From the sleeping princess to the world-saving daughter of the chief: examining young children's perceptions of 'old' versus 'new' Disney princess characters

Hine, Ben ORCID: 0000-0001-9732-4631, Ivanovic, Katarina and England, Dawn (2018) From the sleeping princess to the world-saving daughter of the chief: examining young children's perceptions of 'old' versus 'new' Disney princess characters. Social Sciences, 7 (9). p. 161. ISSN 2076-0760

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Abstract

Both popular and academic discourse has noted progressive change in the gender role portrayals of much-loved Disney princess characters. However, at present, little is known about children's recognition of such changes, or of their interpretation of princesses' gendered behaviour. This study therefore asked 131 8-9-year-old UK children to attribute various feminine and masculine characteristics to 'princesses' both before and after watching a 'old' (Sleeping Beauty) versus 'new' (Moana) Disney princess movie. Post-movie they were also asked to attribute these characteristics to the princess characters (Aurora and Moana respectively) and were assessed on their labelling of thirteen popular female characters as 'princesses'. Results showed that whilst children recognized the largely feminine versus androgynous gendered profiles of Aurora versus Moana respectively, viewing a 'newer' Disney movie did not change their perception of 'princesses' more broadly. Moreover, a large proportion of children did not identify Moana as a princess at all. Results therefore simultaneously complicate and enhance current discussion regarding the influence of gender role models, particularly those within the Disney franchise, on the development of gender knowledge and identity in young children.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Media > Media history and theory
Psychology
Depositing User: Ben Hine
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2018 13:16
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 12:53
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/5383

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