africa may not be meaningful without giving regard to „Africanity‟ among the children. This gives an open window through which one sees the peculiarities of the local culture in which African children grow as they get exposed to the media. While a number of Kenyan narratives celebrate the virtues of television including the discourses on coverage of the infamous terrorist attack in West Gate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, 21st September, 2013, it appears that the role of television in Kenyan society is catapulting into political discourses with attempts in enhancing approaches to quality governance. On the contrary, a country with a population of over 40 million people with nascent capitalist economy, there is need for enhancement of local communities and increased opportunities for education which will not lead to the hegemony of one social group and subordination of others. Of the 40 million people, 43% are children aged between five and sixteen. This paper concentrates its focus on the social milieu of the people living around the Lake Victoria region, majority of whom are mostly fishermen.
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