Youth, media and
G325: Section B
Key questions to consider…
How do the contemporary media represent collective groups of
people in different ways?
How does this contemporary representation compare to
different time periods?
What are the social implications of different representations of
groups of people?
How is human identity increasingly mediated?
You must include:
1. Historical representations
2. Contemporary representations (within
the last 5 years)
3. Future predictions of how
representations might evolve
You must also include:
Key media theories
Key media terminology (key film sequences,
language/ images in newspapers)
Institutional/ political argument
You must refer to 2 or more media.
Which collective identity?
How the media represent young
What is a teenager made from?
How are representations of young people constructed in the
Draw one on the body outline – add clothes, hair, props,
background location; label it if unclear.
• How are young people being portrayed? (use word bank to
• Evidence from clip?
Constructing the teenager
Hold up your drawings/ ideas from earlier task.
Media representations are usually a mixture of:
• Culture produced by young people themselves
• Images produced by adults (mainstream)
Questionsto considerfor this topic:
• How are teenagers and young people portrayed in the
• WHY are the representations constructed?
• social/ historical/ cultural context?
• How will the target audience interpret? More than
• Institutions? What is the purpose of the
representation? (usually to make
The emergence of ‘youth culture’
• 19th Century Bowery Boys or ‘Soaplocks’
• Became a recognisable youth culture: own slang, dress code,
musical tastes etc
• First time entertainment and fashion industries targeted a
Hung out in NYC
entertainment area- the
Wore long sideburns that
gave them the nickname
• 400% rise in high school enrollment in USA
• ‘Peer culture’
• Magazines (and fashion, beauty) industries targeting
insecurities of adolescent girls
• 1940s- WW2- demand for labour- young people had a
1945-60: Birth of the Teen
• Economic potential is obvious- ‘market of the future’
• A new market to fuel economic boom in USA
• But also the first negative stereotypes
• Youth simultaneously represented ‘a prosperous and liberated
future’ and ‘ a culture of moral decline’
• First sign of adult cultures dichotomous image of teenagers.
• Eg. The Blackboard Jungle (1955)
How are youth represented? How are the adults represented?
• USA and UK reeling from WW2
• Many young men returning PTSD
• Mood of austerity (economic and psychological)
• A need for stability and calm- traditional values/ conservatism
• ‘White picket fence’ America
1950s- Rock and Roll culture
• Not trying to ‘fit in’ to adult mainstream
• Anti- austerity embraces by young, disapproved of by adults
• Happy to rebel against it- first indication of a generation gap.
• Challenging traditional values and lifestyles
• Expressed through consumption.
• First celebrity to capture the
dissonance of youth
• Rebel Without a Cause
(1955)- lots of delinquent
behaviour. Conforms to adult
• But Dean’s character isn’t a
‘bad boy’, he’s confused,
sensitive, frustrated and very
‘Teen’ Exploitation genre
• ‘Exploits both teen aspirations and adult fears’
• ‘Stories torn from today’s headlines’ – social commentary
• A host of delinquent young characters emerged- main ‘villain’
often the head of a brutal gang.
• ‘Hero’ is often a teen that stands up to the villain
• ‘sympathetic adult who offers a ‘way out’ to hero and good
• How does Rebel fit these conventions?
1960s and 70s- subculture to
• Next generation of teens were very cynical about exploitation
• Self conscious and aware that the adult world does not work
in the way it should.
• Young people support Civil Rights, Feminism and anti –
Vietnam…the rebels now HAVE a cause.
• Resistant to marketing and consumerism, wanted to make the
• For example: Easy Rider
1960s: Subculture Movie
• Synergy between music and film industries
• Pop music – big UK cultural export since 1950s.
• Promotion for artist.
• For example: Summer Holiday, Beatles- Magical Mystery Tour’
Punk- The Great Rock and Roll Swindle
Rave- Human Traffic
Football Hooliganism- The Football Factory
Indie- 24 Hour Party People, Control
1970s/80s Punk and Hip Hop
• Punk- a reaction against the optimism of hippies- even more
cynical of mainstream
• Not just rebellious or anti consumerist. Punk was anti-
• Punk- aesthetic and political rebellion
• Hip Hop- dealing with the reality of poverty and racist
• For example: Scratch
Fromtheexamplesyou have seenrecap/makealist
• Rebel against mainstream culture and values
• See next slide for a theory!!
