Theoretical Approaches to Media Representations of Youth
Lesson Objectives: To be able to explain theoretical approaches to media representations of young people.
Who am I?
• I was an Italian political thinker. (20)• I was interested in the way one social class is
able to dominate society. (10)• I developed the concept of hegemony. (5)• I AM GRAMSCI.
Who am I?
• I am interested in youth subcultures. (20)• I wrote a book about the importance of style
to youth subcultures. (10)• I believe media representations of young
people portray them as either fun or trouble. (5)
• I AM HEBDIGE.
Who am I?
• I’m interested in the effects of media representations of delinquent youth. (20)
• I developed the concept of the ideology of protection. (10)
• I think media representations of anti-social youth reinforces hegemony. (5)
• I AM ACLAND.
Who am I?
• I researched the effect of television on viewers. (20)
• I think that the repetitive nature of television means that over time television influences how people see the world. (10)
• I call this cultivation theory. (5)• I’M GERBNER OF COURSE.
Theory and Collective Identity
• In this section of the exam you are considering how young people are represented in the media, the effect and purpose of these representations, and how we think about collective identities.
Areas of Theory
• When applying theory you need to approach it from 3 perspectives:
• Representations of youth (Giroux, Acland, Hebdige)• Effects of these representations (Gerbner, Gauntlett)• The role of media representations in society (Gramsci,
The Function of Media Representations of Youth
• The key idea most of these theorists have in common is the idea that media representations of youth help to maintain social order and hegemony.
• Youth becomes an empty category in representation – reflects adult concerns.
• Media representation of youth does not reflect reality of youth identity.
• Media representations of youth maintain social order/hegemony.
• Ideology of protection.
• Youth as fun/youth as trouble.• Youth subcultures resist hegemony through
• Moral Panic• Media representations of youth reinforce
hegemony (like Acland).• Deviancy amplification spiral
• Ideological state apparatus
• Dominant ideology reinforced through different groups including the media.
• Mean World Syndrome• Cultivation Theory
• Media has some influence on how people understand identities.
• In your essay you need to explain the effects of media representations of youth (maintains social order) and link this to the texts we have studied (you could consider the way contemporary British representations reinforce hegemony by portraying working class young people negatively).
• You then need to consider the wider effects of these representations on how people perceive young people.
Pick a Theorist
• Pick a theorist out of the metaphorical hat.
• Briefly explain their key idea.