A study published in the Journal of Children & Media analyzes the relationship between media and immigrants. First generation children are found to use the media to help their parents integrate into the new setting.
The study was carried out by Vikki Katz, a young professor at Rutgers University, with a group of 42 families in the Latino community of Los Angeles. In her research, Kattz has been investigating how children become the mediators for their immigrant parents regarding language, culture, and the use of the media.
The study empirically proves that the media become the primary source of information, as well as an orientation and service resource for adults who, far from their country and without mastery of the language, face the hardships of social and cultural integration. In this context, the children almost naturally assume their role as “facilitators”, linking the media to the needs of their own parents.
This use of media by young children brings to light yet another aspect of its positive potential. Beyond the constructive educational results, good social results are produced. We are given even more reason to affirm, rather than complain about, the media.