Subcultural theory (Birmingham
• Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) – founded
• Sociological theories for WHY youths form subcultures.
• Stuart Hall- ‘Resistance through Ritual’
• Dress, language, behaviour, music- rebels against mainstream
culture (and values)
• ‘Collective Identification’
• Strengthening elements of your own identity through
solidarity with others.
• Clothes, hair, drugs, lifestyle, films, books, music- cultural texts
that offer opportunity for solidarity with others who have
• Especially valuable for those who feel like outsiders already.
• How can these two theories be used to examine the
representation of youth in Quadrophenia?
• Bike scene and riot scene
Screening of Quadrophenia
Directed by: Franc Roddam
Film released: 1979 but set in 1964
Genre: Crime, Drama, Music
Tag Line: Hell on wheels!
How are British youth represented in this film? What are the defining characteristics of the Mods?
What attitudes did they have towards authority
How would audiences respond to this? Who is the
audience for Quadrophenia?
How realistic are these representations? Why was it
made? Who made it?
1. Bike sequence
What message is being given in this sequence?
2. Riot sequence
MES C/A & C/M Composition Editing Sound
3. Analysis of ending
What message do we understand about
youth/ identity from the end sequence?
How are youth represented in the
Social implications? How
would an audience respond?
Stuart Hall – Reception Theory
Quadrophenia is a polysemic text that can be ‘decoded’ by the
audience in a number of different ways.
How might some members of an audience respond to the
messages and values presented in Quadrophenia?
Gramsci – Cultural Hegemony
• Cultural Hegemony: This is the idea that one social class
(usually the middle class) is able to dominate a society by
making their way of life and values appear normal, natural, and
• As a result other social classes accept these values as the
normal way of life.
• The media uses cultural hegemony to fix the social classes.
• What is a social class?
• What social classes do we have in Britain?
• The working classes are somewhat trapped in an illusion that
they will benefit from society staying the same.
• Media aim to distract individuals and promote the ideals of the
Cultural Hegemony in
• How are the working class normally depicted in the
• Can you think of any programs or news articles you may have
seen recently that show a particular view of the working class?
• How do the representations shown in these programs/articles
shape societies view?
• How do these views shape the values we have as a society?
Cultural Hegemony cont…
• Gramsci sees hegemony as a site of constant struggle as
societies are constantly debating what is and isn’t acceptable.
• You can relate this to this to more positive representations of
working class youth which challenge the perception of working
class as thugs.
• What positive representations of youth have you seen recently?
• How might these shape societies views and values?
Cultural Hegemony (Gramsci 1971)
• Cultural Hegemony: one
social class dominate a
society by making their
values appear normal
• Other social classes accept
these values as the normal
• Media to promote the ideas
of the ruling class.
• How can we apply this
theory to Quadrophenia?
• Think about:
• How are the youth
represented in this film?
• Is their behavior seen as
• How does this fix social class
outside of the film?
• What scene could you use to
discuss Cultural Hegemony
Stanley Cohen - Moral Panics
• Societies appear to be subject, every now and then,
to periods of moral panic
• A condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to
become defined as a threat to societal values and interests
• Its nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by
the mass media
• The effect of a moral panic is to reassert hegemony by allowing
a society to make clear what values it does not accept.
Moral Panics (Cohen 1972)
• Cohen first discussed this with regards to mods and rockers
• Who are Mods and Rockers?
• Why did they cause a Moral Panic?
Moral Panics Today
• These days there are still moral panics with regards to youth.
• For example the idea of “chavs” and “hoodies” may be
considered a moral panic.
• How would this theory explain this?
Moral Panics (Cohen 1972)
• Moral Panic:
• A person or group of persons
become defined as a threat to
• Presented in a stylized and
• Reasserts hegemony by
allowing society to define what
values it does not accept.
