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Media and the representation of Youth Culture

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Introduction

Media and the representation of Youth Culture History of the debate Since the late nineteenth century the media has been a cornerstone of our society. It has, for long periods of time provided the public with a variety of debates. In social policy the amount of influence the media has on the public has been at the forefront of intellectual minds. One of the main groups who have gained the attention of the media since the outset of the 1950's is youth in their various different forms. These considerations lead to three questions:- * What pressures are present in the production of media material and how do these pressures affect what eventually reaches the public via newspaper reports and other media sources such as television? * How do the media represent modern youth and how does the disproportionate amount of media reporting affect public perceptions on modern youth? * What lasting affect does this have on our society regarding it's actions to the perceived problem and how does this affect youth cultures in their reactions to the situation It has been said that the media is influenced by a number of factors whether it is profit, ownership or politics, which determine the eventual content of media output. ...read more.

Middle

This concept of representation is, therefore, just as much about audience interpretation as it is about the portrayals that are offered to us by the media. Research Outline At this stage of my research I consider it useful to analyse the current theories of deviance in criminology. All of these theories of deviance touch on the amount of media input which contain messages. These messages tend to reinforce the views and norms of society. The question that arises is as follows, Is this purely coincidental, or do these messages have lasting effects on the individuals whom consume them on a regular basis. Calfloun (2002:12) describes social norms as "a prescribed guide for conduct or action which is generally complied with by the members of society" Many of the core theories of criminology have found that one of the main influences on what is considered deviant and wrong in society is the mass media. Youth in particular is one of the modern focuses of the media as it tries to express an air of discontent towards the Criminal Justice system in its treatment and actions towards such individuals. ...read more.

Conclusion

For Becker the current hype surrounding the problem of youth in the media is simply designed to create popular uproar. These youth groups could be seen to be rebelling against their increased focus from the government and the media- the so called gold fish bowl effect. This could be seen as no different to the miners strikes in the 1980's who were also rebelling against their treatment by the then Thatcher government. This suggests that the media representations of youth affect both the individuals in question and that of the rest of society. The individuals in question feel aggravated by the situation of surveillance and restraint put upon them. The public act in the opposite way seeing this as a problem that society has to address. I intend to explore this theory and the ways in which media content and presentation of material effects the public later in the research. Many of the theories of the media in general have supported the view that the media provides the public with the basic knowledge that eventually leads to attitude formation. I will now introduce you to some of the key concepts which underpin general understanding of the media. ...read more.

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