“What is happening to our youngpeople? They disrespect their elders; they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets, inflamed with wild notions.Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?” Plato 4th Century!!
StereotypesStereotypes are social constructs•they originate in & reflect the power relations in society because they arepart of a cultures ideology•they foster values that reinforce group and individual subordination•they marginalize people, treating them as "the other"•they categorize people into groups whose members supposedly shareinevitable characteristics, most typically, negative onesCharacteristics of stereotypes•stereotypes are categorical & general, suggesting the traits apply to allgroup members•they are inflexible or rigid, thus not easily corrected•they are simplistic•they are prejudgements not based on experience (They could bereinforced by negative personal experience.)•can be conscious or unconscious
What is the biggest issue facing young people today? guardian.co.uk 15 April 2009
Where has this come from? According to recent research:What worries teens the most:
Hegemony in News Representation of Youth/Teen/Teenagers• Media industries operate within a structure that produces and reinforces the dominant ideology via a consensual ‘world view’.• This world view is produced predominantly by white middle class, middle aged, heterosexual men.• It is their ideas and values that infiltrate media texts and ensure that other voices do not get heard.
Fact or Fiction?The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) warned in 2009 that:•Rates of sexually-transmitted infections among teenagers and under-agesex are roaring•Children being so obese that their only hope is surgery•There are falling standards in schools•More than 1.5 million Britons had considered moving home because ofyoung people "hanging around" their neighbourhood.•British adults are also twice as likely than German adults to cross the roadwhen they encounter teenagers committing anti-social behaviour.•Britons were too frightened to get involved and tackle teenagers for fear ofphysically attack, fear of reprisals and being verbally abused .
Or could it be that young people growing up in this country are being deliberately misunderstood by politicians and headline writers who wish to use them to suit their own ends?Not one of these fears appears to be borne out by the facts!•According to NACRO, the penal reform charity, youth crime actually fellbetween 1993 and 2001 while Britain has one of the lowest crime ratesamong children in the whole of Europe.•Tony Blairs "respect" campaign and the national "respect squad" set upby John Reid, only reinforced the adult fear factor of teenagers, a conditionthe report refers to as paedophobia.•Labour, spurred on by sensational headlines about gangs of teenagersterrorising neighbourhoods, have been quick to turn soundbites intoactions and introduced criminal justice measures deliberately targetingproblem children.•Since 1999, 2,000 Asbos have been issued against young people
False perceptions cont:• Pam Hibbert, principal policy officer for Barnados: "We have become fearful of all children. We know for example young crime in itself has remained fairly static in the past 10 years - it is a minority that cause problems and retaliate. The demonisation of children and young people in some sections of the media and when politicians refer to youngsters as yobs - that breeds the actual fear."• Elaine Peace, UK director of childrens services at NCH, the childrens charity, said that teenagers were more likely to be the victim of a crime than the perpetrator: "Young people are 10 times more likely to be actively volunteering in the community than committing offences and young people are more likely to be victims of crime than adults. The media is fuelling stereotypes of children and the fear of young people. We should be highlighting the fantastic work young people do in the community. We need to do more to involve older people in the community - mentoring schemes would be one option to help change perceptions.“• Education standards have improved in both A-levels and GCSEs and independent studies have failed to prove that either exam is getting easier. Meanwhile, international surveys suggest that Britains primary schools now have the third highest literacy rates in the world.• Even the IPPR concedes that many of these stereotypes about teenagers may be unjustified. Nick Pearce, IPPR Director, says: "The debate about childhood in Britain is polarised between false opposites: that either children or adults are to blame. It also ignores inequalities in the transition to adulthood. Many children are safer, healthier and better educated than in the past, whilst others suffer complex, traumatic routes through adolescence.
Is National Service the answer?Every 16-year-old would eventually be eligible forwhat Cameron described as "non-military nationalservice" non compulsory scheme. Teenagers fromdifferent backgrounds would mix together to givethem what the Tory leader described as "a sense ofpurpose, optimism and belonging"."There is in this country today the most outrageous,the most disgraceful, the most pointless waste ofpotential. Our young people are as passionate andidealistic as any generation before. Perhaps evenmore so. They march against poverty, they set upFacebook campaigns, they push their parents torecycle and they care about climate change. But somany young people are lost. Show me a bus stopthats been bashed up and Ill show you the work ofsomeone who has a lack of discipline in their life."
Propaganda• Without the help of the media, people would be unlikely to permit the authorities the right to arrest ten year old children, and hold their details on record until they reach adulthood. It is only with the assistance of headlines such as the Daily Mail’s one in four adolescents is a criminal that they are able to obtain public support for new legislation. The following extract is an example of such fear inducing propaganda.• Propaganda is a form of communication aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position
How does a moral panic emerge?• Apparent rise in criminal or anti-social acts• Often a specific, shocking incident• Scapegoat ‘found’ in popular culture• Blame attributed in news coverage• ‘Experts’ consulted e.g. teachers., social workers, police officers• Demands in action e.g. Change in law• Research disregarded or ridiculed
Lesson Aims•To continue to develop understanding of how British youth and youth culture are represented•The main focus being on question 3 - ‘What are the social implications of different media representations of British youths and youth culture?’
What is happening at the moment?• What are the social implications of these representations?• What words describe youth and youth culture in today’s media?• Are they positive/negative• Draw an image of how you think youths are being represented
Putting the shoe on the other foot…• Consider what understanding you have of the older generation (the elderly)…• …write down words and an image to describe how you view the elderly
DVD• Write down notes for discussion points following the DVD• What subjects/topic areas are discussed in this that you – Relate to – Want to follow up – Disagree with – Strongly agree with?
Identity Boxes• Grab your identity boxes and sit opposite someone you do not know so well• You have one minute each to tell each other about how your box represents your identity• You will have to feedback to the class what you have learnt about your partner
Last Points about social media… Why social media is shit…
“Americans say they havefewer friends than everbefore” Source: Social isolation in America: Changes in core discussion networks over two decades
‘We only have two closefriends’. Source: The Guardian: Social networking aside how many close friends do you have?
Digital YouthHow new technology has affected collective identity
How do youth trends spread? Traditional Model• Global youth was ‘atomised’ (broke off into smaller fragments)• Trend begins, usually led by a celebrity, in one country (usually USA or UK).• Media would then spread this trend• Other nations’ youth would spot the trend, adopt it as an easy route to solidarity with other teens,• Popularity (and media coverage) would increase in intensity and get a wider spread of distribution.
How has digital technology changed this?• Young people have grown up taking internet, mobiles, mp3s for granted.• Interactivity – opportunity to manipulate the media experience.• Instantaneity – ability to access (and experience) media texts ‘on-demand’.• ‘Cloud Culture’ – information (including media texts and experiences) ‘float’ above us, we can ‘reach up’ and ‘grab’ it whenever we want.
How do youth trends spread? 21st Century Model• Youths create their own style, their own media;• They tell others about it using social networking sites, blogs etc; quality content downloaded and spread by viral.• 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.• Then mainstream media may become involved.