Disney Kids: A Study on The Reception of a Global Media Giant by Ethiopian Children In Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


With the penetration of global media contents particularly Hollywood films in Ethiopia in the early 1990s and afterwards, local audiences have been able to be exposed to American movies. A significant part of this audience is made up of Ethiopian upper-middle-class children in Addis Ababa who are exposed and attracted to the animation features produced by the all time leading manufacturer of children’s films and literature, the American based Walt Disney Company. Disney Kids: A Study on the Reception of a Global Media Giant by Ethiopian Children in Addis Ababa attempts to investigate how the specified children in Addis Ababa, in the midst of their everyday lived reality, make meaning out of the animation and cartoon films that are produced in another setting. The study, by using focus group interviews and in-depth individual interviews, explores how Ethiopian uppermiddle- class children make sense out of global texts and images as represented by Disney in the context of their everyday life. The findings of the study exhibit that local culture, values, and interests have a significant role to play in the interaction between the global and the local. Intricate responses of respondents reveal that there is no easy way of establishing a definitive nature of the global’s penetration to the local. This challenges the fundamental premise of the media imperialism thesis that the authentic, traditional and local culture of ‘Third World’ countries like Ethiopia are becoming battered out of existence as a result of the dumping of large quantities of media products by Western, particularly American, media conglomerates like that of the Walt Disney Company.



Global Media Giant by Ethiopian Children