Thesis

Identifying the representative forms of fathers as visual ideographs in Caldecott Award picture book winners from 1938-2013

The cultural expectations surrounding the father have evolved in the last century to include a more involved and active father. In that case, the researcher is interested in seeing if this shift has been shown in popular children’s media. Young children receive a majority of their acculturation from their immediate environment. Appropriate social cues, and interactions are modeled by caregivers, media and through other familial exchanges. Picture books are one such media which children can receive cultural expectations. Picture books that are widely accessible have a better chance of being seen by children. The winners of the children literary award, Caldecott, is one such readily available type of picture book and is an ideal medium by which to examine if an evolutionary change of the father-child relationship has occurred within the context of picture books and if a shift has occurred, what is it?
 Sources of Data
 The ideograph was chosen as a way to view the possible illustrative shift of the father role over a 75-year period. Ideographs are culturally and historically grounded phrases that evoke a strong reaction to key social terms. An ideograph can be an abstract term or visual depiction, and has the ability to be understood in a universal context. Ideographs, in this study are representatives of the US American cultural expectations of fathering that have been depicted to children over the last 75-years in Caldecott award winning picture books. The prevalent ideographs represent these cultural expectations over time. This study will examine 40 books awarded the Caldecott honor, in order to identify the ideographic representation of fathers, that exists within children’s literature. 
 Conclusion Reached
 It was found that fathers were depicted often in their traditional role, still they were shown with the same frequency as being affection givers. Fathers were shown in the traditional role most often in the 1940-1960’s. This declined starting in the 1970’s. By the 1980’s it all but disappears, and in the 1990-2013 is not present at all. During these decades fathers are either not present at all or taking on a non-traditional role and are shown as affection givers and teachers predominately. All ideographs found in the sample to represent fathers included: <Traditional>, <Affectionate>, <Apathetic>, <Absent>, <Equal>, <Bystander> and <Friend>. An additional category of illustrative representative forms of fathers was the other father figure (OFF), and is most often shown providing affection and teaching children.

Thesis (M.A., Communication Studies)--California State University, Sacramento, 2016.

The cultural expectations surrounding the father have evolved in the last century to include a more involved and active father. In that case, the researcher is interested in seeing if this shift has been shown in popular children’s media. Young children receive a majority of their acculturation from their immediate environment. Appropriate social cues, and interactions are modeled by caregivers, media and through other familial exchanges. Picture books are one such media which children can receive cultural expectations. Picture books that are widely accessible have a better chance of being seen by children. The winners of the children literary award, Caldecott, is one such readily available type of picture book and is an ideal medium by which to examine if an evolutionary change of the father-child relationship has occurred within the context of picture books and if a shift has occurred, what is it? Sources of Data The ideograph was chosen as a way to view the possible illustrative shift of the father role over a 75-year period. Ideographs are culturally and historically grounded phrases that evoke a strong reaction to key social terms. An ideograph can be an abstract term or visual depiction, and has the ability to be understood in a universal context. Ideographs, in this study are representatives of the US American cultural expectations of fathering that have been depicted to children over the last 75-years in Caldecott award winning picture books. The prevalent ideographs represent these cultural expectations over time. This study will examine 40 books awarded the Caldecott honor, in order to identify the ideographic representation of fathers, that exists within children’s literature. Conclusion Reached It was found that fathers were depicted often in their traditional role, still they were shown with the same frequency as being affection givers. Fathers were shown in the traditional role most often in the 1940-1960’s. This declined starting in the 1970’s. By the 1980’s it all but disappears, and in the 1990-2013 is not present at all. During these decades fathers are either not present at all or taking on a non-traditional role and are shown as affection givers and teachers predominately. All ideographs found in the sample to represent fathers included: <Traditional>, <Affectionate>, <Apathetic>, <Absent>, <Equal>, <Bystander> and <Friend>. An additional category of illustrative representative forms of fathers was the other father figure (OFF), and is most often shown providing affection and teaching children.

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