A window on children's lives? The process and problematics of representing children in audio visual case study

Kehily, Mary Jane and Maybin, Janet (2011). A window on children's lives? The process and problematics of representing children in audio visual case study. Journal of Children and Media, 5(3) pp. 267–283.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17482798.2011.584376

Abstract

This paper is concerned with the challenge of representing children in audio-visual material commissioned by the Open University to support an interdisciplinary undergraduate course on childhood. The paper explores the process of filming and representing children’s lives audio-visually and the ways in which these processes contribute to an understanding of childhood as an unstable conceptual category. Our exploration of these themes rests upon a critical analysis of the production process that includes reflections on our own role as academics, interviews with the directors responsible for the filming and textual analysis of the audio visual material itself. Our focus throughout is upon the pedagogic project of producing audio-visual material for distance learners. We discuss the ways in which processes of representation may enhance our understanding of childhood as a defining trope that is both constructed and lived. Our analysis suggests that processes of representation highlight the fragility of childhood as a conceptual category in which boundaries between adulthood and childhood remain fluid, geographically diverse and contextually contingent.

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