The mass media has always been an influential force in shaping social perspectives and culture. Disney corporation is particular has played a fundamental role in the development of socialization among young children particularly for little girls. For more than 70 years the multimedia giant has been a leading authority on the subject of influencing popular culture. The tremendous power that mass media is considered as a strong influential factor in child development, which will be the focal point of this discussion. It is apparent that mass media particularly Disney Company is among the strong influential factors in the development of socialization among children and young adults.
In so many ways, Disney has made a mark on every child in the world that grew up watching its movies and look up to its fictional characters as role models. However, Disney’s impression to children transcends not only in the child’s imagination, but also contributed to social development. Children develop socialization skills as soon as they are exposed to the world outside of their homes and external stimulus, which also includes the mass media. In the process of learning social values such as politeness, sympathy, and attitude towards other children, children picks up the puzzles of social learning from the images they are often exposed into. For instance, the Disney Channel features cartoon shows with princesses and other iconic characters. The child, as early as preschool were being made aware of the impossible things such as magic and how dreams come true without need for hard work. This perception of the things growing on the tree like magic insinuates a negative attitude towards children. This is because the child is being taught not to value the fruits of labor and wait for things to happen instead.
Meanwhile, movies such as Pocahontas and Mulan creates a notion of oppression to marginalized people in the society including sexism that puts female gender in a less capable role in the society. In the movie Pocahontas, stories of conquest and oppression of the Native American Indians were central to the plot of the story. It somehow constitutes an idea towards children that antagonizing marginalized people in the community is a norm (catholic.tas.edu.au). This may somehow manifest on how the child reacts or treat other children from another ethnic origin. On the other hand, princess-oriented movies depict female characters that are helpless and rely on masculine figures for rescuing. In addition, a surprising realization in from examining the relationship elements of Disney movies suggests that relationships happen in a day. For example, Prince Han and Princess Anna in recent film “Frozen” only met once and got engaged in less than 24 hours after they met each other. The idea here is that children are being taught of the wrong perception about relationships and that jumping into marriage is a decision as simple as deciding, which candy to eat (O’Connor). In the context of the development of socialization, it will appear to female young adults that it is all right to get into a relationship without ascertaining the roots of emotional attachment.
Disney and its created personas in the media insinuate wrong values of relationship, interaction and perception of oppression. In effect, children exposed to such media subjects are likely to develop a wrong idea of socialization that is likely to manifest on how children respond to social stimulus and create social interaction.
Catholic.tas.edu.au. "Children’s social development." Kids Matter (2008): n. pag. Web. 2 Feb. 2014. <http://www.catholic.tas.edu.au/Resources/documents/kidsmatter-1/social-development-overview.pdf>.
O'Connor, Lydia. "The Princess Effect: Are Girls Too 'Tangled' In Disney's Fantasy?" Neon Tommy | the voice of annenberg digital news. neontommy.com, 26 Jan. 2011. Web. 3 Feb. 2014. <http://www.neontommy.com/news/2011/01/princess-effect-are-girls-too-tangled-disneys-fantasy>.