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Is television harmful to children? Does it destroy imagination, provode delinquency and violence, undermine family life and have other detrimental effects on children?; The author, himself a parent, teacher and researcher investigates the complex ways in which children actively make meaning and take pleasure from television. Chapters cover the popular debates about children and television from a general and academic perspective. The characteristics of children's talk about television are explored, as children interact with other children and other family members in "family viewing" sessions.; Key concepts which inform children's talk about television are investigated i. e. genre, narrative, character, modality, and agency. Finally, conclusions are presented and issues outlined for further research.; Drawing on theories and ideas developed within media and cultural studies, English, education, psychology, sociology, linguistics and other related areas, this book will be useful to both students and teachers in the field, and to the general reader with an interest in children and the media.