The Child-Nature Relationship in Television for Children

Reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


This Chapter studies how the child-nature relationship is constructed in public service TV for children. TV has a strong position in society, as both a producer and reproducer of norms, notions, and identities for TV audiences. In a Swedish context, public service television is the television provider most used by the youngest audience and has been since the very start of television broadcasts. It is, therefore, a particularly influential institution for the child audience. When studying TV programmes for a child audience, nature content spans all genres, leaving few programmes untouched. By analyzing how children and nature are linked together in TV programmes, societal notions of this relationship can be studied. The vast presence of nature content in TV for children reproduces the discursive notion that children are linked to nature in specific ways. Children are supposed to engage in nature, be interested in nature, learn about nature, as well as want to watch TV programmes containing nature in ways adults are not. This portrays both nature and children as somewhat sweet and harmless, at the same time as the heavy responsibility of saving nature from environmental disaster is placed on the shoulders of children. The Chapter concludes that the child-nature relationship, as it is represented for a child audience, must be questioned, because it leaves children with the responsibility for nature and, moreover, portrays adults as unchangeable and unwilling to shoulder the environmental burden that they have created in the first place.


Child-nature relationship Swedish public service TV Children Outdoor life Environmental issues 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dalarna UniversityFalunSweden

Section editors and affiliations

  • Debra Flanders Cushing
    • 1
  • Robert Barratt
    • 2
  • Elisabeth Barratt Hacking
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Design, Creative Industries FacultyQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.The Eden ProjectCornwallUK
  3. 3.Department of EducationUniversity of BathBathUK

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