Since the beginning the research Centre on Youth and Media Studies has covered a range of topics including television viewing among young Quebecers and Canadians, family mediation in television viewing, French language television viewing by young allophones, stereotypes and violence on television, the educational potential of television and interactive technologies for children and adolescents and regulation of advertising in youth programming. Our studies have also covered lifestyle advertising and health messages directed at youth, related to tobacco use, for example.
A few projects deserve particular mention. A longitudinal analysis of youth-oriented television programming and its consumption, conducted over close to a decade, has identified particular traits and trends in the evolution of the programming offering and television viewing behaviours of children and adolescents. A summary report was published under the title “L’environnement techno-médiatique des jeunes à l’aube de l’an 2000” (techno-media environment of youth at the dawn of the 21st century). A portion of this study was updated in the Fall of 2009-2010. with the support of the Alliance for Children and Television and consisted in the most exhaustive study ever made in Canada on children’s programming content and reception throughout Canada. Our researchers have also examined media awareness an approach intended to help young television viewers/Internet surfers understand the media universe in order to make them more independent and aware of their media use. As part of its efforts to promote quality television for youth, the GRJM/CYMS has conducted a number of formative evaluations (in pre-production) and summative evaluations (in post-production) of youth programming for series such as Les Débrouillards, Watatatow etc..
In the area of new and emerging information and communication technologies, work has focused on research and development of leading edge technology associated with interactive systems. In the 1990s, the Vidéoway project gave us an excellent opportunity to closely examine the psychosocial aspects of dissemination of new television technologies in homes. Thus, we documented the appropriation process within different categories of households (e.g. families with young children, seniors, etc) and made recommendations for optimal interfaces and relevant content. Although mainly concentrated in the Montreal area, our studies also led us to do research on other sites, particularly in the United States and England.
Several studies have examined new technologies for audience measurement. In addition, projects with a specific educational focus evaluated the potential benefits of interactive systems for illiterate viewers, children with developmental delays, elementary school students, remote education and technologies in museums.
The GRJM/CYMS has investigated with multi modal designs the appropriation and daily usage of information and communication technologies. One vast study on the uses of cellular phones was conducted between 1999 and 2005. The first phase investigated the dynamics of family interaction from the perspective of this technology. The second phase, involving focus groups, analyzed the discourse of youth regarding cellular phones. Lastly, the third phase, conducted in cooperation with CITÉ, consisted of case studies based on recordings of adolescents’ conversations on cellular phones. This large-scale research project on appropriation engendered several publications, some of which are available under the Projects heading on this site. Lastly we have participated in an internations study dealing with mobile type technologies such as “google glass”.
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