Youth collective identity


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Youth collective identity

  1. 1. Teenage Riot! Youth, Media and Collective Identity
  2. 2. Starter Activity <ul><li>Who is your favourite young person in the media? (real or fictional) </li></ul><ul><li>Why do you like them? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Macro Questions <ul><li>How are teenagers and young people in the media portrayed? </li></ul><ul><li>Are these portrayals accurate? </li></ul><ul><li>How does the intended audience influence the messages sent about youth in the media? </li></ul><ul><li>How do young people create their own representations? How are these different to those created and aimed at adults? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Collective Identity What is it? How does the media influence it?
  5. 5. Who are you? <ul><li>What makes you different to everyone else? </li></ul><ul><li>What similarities do you have with others? </li></ul><ul><li>What social groups do you consider yourself part of? </li></ul><ul><li>These groups have a ‘collective identity’. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Identity and the Media <ul><li>Jacques Lacan – psychoanalyst </li></ul><ul><li>Mirror stage – child begins to develop their identity. </li></ul><ul><li>What is our relationship with images on the screen? </li></ul><ul><li>What pleasures do they offer? </li></ul><ul><li>Identification </li></ul><ul><li>Aspiration </li></ul>
  7. 7. Influence of the Media <ul><li>How could they affect us? </li></ul><ul><li>Accurate representations </li></ul><ul><li>Inaccurate or distorted portrayals </li></ul>
  8. 8. Identification/ Aspiration <ul><li>Activity: </li></ul><ul><li>Look at the example from earlier. </li></ul><ul><li>Do you identify with this character? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you aspire to be like this character? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it a mixture of the two? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Richard Jenkins <ul><li>We need to interact in order to form our identity… </li></ul><ul><li>With other people – or with the media </li></ul><ul><li>Partaking in an event (in reality, or virtually) with people with whom we feel affinity helps us to form collective identity . </li></ul><ul><li>Identification </li></ul><ul><li>Aspiration </li></ul><ul><li>Solidarity (around media texts) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Constructing the Teenager Creating and targeting a youth audience – and what the youth did next….
  11. 11. ‘ Youth Culture’ emerges <ul><li>19 th century ‘Bowery Boys’ or ‘Soaplocks’ </li></ul><ul><li>Recognisable youth culture: own slang, dress code, musical taste etc. </li></ul><ul><li>First time entertainment and fashion industries targeted a youth group </li></ul>
  12. 12. 1900-1940 <ul><li>400% rise in school in high school enrolment in USA </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Peer culture’ </li></ul><ul><li>Magazines (and fashion, beauty) industries targeting insecurities of adolescent girls </li></ul><ul><li>1940s – WWII = demand for labour = young people with disposable income </li></ul>
  13. 14. 1945-60: Birth of the Teen <ul><li>Economic potential is obvious – market of the future </li></ul><ul><li>But also the first negative stereotypes </li></ul><ul><li>Youth simultaneously represented “a prosperous and liberated future” and “a culture of moral decline” </li></ul><ul><li>First sign of adult culture’s dichotomous image of teenagers </li></ul><ul><li>Film example: ‘The Wild One’ </li></ul>
  14. 15. 1950s – Rock’n’Roll Culture <ul><li>Not trying to ‘fit in’ to adult mainstream </li></ul><ul><li>Happy to rebel against it – first indication of a ‘Generation Gap’ </li></ul><ul><li>In values and lifestyles </li></ul>
  15. 16. Adult Hegemony? <ul><li>Hegemony = a dominant social group keeps an oppressed group in their subservient position by making them feel this position is ‘normal’ or desirable. </li></ul><ul><li>Adult mainstream exploited the image of the ‘rebel teen’ </li></ul><ul><li>Sold to teenagers as aspiration </li></ul><ul><li>Sold to adults as a fear </li></ul>
  16. 17. James Dean – an accurate portrayal of youth? <ul><li>First celebrity to capture the dissonance of youth; </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Rebel Without A Cause’ – lots of delinquent behaviour. Conforms to adult fears. </li></ul><ul><li>But: Dean’s character isn’t a ‘bad boy’ – confused, sensitive, frustrated… and very handsome. </li></ul>
  17. 18. James Dean <ul><li>Adults and teenagers could empathise with (and desire) him. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Live fast, die young’ = the start of adults fetishising youth? </li></ul>
  18. 19. 1960s and 70s – subculture to counter-culture <ul><li>Next generation of teens very cynical about commercial exploitation of youth. </li></ul><ul><li>Rebellion chimes with social upheaval </li></ul><ul><li>Young people support Civil Rights, feminism, anti-Vietnam… the rebels now have a cause. </li></ul><ul><li>Resistant to marketing and consumerism, wanted to make the world better </li></ul><ul><li>Film example: ‘Easy Rider’ </li></ul>
  19. 20. Punk and Hip-Hop <ul><li>Punk = reaction against optimism of ‘hippies’ – even more cynical of mainstream. </li></ul><ul><li>Not just rebellious or anti-consumerist. Punk was anti-establishment </li></ul><ul><li>Punk = aesthetic and political rebellion </li></ul><ul><li>Hip Hop = dealing with reality of poverty and racist oppression </li></ul><ul><li>Film example: ‘Scratch’ </li></ul>
