The media representations are becoming more and more relevant to the sociology of consumption (Warde 2017) and they acquire even more relevance when referred to children products (Marsh 2014; Coyne et al. 2016), because they represent a source of entertainment, learning (Forge, Phemister 1987, Prosic-Santovac 2017; Cimmino 2020) and media construction of reality (Couldry, Hepp 2018). Premises given, this paper represent an evolution of an already developed pilot research (Ciofalo, Leonzi, Quercia, submitted for publication) which observed the female representation in five preschool cartoons (Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, Masha and the Bear, Paw Patrol, Bing) through qualitative analysis. Based on the obtained results, the first idea of toon gaze, linked to the male gaze concept (Mulvey 1975), is here extended beyond the gender discourse. Preschool cartoons seem to offer a hyper-simplified reality, meant to be easily understood, with the result of proposing stereotyped representations (Streicher 1974; Thompson, Zerbinos 1995; Walsh, Leaper 2020). Consequence is the presence of not a recurrent frame, but of an actual (toon) gaze undergoing social and cultural influences. Therefore, this paper proposes both a quantitative and qualitative analysis of all protagonists of the first season of three shows available on Netflix Italia, such as 44 Gatti (2018-ongoing), Super Wings (2013-ongoing), PJ Masks (2015-ongoing). The cartoons are chosen by the presence of an ensemble of protagonists, popularity, and different nature of characters, specifically animals, humans, and machines. The aim is to define the main characteristics of a toon gaze through which cartoon characters get represented, with the risk of endorsing traditional models and nurturing some ideologies, contrasting the narrative and technological evolution of cartoon production.

A (Toon) Gaze Beyond Gender? How Preschool Cartoons Could Introduce Stereotyped Characters to the Youngest Audience

Giovanni Ciofalo;Grazia Quercia;Silvia Leonzi
2021

Abstract

The media representations are becoming more and more relevant to the sociology of consumption (Warde 2017) and they acquire even more relevance when referred to children products (Marsh 2014; Coyne et al. 2016), because they represent a source of entertainment, learning (Forge, Phemister 1987, Prosic-Santovac 2017; Cimmino 2020) and media construction of reality (Couldry, Hepp 2018). Premises given, this paper represent an evolution of an already developed pilot research (Ciofalo, Leonzi, Quercia, submitted for publication) which observed the female representation in five preschool cartoons (Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, Masha and the Bear, Paw Patrol, Bing) through qualitative analysis. Based on the obtained results, the first idea of toon gaze, linked to the male gaze concept (Mulvey 1975), is here extended beyond the gender discourse. Preschool cartoons seem to offer a hyper-simplified reality, meant to be easily understood, with the result of proposing stereotyped representations (Streicher 1974; Thompson, Zerbinos 1995; Walsh, Leaper 2020). Consequence is the presence of not a recurrent frame, but of an actual (toon) gaze undergoing social and cultural influences. Therefore, this paper proposes both a quantitative and qualitative analysis of all protagonists of the first season of three shows available on Netflix Italia, such as 44 Gatti (2018-ongoing), Super Wings (2013-ongoing), PJ Masks (2015-ongoing). The cartoons are chosen by the presence of an ensemble of protagonists, popularity, and different nature of characters, specifically animals, humans, and machines. The aim is to define the main characteristics of a toon gaze through which cartoon characters get represented, with the risk of endorsing traditional models and nurturing some ideologies, contrasting the narrative and technological evolution of cartoon production.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1658204
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