What is it about?

I propose a quantitative method that helps to describe the content of children's media (or any other media). I used it to investigate the 'childness' (an abstract and inherently subjective and qualitative concept devised by Peter Hollindale) of records made for children. I called in the Children's Music Quotient or CMQ for short.

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Why is it important?

Analysing the content of children's media - their games, books, television programs, films or, in my case, recordings - reveals the messages that adult creators send TO children and ABOUT children (i.e. the power relationships between adults and children, or producers and consumers). My method helps to put figures, percentages and numbers on various aspects of the content. The figures can then be analysed and displayed as graphs, charts, tables, etc. The method is useful to spot trends in groups of texts, or aspects of individual texts that might not be detectable from qualitative analysis alone.


In the article, I reflect on some of the limits and criticisms of quantitative textual analysis. I also suggest the best ways for the method to be used. It works well on closed groups of texts - a TV series, an album, the music on a particular radio show during a specific period - rather than the media or genre as a whole. I also write about the adaptability of the method to media forms other than music. Writing the paper helped me to clarify my thoughts on the method in preparation for my book on recordings of music and broadcasting for children (Spinning the Child) that will be published by Routledge soon.

Dr Liam Maloy
University of Nottingham

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Children's Music Quotient: Quantifying the Childness of Music Recordings Made for Children, International Research in Children s Literature, July 2018, Edinburgh University Press, DOI: 10.3366/ircl.2018.0252.
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