• How can we apply this to
• Think about:
• Who is creating the ‘Moral
• Is the panic justified?
• Is the panic resolved?
Which specific scene could you
use to illustrate ‘Moral Panic’ in
• Write up 2 paragraphs
applying these 2
• Use specific examples
from the film to make
A person or group of persons become
defined as a threat to societal values
Presented in a stylized and
Reasserts hegemony by allowing
society to define what values it does
One social class dominate a society by
making their values appear normal
Other social classes accept these
values as the normal
Media to promote the ideas of the
Representation in newspapers
• Differences between tabloid and broadsheet reporting
• Political affiliation of newspapers
• Micro analysis of news articles (eg language, images)
• Link analysis to theory (eg audience response to news reports)
• Write up a formal analysis
Tabloid vs Broadsheet
How many tabloid/ broadsheets can you name?
Look at/ read the news articles you have been given. Write
down some ideas of the ways the stories have been reported
differently. Think about: size, layout, typical readership,
Political affiliation of newspapers
British class system
What are the stereotypical connotations of each:
Political affiliation of newspapers
What does this mean?
Liberal Democrats Labour Conservative
left centre right
The Daily Mail
The Daily Express
How do you
effects the way
Analysis of historical newspapers
Read the news articles about the Mods and Rockers riots and
analyse how youth are represented.
Focus on: Language, images, pull quotes, subheadings
How would their political affiliation affect the way youth are
Stanley Cohen: Folk Tales and Moral
Now read Cohen’s article about what actually happened.
Draw a table like this one to help you write notes.
What the papers say… What Cohen says happened…
• How can you apply this theory to the newspapers you have
Acland – Deviant Youth
• Media representations of delinquent
youths actually reinforce hegemony.
• They do this by constructing an idea of ‘normal’ adult and
youth behaviour, and contrasting it with deviant youth
behaviour which is shown to be unacceptable.
• What examples of this have you seen in the newspapers you
• Media representations of young people out of control allows
the state to have more control of them (e.g. media reports
about delinquent youths led to ASBOs).
• ‘Ideology of protection’ – the idea that young people need
constant surveillance and monitoring. This happens because
youth is the time when young people learn about social roles
and values, and allows the state to make sure they conform to
Deviant Youth (Acland 1995)
and Historical Newspapers
• Representations of delinquent
youths reinforce hegemony.
• ‘Normal’ adult and youth
behaviour, contrasted with
deviant youth behaviour
• Representations of young people
out of control allows the state to
have more control
• Ideology of Protection: young
people need constant
surveillance and monitoring.
State ensures that they conform
to hegemonic values.
Apply this theory to the historical
newspapers you have studied.
• The extent to which the text shows
young people as in need of control.
• Does the text show young people as
behaving in an unacceptable way?
• If so does this identify what behaviour
society thinks is acceptable? (i.e.
• How does the text show class youths to
be deviant thus reinforcing middle class
An analysisof the representationof British
youthin historicalmedia. Homework.
Write an analysis of how youth are represented in historical film
You need to include:
Micro analysis of texts
Social, political, historical context of texts
Links to theory
• Written and directed by Ben Drew/ Plan B
• Released 6th June 2012- one year after the
London Riots (2011)
• Production company- BBC Films/
• Budget £100,000
• Genre: Urban/ Crime drama
Film poster Tag line: “We are all products
of our own environment”
What does this mean?
How are youth represented? Initial
Using the subheadings to help write down your initial ideas
about how youth are represented and why.
Mise en scene
Can you think of any good key scenes to show
Annotate the sheet with ideas about how the characters are
How are youth represented in
the film Ill Manors?
• What is a CHAV?
• In your pairs/groups define this term.
• The Collins English Dictionary defines the word chav as
• It says a chav is "a young working class person whose tastes,
although sometimes expensive, are considered vulgar"
• Do you agree with this definition?
Definition of Chav
• Who do you think created the term CHAV?
• Who does it benefit?
• Watch the video for Ill Manors.
• What representation of British Youth do you see in this video?
