Although parents and teachers are among the numerous socializing agents through which children learn about the world, media, too, has begun to take center stage as a substantial force in children’s lives. Media characters are some of the people being integrated into the social lives of children, yet very little is known about the implications of these relationships on child development in a mediated society.
Through in-depth interviews, this book explores how tween girls relate to media characters past and present, what they value in these relationships, and how these relationships have shaped their own identity and friendships.
The characters themselves are also analyzed from a feminist perspective, revealing the shared values of community, agency, and self-determination of the media characters and the girls who call them friends.
Through examining the characters and the text in which their stories take place, the book sheds light on what is important to tween girls, about the traits they value in others, and the traits they value in themselves.


Introduction: From Preschool Programming to Tween Media: Girls in Their Media Context

– Feminist Reading of Tween Media Character Friends

– Listening to Tween Girls Talk About Their Media Friends

– Feminist Reading of Preschool Media Character Friends

– Tween Girls Remembering Their Preschool Media Friends

– Conclusion: Finding Friends on the Screen: Parasocial Relationships, Media Friends, and Tween Girls.