Title page for ETD etd-05282004-130909

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Smith, Siobhan Elizabeth
Author's Email Address ssmit91@lsu.edu
URN etd-05282004-130909
Title The Portrayals of Minority Characters in Entertaining Animated Children's Programs
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Renita Coleman Committee Chair
David Kurpius Committee Member
Lori Boyer Committee Member
  • cartoons
  • stereotypes
  • African Americans
  • entertainment
Date of Defense 2004-05-20
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this study is to note, categorize, and discuss the stereotypes of African Americans in animated children’s cartoons. The purpose is also to compare them to see how they changed.

A content analysis of two cartoons finds that characters do act in stereotypical ways. A quantitative analysis of 76 cartoons supports these findings. Overall, The Proud Family, a cartoon of the 21st century, is more stereotypical than Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, a cartoon from 30 years ago. Though primary characters display the same amount of stereotypical behavior, secondary characters show an increase in the amount of stereotypical behavior.

This study extends the amount of research in the entertainment media field by focusing upon animated children’s cartoons. This approach will add to our understanding of stereotypes and the manner in which they are presented to audiences.

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