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Black and white, male and female: Racial and Gender Differences in Adolescents' TV Diets
Unformatted Document Text:  Black and White 15 shows watched regularly by Whites were common for the males and females. The television worlds across gender and race groups are the least similar. White females and Black males had only five shows in common. Besides the four they shared with all teens, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch was regularly watched by more than one-third of all but the White males. White males and Black females had three other shows in common: Rocket Power, South Park, and Celebrity Deathmatch, for a total of seven. Table 7 About Here Discussion and Conclusions The novel measure used in this study to assess specific shows viewed regularly is important because it provides a way to get at viewership of television programs that will not show up in most commercial audience measurements since the viewing audiences are so small. The disadvantage of the measure is that shows come and go relatively quickly, so it is difficult to keep an up-to date-list. Still, the specific shows assessed in this study reveal in a startling way that for the most part, teens inhabit a television media world that is unfamiliar to the adult world, and Blacks live in a separate television world than Whites. More research should be conducted to better understand the role of television and other media in Black and White adolescents’ lives. We need to know much more about how adolescent audiences are interpreting and applying what they see in these television portrayals to their own lives (Coleman, 2002). If, indeed, they are coming to television with an interest in learning more about how others their age, gender and race are coping with similar issues, we should know more about what they are taking away. A small body of adolescent audience interpretation studies suggests that all adolescents will not interpret or incorporate gender portrayals in the same way

Authors: Brown, Jane. and Pardun, Carol J.
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Black and White
15
shows watched regularly by Whites were common for the males and females. The television
worlds across gender and race groups are the least similar. White females and Black males had
only five shows in common. Besides the four they shared with all teens, Sabrina, The Teenage
Witch was regularly watched by more than one-third of all but the White males. White males and
Black females had three other shows in common: Rocket Power, South Park, and Celebrity
Deathmatch, for a total of seven.
Table 7 About Here
Discussion and Conclusions
The novel measure used in this study to assess specific shows viewed regularly is
important because it provides a way to get at viewership of television programs that will not show
up in most commercial audience measurements since the viewing audiences are so small. The
disadvantage of the measure is that shows come and go relatively quickly, so it is difficult to keep
an up-to date-list. Still, the specific shows assessed in this study reveal in a startling way that for
the most part, teens inhabit a television media world that is unfamiliar to the adult world, and
Blacks live in a separate television world than Whites.
More research should be conducted to better understand the role of television and other
media in Black and White adolescents’ lives. We need to know much more about how adolescent
audiences are interpreting and applying what they see in these television portrayals to their own
lives (Coleman, 2002). If, indeed, they are coming to television with an interest in learning more
about how others their age, gender and race are coping with similar issues, we should know more
about what they are taking away. A small body of adolescent audience interpretation studies
suggests that all adolescents will not interpret or incorporate gender portrayals in the same way


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