'Surely the most natural scenario in the world’: Representations of ‘family’ in BBC pre-school television

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Historically, the majority of work on British children’s television has adopted either an institutional or an audience focus, with the texts themselves often overlooked. This neglect has meant that questions of representation in British children’s television – including issues such as family, gender, class or ethnicity - have been infrequently analysed in the UK context. In this article, we adopt a primarily qualitative methodology and analyse the various textual manifestations of ‘family’, group, or community as represented in a selected number of BBC pre-school programmes. In doing so, we question the (limited amount of) international work that has examined representations of the family in children’s television, and argue that nuclear family structures do not predominate in this sphere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-77
Number of pages19
JournalCritical Studies in Television
Issue number1
Early online date18 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • family
  • community
  • pre-school TV
  • CBeebies
  • BBC
  • gender

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