Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

Committee Member

Rita Shah, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tricia McTague, Ph.D.


Understanding gender norms, including norms surrounding parenthood, is one tool acquired during socialization. Film provides an efficient pathway for observational learning to occur in children, especially as they spend more of their time consuming media. Given the importance of the media’s role in socializing children and continued research on how children use media to construct their own ideas, it is necessary to analyze messages regarding fatherhood and masculinity that are portrayed to children to better understand how they may use these messages when constructing their own beliefs. To address this gap, this project analyzed a sample of the top lifetime-grossing children’s animated films released from 1989 to 2017. This qualitative analysis identifies characteristics that fathers and father-figures in these films display, differences that exist in the way characters are constructed and presented in these films, and the ways these characters are representative of and different from societal stereotypes of fathers. Keywords: Children’s media, socialization, gender identity, masculinity, fatherhood

Included in

Sociology Commons