Open Access

Children and Television: Vicarious Socialisation Experiences


This article contributes to the understanding of socialisation of children of Filipino immigrants in South Australia by examining their experiences and engagement with media, particularly television. Thirty children, aged 8–12 years, who participated in the study were mainly accessed through social networks. Children’s names, which reflect Anglicised or Spanish influence to Filipinos, were changed to maintain ethical considerations. A qualitative methodological framework grounded the children’s perspectives in symbolic interactionism. The study particularly focused on symbolic interaction concepts of the self (selves) and influence of others, forming perspectives, roles, attitudes of others and coping, as well as how socialisation experiences of children facilitated children’s perspectives on media. These concepts are significant in understanding how children made sense of television content. This discussion on children’s media socialisation is organised into two sections according to children’s engagement with television and parental control of television watching. The children in this article have been exposed to both television content in the Philippines and Australia. Whilst the article focuses on a small cohort of primary school children, the theory and methodology could be applied to children of other cultures and as such may generate comparative results.