  20. 21. Recent article <ul><li>Excellent comparison of current youth subcultures (or ‘tribes’) with those of the past. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  21. 22. Adult Fetishisation of Youth
  22. 23. Who is the intended audience? <ul><li>Adult obsession with youth – why? </li></ul><ul><li>Recurring pattern: </li></ul><ul><li>Symbol of a bright future </li></ul><ul><li>Vs </li></ul><ul><li>Symbol of world going to hell </li></ul>
  23. 24. Women in Journalism Reports <ul><li>‘“ Am I bovvered?” How is the media shaping the ambitions and aspirations of young women?’ </li></ul><ul><li>“ Hoodies or Altar Boys?” What is media stereotyping doing to our British boys? </li></ul>
  24. 25. ‘ Am I bovvered?’ <ul><li>Researched images in media and surveyed real teenage girls. </li></ul><ul><li>Concern over sexualised images in all media – encouraged a morbid preoccupation with beauty and appearance. </li></ul>
  25. 26. ‘ Hoodies or Altar Boys’ <ul><li>4,374 out of 8,629 stories in national and regional papers were about youth crime. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;yobs&quot; (591 times) </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;thugs&quot; (254 times ) </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;sick&quot; (119 times) </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;feral&quot; (96 times) </li></ul>
  26. 27. ‘ Hoodies or Altar Boys’ <ul><li>Positive phrases: ‘angel’, ‘high-achiever’, ‘model student’, ‘talented sportsman’… </li></ul><ul><li>… but only used to describe dead boys, and usually the victims of violent crime! </li></ul><ul><li>85% of boys surveyed said negative images in media had made them afraid of other teenage boys. </li></ul>
  27. 28. Internalised Stereotypes <ul><li>Youthful search for collective identity could result in these representations being internalised and accepted: a self-fulfilling prophecy? </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Kidulthood’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Harry Brown’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Anti-youth’ films? Accurate to actual experiences of teenagers? </li></ul><ul><li>Or conforming to stereotypes circulated by news media? </li></ul>
  28. 29. Alternatively… <ul><li>9-14 year olds spend $300 billion per year in US </li></ul><ul><li>Companies very keen to target youth: indication of what tastes of the future will be. </li></ul><ul><li>Morgan Stanley: youth are the “vanguard of the digital revolution” </li></ul><ul><li>Matthew Parker, intern… opinions made cover of Financial Times! </li></ul>
  29. 30. Adult Fetishisation of Youth <ul><li>Film example: ‘American Beauty’ </li></ul><ul><li>What can this tell us about how adults idealise youth? </li></ul>
  30. 31. Why do adults idealise youth? <ul><li>Nostalgia – never appreciated youth when they were that age </li></ul><ul><li>Empathy – adults frustrated with their lives want to be rebels again </li></ul><ul><li>Envy – teenagers don’t have career, relationship and financial burdens </li></ul><ul><li>Envious of adolescent sexual drive (in a sexualised culture) </li></ul>
  31. 32. Accurate or Idealised? <ul><li>‘ Juno’ – do kids really talk like this? </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Misfits’ / ‘Skins’ – do kids really have these lifestyles? </li></ul><ul><li>Aimed at teenagers? </li></ul><ul><li>Or at adults? </li></ul><ul><li>Film example: ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ </li></ul>
  32. 33. Further Study <ul><li>Use similar chart to analyse range of other films/TV featuring teenagers… who are they aimed at? How do the representations appeal to this audience? </li></ul><ul><li>How teenagers respond to these representations? </li></ul><ul><li>How do adults respond? </li></ul>
  33. 34. Digital Youth How new technology has affected collective identity
  34. 35. How do youth trends spread? <ul><li>Traditional Model </li></ul><ul><li>Global youth was ‘atomised’ </li></ul><ul><li>Trend begins, usually led by a celebrity, in one country (usually USA or UK). </li></ul><ul><li>Media would then spread this trend </li></ul><ul><li>Other nations’ youth would spot the trend, adopt it as an easy route to solidarity with other teens, </li></ul><ul><li>Popularity (and media coverage) would increase in intensity and get a wider spread of distribution. </li></ul>
  35. 36. How has digital technology changed this? <ul><li>Young people have grown up taking internet, mobiles, mp3s for granted. </li></ul><ul><li>Interactivity – opportunity to manipulate the media experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Instantaneity – ability to access (and experience) media texts ‘on-demand’. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Cloud Culture’ – information (including media texts and experiences) ‘float’ above us, we can ‘reach up’ and ‘grab’ it whenever we want. </li></ul>
  36. 37. How do youth trends spread? <ul><li>21 st Century Model </li></ul><ul><li>Youths create their own style, their own media; </li></ul><ul><li>They tell others about it using social networking sites, blogs etc; quality content downloaded and spread by viral. </li></ul><ul><li>Global reach of the internet means newly invented trends are ‘instantaneously’ spread across the world where they develop or decline according to how many people decide to follow them. </li></ul><ul><li>Then mainstream media may become involved. </li></ul>
  37. 38. Who controls the future of youth culture?