Mirroring Fathers for Children: A Content Analysis of English and Marathi Picture Stories
A statement too often heard and repeated is that ‘we need to socialize children to move beyond stereotyping of gender by changing children’s images of gender roles.’ Children’s stories are an important medium to observe what messages are passed on to them. This chapter is an outcome of two content analysis studies that focused on understanding a father’s portrayals in children’s literature. The first is a Marathi comic strip titled ‘Chintoo’ published by Sakal newspaper since 1991, in 16 volumes, of which a purposive sample of 928 strips has been drawn. The second set comprises of purposively chosen 90 English picture stories from Champak, Tinkle and bedtime stories published between 1995 and 2011 that cover various themes and are recommended as suitable for 3–12-year-old children. The content analysis will highlight the types of fathers portrayed, areas of a father’s involvement and the nature of the relationship that fathers share with the child. The findings highlight the emerging role of a father as a companion to the child, who is also involved in providing nurturance.
KeywordsFather’s portrayal Children’s stories Comic strip Content analysis
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