This was a homework I set to investigate the representation of teens in two media texts. If
you didn’t do it, you should: this is the basis of your case study.
Exploring representations of teens in…………….
Pick one or two programmes/ films
At least one MUST be contemporary (last few years)
You might compare to something older
Watch and make notes/ analyse.
Use the questions below to help.
Write 3-4 paragraphs for the first section of questions.
Write 1 (or 2) paragraphs for the second section
Section 1 – Analysing the representations
What narratives and discourses of teenhood are constructed by…? (narratives = what
teenagers do; discourses = the language of teenagers (what they speak about; the
topics they are concerned with; how they speak)
o E.g. Skins constructs narratives and discourses of sex, drugs, incompetent
parents, hedonism, self-hate, homosexuality…
How are teens represented?
How are teens represented as homogenous/ heterogenous? Is their a singularity or
plurality in the representation?
What ideologies are constructed around teens?
Are stereotypical representations perpetuated/ used/ challenged in the programme/
Are the representations hegemonic representations? (Do they reinforce conventional
views of teens? Do they reinforce the dominant ideology?) Or do they construct an
alternative/ subversive representation?
How could these terms be adapted or used to explore the representation: conformity;
‘cult of femininity’; false sisterhood; socialisation; solidarity and unity; fragmented;
Is the representation positive/ negative?
Does the representation create/ exploit people’s fears about teenagers? (Moral Panics/
Are the teens represented as victims?
How is sexuality/ gender/ race/ social tribe/ consumerism/ ambition/ society
represented as being central to teen identity?
Section 2 – Analysing the Audience
Who is the audience?
How wide/ big is the audience?
How are audiences actively engaging with the programme? (Find out about fansites/
How does the programme encourage audience engagement?
Are there other media products/ spin-offs/ merchandise that audiences can use to ‘buy
in’ to the brand/ the programme?
What does the programme offer audiences? How does it offer identification/
aspiration/ escapism/ socialisation?
Is the audience niche or mass? Is it mainstream or alternative?
How does the programme position the audience? Does it speak directly to them? Does it
use irony? Does it
How do audiences respond to the messages/ ideologies of the text?