Plan B – Ill Manors (Music Video)
• Read The Guardians article on Plan B’s Ill Manors.
• What are the key points in the article?
• Do you agree that Ill Manors can act as a ‘protest song’?
The Guardian on Ill Manors
• Giroux argues that in media representations youth becomes an
• Media representations of young people are constructed by
adults. Because of this they reflect adults concerns, anxieties,
• Imagine this figure is a British Youth
A stereotypical image is created of this
youth by the mainstream media (Adults)
The ‘empty’ figure becomes filled with this
This is what society sees rather than the
• As a result of this media representations of young people do
not necessarily reflect the reality of youth identity.
• Can you think of any examples of this?
Empty Category (Giroux 1997)
and Ill Manors
• Youth becomes an ‘empty
constructed by adults.
• Reflect adults concerns,
anxieties, and needs.
• Representations do not
necessarily reflect the
reality of youth identity.
How can we apply this
theory to Ill Manors?
Who constructed the text?
Who it is aimed at?
Does the text reflect adult
anxieties or serve the purposes of
adult society? (reinforcing
• 29-year-old black man
• Shot on 4th August 2011 by police attempting to arrest
him in Tottenham, North East London, England
• He was suspected of planning a revenge attack following
the fatal stabbing of his cousin and had a gun with him
• He died from a gunshot wound to the chest
• There was a considerable reaction from some people to
the apparent circumstances of his death
• A public demonstration and an attack on police vehicles,
were contributory factors to a riot in Tottenham
• This escalated into widespread riots, looting and arson in
Thursday 4th August
• Mark Duggan, 29, is shot dead by police at Ferry Lane,
• His death occurs during an operation where specialist firearm
officers and officers from Operation Trident, the unit which
deals with gun crime in the African and Caribbean
communities, are attempting to carry out an arrest.
• Duggan is a passenger in a minicab and is shot after an
apparent exchange of fire.
• A police officer's radio is later found to have a bullet lodged in it
• The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
announces it will investigate the incident and later says it
believes two shots were fired by police
• It also confirms that an illegal firearm was recovered from the
Saturday 6th August
• A series of disturbances by people in Tottenham in
Haringey followed the protest march on 6 August
• The rioting occurred shortly after approximately 120
people marched from the Broadwater Farm estate to
Tottenham Police Station
Sunday 7th August
• Approximately 100 hooded youths gather outside Enfield
• There are reports on Twitter of a police presence at
Oxford Circus in London's West End
• Police later say a mob of around 50 people damaged
property in the area
Monday 8th August
• Rioting is taking place in Ealing, West London
• Windows of a Tesco supermarket have been broken, a car is on
fire and rubbish is strewn in public areas.
• There is also a fire in Haven Green park, opposite Ealing
• About 40 vehicles were damaged in a night of violence
• Described by one senior officer as "motivated" by the London
• Most of the incidents happened in the St Ann's area
• Police foiled an attempt to break into the Victoria Centre in the
• The trouble lasted about three hours.
Tuesday 9th August
• London Fire Brigade says it faced its busiest night in
• The brigade's 999 control centre answered 2,169 calls
between 18:00 on Monday and 07:19 on Tuesday.
• This is around 15 times the normal rate of calls the
brigade would expect on an average day.
• The Football Association confirms that England's friendly
against Holland at Wembley tomorrow has been called
off because of the rioting in London.
• David Cameron makes his first statement outside
Number 10 after cutting short his holiday to return to
• He announces a massive increase in police numbers and
the recall of Parliament.
Wednesday 10th August
• A 21-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of starting a fire at the
House of Reeves furniture store in Croydon - destroyed during
Monday night's rioting in London.
• David Cameron makes a statement from Downing Street, paying
tribute to police and the emergency services
• He warns that more people will be arrested and charged
• “We will not allow a culture of fear to exist on our streets”
• Cameron announces contingency plans for water cannon, to be
used at 24 hours' notice.
• Ministry of Justice statement says there are enough prison places
for all those sentenced to custody
• The Met Police release a second set of images of people they
would like to speak to about the recent disorder
• Greater Manchester Police release a batch of CCTV images of
suspects wanted in connection with the rioting and looting.
