In this dissertation the central focus lies with exploration the relationship of television and moral imagination. The underlying aim was to explore how television might be valuable in reaching moral maturity in order to diminish needless suffering in this world. To give form to these aspirations, the main research question that was the starting point of this dissertation was: How do people in the Netherlands use television narratives as a resource to develop a capacity for moral imagination in order to become morally mature? To answer this question, a framework derived from the literary culture was developed. The authors from the literary culture emphasise that the content of the narrative, as well as the reader are of importance for the development of moral imagination. In this study the television narrative was considered as a 'cultural toolbox' that offers moral insights that the active viewer still needs to give meaning to and can use to give meaning to everyday life experiences. Three studies were conducted that each focused on a different aspect of 'how culture works': the content of the toolbox has been researched as well as the audience(s). One of the leading threads running through this dissertation is the Culture vs. culture dichotomy that delivers us with an instrumental perspective on media. Two features of the debate on television were distinguished. The first dimension, primarily found in public debate, dismisses television in general as a popular medium. The second dimension, found in the public as well as in the academic debate, dismisses certain genres, mostly light entertainment.

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K. Schönbach
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture
Department of Media and Communication

Krijnen, A.F.M. (2007, April 26). There Is More(s) in Television. Studying the relationship between television and moral imagination. ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from