The media clip reviewed in this paper is titled “Make Your Influence Positive.” It was created as part of the Child-Friendly campaign conducted by the Australian NGO in 2008 (Kiniri). The clip was also featured by various media outlets around the world, including New Zealand, the UK, Canada, and the US. It shows various incidents of violence, crime, bigotry, bad habits, and carelessness as performed by adults, which are simultaneously repeated by their children (Kiniri). The message invoked by the clip is that children follow the example of their parents and other people around them. In order to help them grow into good people and not allow these acts to continue, adults need to serve as positive examples.
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The first sociological concept through which the message of the media can be explained and interpreted is the agents of socialization theory. According to it, family plays an important part in determining how a child grows up (Handel et al. 37). The first experiences in treating people, utilizing objects, and general attitudes towards themselves and others are provided by parents (Handel et al. 38). The clip bases its message on this theory, stating that if parents want their children to grow up as decent people, they need to change themselves to serve as an example.
The clip can also be interpreted through Mead’s three stages of development. These include imitation, play, and games, through which children learn to take the role of the other without fully understanding it (Handel et al. 51). In the examples provided in the video, children are imitating adults, though not having the same knowledge or understanding of their actions (Kiniri). They form a skewered perception of what being an adult means. The video suggests they would transfer these wrong lessons and conclusions into the future. In order to prevent such developments from happening, adults must give them other models of behavior to imitate.
“Best TV Commercial Ever.” Youtube, uploaded by Mike Kiniri, 2008, Web.
Handel, Gerald, Spencer E. Cahill, and Frederick Elkin. Children and Society: The Sociology of Children and Childhood Socialization. 2nd ed., Roxbury Publishing, 2017.