Cartoon Image of the Mother, its Perception by Elementary School Students and Correction in the Process of Media Education
This article presents a psychological study of the mother image projected in cartoons and its perception by elementary school students. The research provides evidence for the importance of an integral approach to the analysis of media texts addressed to children, as well as for the necessity of considering their narrative, verbal, and descriptive components. A psychological analysis was conducted on the material of three cartoons: “Chunya” (USSR), “The Barkers” (Russia), and “Peppa Pig” (UK). Hypotheses were formulated about the potential influence of the cartoons on the younger audience. 70 elementary school students (ꭓ̅ = 9.5 years old) took part in the study. The research was conducted using the method of semantic differential; the data obtained were processed using factor analysis. The results show that the categorization of images follows the factors of “education”, “love”, “patience”, and “respect”. Differences in the semantic assessment of the cartoons under study are presented. Children perceive the events taking place in a cartoon directly, without reflection. Artistic mediation—polysemy, metaphors, and the category of the comic—does not evoke an aesthetic reaction in children, as assumed by the authors. It was found that the semantic assessment of the word “mother” by elementary school students did not agree with the traditional cultural status of a mother. Thus, the respondents ranked such indicators as “understanding” and “prestige” at a low level. A developmental experiment was conducted to correct the mother image as perceived by elementary school students. During the experimental program (8 lessons in total), the schoolchildren watched and discussed the cartoons together with a psychologist. At the end of the experiment, the semantic assessment of the verbal stimulus “mom” by the respondents showed a statistically significantly increase (р≤0.05) in the indicators of “understanding” and “prestige”.