Moral development, content analysis and the moral/value dimensions of television drama : a methodological inquiry

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Charles William Russo (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
David E. Purpel

Abstract: The assumption presented in this study is that there are significant moral dimensions in commercial television programing. A concern for these dimensions has appeared as aspects of empirical and interpretive studies in the television literature, but there has been a paucity of systematic studies in this area. The purpose of this study is threefold: to discern and describe the content and quality of the moral/value dimensions in selected television episodes, to evaluate a methodology for such an examination, and to provide a model for future investigations in this area. The generic methodology adopted for this study is content analysis, a qualitative approach which permits the researcher to determine the characteristics of a phenomenon, the forms it assumes, and the variations it displays. The methodology requires the establishment of a coding system to categorize the content of the phenomenon studied. The three-level/six-stage moral reasoning schema developed by Lawrence Kohlberg was utilized to categorize reasoning judgments, and a moral/value questions schema was specially designed for this study to categorize those external factors and relationships which influence behavior, to describe the generator of the dilemma/conflict, and to interpret the moral nature of the resolution.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1980
Television $x Influence
Television $x Psychological aspects
Television broadcasting $x Social aspects

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