Thursday 11th August
• David Cameron makes a statement to MPs in which he admits
there are questions to be answered over the shooting of Mark
Duggan in Tottenham last week
• He calls the rioting "criminality, pure and simple“ and says the
courts will continue sitting for as long as necessary to deal with the
• He says police will be given powers to force people to remove
masks and scarves covering their faces where there are
reasonable grounds to believe they are planning criminal activity
• Cameron also announces a £10m recovery scheme to make areas
safe and clean again.
• Labour leader Ed Miliband calls for an inquiry to look at the deeper
causes of the "wanton vandalism and looting“
• He says the riots have been a “stark reminder” of the need for
police on the streets and he calls on the government to rethink cuts
in police spending.
Friday 12th August
• The Metropolitan Police say 1,103 people have now been
arrested in connection with the riots and 654 people have been
• Greater Manchester Police said they had so far made 147
arrests and more than 70 people had already gone through the
• Merseyside Police said they had made 77 arrests and charged
• West Midlands Police said 445 people had been arrested and
Nottinghamshire Police said they had arrested 109 people and
• The night passes off peacefully - with officers still on the streets
in large numbers.
The hoodie horror/ urban crime
“Genre is not simply ‘given’ by the culture. Rather it is in a
constant state of negotiation and change”
“Genre’s are instances of repetition and difference”
The hoodie genre has changed over time and will continue
to do so.
We will still see elements (eg costume, locations) but
different attitudes will be evident.
Gone Too Far (2014)
What elements of the hoodie/
urban drama can you still see and
what has changed?
How does this show changing
representations of youth?
TV: People Just Do Nothing
• BBC Iplayer
• British mockumentary
Media use in identity construction
• The construction of a personal identity can be somewhat difficult /
• Young people are surrounded by influential imagery
• Can you think of any examples of this?
• It is no longer possible for an identity to just be constructed in a
small community and influenced by a family
• Everything concerning our lives is ‘media saturated’
• Can you explain this comment?
• When constructing an identity, young people make use of imagery
derived from popular media. Hamley states that;
• “It is becoming increasingly common for young children to
have their own television and music systems in their bedrooms
whilst also having easy and frequent access to magazines
especially aimed at the ‘developing’ child and/or teenager.
• “Such young people would also have a way of accessing the
Internet be it at school or sometimes at home.”
• “If young people have such frequent access and an interest in the
media, it is fair to say that their behaviour and their sense of ‘self’
will be influenced to some degree by what they see, read, hear or
discover for themselves”
• This can affect the way they behave, dress or the kind of music they
may listen to.
• These are aspects which go together to construct a person’s own
• From your research can you think of any examples of this?
• This article was written in 2003. Can you think of any changes that
have affected ‘young peoples’ access to media since then?
Introducing Identity (2008)
• He classifies identity as an ‘ambiguous and slippery’ term;
• Identity is something unique to each of us, but also implies a
relationship with a broader group;
• Identity can change according to our circumstances;
• Can you think of any examples of this?
• Online identity
• Professional identity
• Personal identity
• Identity is fluid and is affected by broader changes;
• Identity becomes more important to us if we feel it is
• “Identity is complicated everybody thinks they’ve got
• Religious and national identities are at the heart of major
• The average teenager can create numerous identities in a
short space of time (Especially using the Internet, social
networking sites, etc.)
• We like to think we are unique, but Gauntlett questions
whether this is an illusion, and we are all much more
similar than we think.
How is the internet changing
• The internet, social networking sites and content sharing
sites like YouTube are changing how identity is perceived and
• What evidence can you think of that agrees with this
• How can we create an identity online?
• Does this identity change from reality?
•“Texting, emailing, posting all of
these things let us present the self as
we want to be. We get to edit, and
that means we get to delete, and
that means we get to retouch.”
