Discussion: Identity Formation and the Media

Through your readings, you are now quite familiar with the idea of young children as meaning makers, communicators, and developing persons who benefit from loving respect, care, and support. It is through interactions with others that young children develop a sense of who they are. Some of the readings, this week, presented the various facets of identity formation, such as self-concept, cultural identity, gender identity, and ethnic identity.
In preparation for the discussion this week, reflect on the following:

What is your response to the theory that identity formation occurs within dynamic systems of relationships and societal norms?
In what ways have you noticed that children look to adults, peers, images on TV, and other media for clues about acceptable behavior and behavioral norms?
Have you ever heard or read something that you considered to be racist, sexist, segregationist, or tolerant of abusive behavior?
Have you ever felt awkward because you were told that your behavior or your views did not conform to the norm?

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Then:

Listen to the radio; watch children’s programming including advertising; look at children’s books; or watch popular children’s movies.
As you read, watch, and listen, put yourself in the place of a child between the ages of 2 and 6, and consider the messages you are receiving and all ways in which these messages might influence your sense of self.

By Day 3
Post:

Five specific messages that, in your opinion, might influence a young child’s identity formation process
The type of media that produced these messages
A brief summary of specific ways these messages might influence the identity formation process
Any new insights, noteworthy ideas or personal conclusions related to this assignment

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