Representation essay

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This is a SHORT essay i wrote for my A2 media studies - I am uploading it for the purpose of putting it on my coursework blog.

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Representation essay

  1. 1. Jade Melady Do you agree with Richard Dyer? That representation is “a political tool”? Write a short essay on how young people are represented in The Media. The media has a large effect on how we view the younger generation. The Media often bundles youths into one collective group, with 71% of youths being portrayed negatively, which is why the Media is often criticized for the way it represents young people. With teenagers being presented as “the future”, they are vulnerable and impressionable, with the media only encouraging the behaviour they claim to be “disgraceful”. The way in which teenagers are re-presented in print media is often negative, often being portrayed as antisocial yobs that smoke, drink underage and commit crime. Teenagers are often said to be “lazy” and their exam results are often criticised and slated, with them being too low, or exams being “easier” than previous years. With newspapers, “bad news is good news” in term of them making profit, and making an impression. Stories in regional newspapers last year on youth boys, were tallied at over half (4,374 out of 8,629), were about crime. This represents youth boys negatively, and with the media being so effective, people begin to see every young boy as a crime committing yob, which is not the case. Males are often re-presented more negatively than females. This negative re-presentation can be argued to be used as a “political tool” because the Media use it to influence the public, it is used to label a group of people, and often, be used by political parties to make it seem like they’re making a difference. And with more and more technology being brought out, it is a lot easier to be influenced by print media, because it is now online. With most newspapers having their own online newspaper, stories are a lot easier to get hold of, meaning the re-presentation of young people is easier to receive. Young people are also often represented negatively in TV shows, mainly TV dramas. Shows such as “Skins”, “The inbetweeners” and “Eastenders” all represent younger people quite negatively. “The inbetweeners” is a comedy show aimed at younger people, however, because it is aimed at the younger generation, and mocks the stupidity of a select few youths, anyone older than the target audience would not find it funny, and would take it literal in the sense that all youths are that way. Unfortunately, society is biased, forgetting they too were young once. Also, a show such as “Skins” represents youths as rebellious, and sexually active, which is negative. However, it
  2. 2. does also represent them as troubled and stressed, with so much pressure put on them. Which is why I personally see Skins as a positive overall representation, because it shows the receiving public a re-presentation of how hard, and hectic young people’s lives are. In soaps, TV dramas and films young people are often seen as victims in society. With film, there is a mix in the way young people are represented; it often depends on the genre. ‘Kidulthood’ for example, represents youths quite negatively, as it involves crime and drinking, but it is aimed at the younger generation. The language used and themes indicates the chosen target audience, because anyone older, may begin to feel all teenagers are that way, and begin to think negatively, when in fact, it is a mockery of stereotypes, and is made to entertain. A lot of films represent youths negatively, showing them doing drugs, committing crime or often, them ending up being the victim. This shows them as vulnerable and impressionable, but also as thugs and violators of society’s codes. However, this is not the case the case with all films. Films such as, Spider-man, Lemonade Mouth and others all present youths as passionate and confident, and gives youths ambition. In conclusion, in all, the media often re-presents young people negatively. On the occasion in which they are not, this is seen as inspiration for young people, and gives them hope and praise, which inspires young people to do well, negative feedback from the media only encourages the behaviour. For young people, trying to escape stereotypes, and trying to avoid being re-presented negatively, is near impossible, and media will always be the dominant influencer in society.

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