• Sherry Tuckle, Connected… but Alone
YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr,
• Sites like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram etc… allow us the
opportunity to increasingly MEDIATE our own identity
• By choosing what to post or what to say in our latest status we
chose what version of ourselves we will present to the online world
• “Whenever there is time to write edit and
delete there is room for performance”
– Sherry Tuckle, Connected… but Alone
• Every 60 seconds on Facebook: 510 comments are posted,
293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are
• At 1.64 billion, Facebook has more monthly active users than
WhatsApp (500 million), Twitter (284 million) and Instagram
• 91% of 15-34 year olds (millennials) use Facebook
Identity is changing
• Look at your Facebook profile.
• Do you mediate your own identity at all?
• Look at the posts you have created? What image of you do we
get from each of these?
• Is it different from your other profiles? (Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat
Online Identity Theory
• With the growing popularity of online social networks, they have
brought with them developments in identity construction in the
form of users creating an avatar or 'second self.'
• Having an online ‘self’ or avatar enables people's identities to be
‘entirely generated by what can be typed or posted in images and
text.’ (Jones & Holmes,2011)
• This enables online users the power to create themselves as
someone who does not mirror who they are in reality.
Online Identity Theory Cont…
• The social identity theory suggests that ‘individuals strive to
maintain or enhance their self esteem; they strive for a positive self
concept' (Tajifel and Turner,1979)
• In previous generations who were without the internet, would have
to prove that they achieved something by actually doing it to
receive the recognition and gratification.
• The introduction of online social networking in the 21st century has
added a new dimension to the theory of social identity as people
are given a chance to effectively portray themselves, what they do,
what they care about and even how old they are inaccurately in
order to receive recognition, gratification or acceptance.
How can this affect the representation
• This new sense of identity and community is both connecting
and isolating at the same time
• We are increasingly connected to the world, but at the same
time increasingly disconnected from reality
• MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games)
like WOW (World of Warcraft) are increasing in size, allowing
people to escape into a imagined world where community and
identity are malleable and easily constructed
• This ability to construct an identity, to be unseen while
communicating increases the risk for impersonation and fraud
• It creates a sense of anonymity, a false sense of security
• People post things they would never say in person, trolls etc…
What does this mean?
• Identity is constantly in flux, we are unable to distinguish
between what is authentic and what isn’t. We are frequently
constructing our own identities, presenting a mediated
version of ourselves to the world
• Equally the collective identity of youth and youth culture can
also be affected by this movement to online cultures
• Rather than being controlled and constructed by outside
onlookers, British youth can now take control of their own
representation creating UGC (User Generated Content) to
reflect what they see, feel and experience
• This idea was realised
by the TIME magazine
person of the year in
• Plan a digital media paragraph on the following question:
• “The media do not construct identity; they merely reflect it”
Practice Exam Questions
• Analyse the ways in which the media represent one group of people
you have studied.
• ‘The media do not construct collective identity; they merely reflect
• With reference to any one group of people that you have studied,
discuss how their identity has been ‘mediated’.
• ‘Media representations are complex, not simple and straight
forward’. How far do you agree with this statement in relation to the
collective group you have studied.
• Analyse the ways in which he media represent groups of people
• What is collective identity and how is it mediated?
Practice Exam Questions cont…
• Discuss how one or more groups of people are represented through the
• Explain the role played by the media in the construction of collective
• How do media representations influence collective identity? You may
refer to one group of people or more in your answer.
• Discuss the different ways in which groups of people are represented by
the media. You may refer to one group of people or more in your
• Analyse the ways in which at lease one group of people is ‘mediated’.
• Discuss the social implications on media in relation to collective identity.
You may refer to one group of people or more in your answer.
Practice Exam Questions cont…
• Analyse the impact of media representation on the collective identity of
one or more groups of people.
• Compare the different ways in which one or more groups of people are
• Explain what is meant by ‘collective identity’ and the role of media in its
• ‘Media representations are just reflections of reality, not constructions
or distortions.’ Discuss with reference to one or more groups of people.
• Media and collective identity: how does one affect the other?
• ‘Media simply represent collective identity, they don’t create it.’ How far
do you agree with this statement? Make reference to one or more
groups of people in your answer.