After gender and ethnicity,
age is the most obvious
category under which we
stereotype people, and there
are a whole range of
judgements which go along
with our categorisation.
We quickly deem other people too
old, or too young.
We criticise mature women
for going about as mutton
dressed as lamb
We criticise young
girls for tarting
themselves up as jail
Film stars who start to
show signs of aging in
their forties are swooped
on with cries of horror by
gossip columnists ("Movie
star gets wrinkles... and
her tits start to sag"
What are the representations?
How are they constructed? Why are they constructed?
Dominant representation of young
Drink and drugs
• Which media texts perpetuate this image?
Eastenders: Martin Fowler
First character to be born in the programme.
Stereotypical youth from many news stories.
Anti-social behaviour with gangs
Teenage, unmarried father
Prison sentence for manslaughter
Continued criminal behaviour upon release
Theorist - Stanley Cohen (1972)
• Studied youth groups in 1960s.
• A moral panic occurs when society sees itself
threatened by the values and activities of a
group who are stigmatised as deviant and
seen as threatening to mainstream society’s
values, ideologies and /or way of life.
• Mods & Rockers (1960s), football hooligans,
muggers, vandals, mobile-phone snatchers...
Working class males
• Represented as yobs.
• Stuart Hall (1978) argues that the negative
representation of young people is deliberate
as it justifies social control by authority figures
such as the police and government. The media
has a key role in this ‘social production’ of
(2000 – 2003)
No evidence was presented
that either boy had watched
‘Child’s Play 3’. The judge
made the connection and this
was picked up by the tabloid
press. It led to a change in
the law so the BBFC now has
to take into account ‘the
influence’ of videos as well as
From media text to legislation
1. Occurrence of deviant act or social
2. Act or problem widely reported in media:
news outlets; internet chat rooms; fictional
narratives; video games…
3. Call for government control either from
legislation/policy initiatives or the more
vigilant operation of already existing social
How has Catherine Tate
Is she stereotypical?
Why? Why not?
Look at her iconography.
What genre of programme
does she exist in?
How does this affect her