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Representation of teenagers

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Representation of teenagers

  1. 1. The development of the ‘teenager’ Looking at wider contexts Case Study : Rebel Without A Cause (1955) http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0048545/
  2. 2. Origins of youth culture Classic film representations of youth and youth culture include : Rebel Without A Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955) – James Dean’s famous film about a rebellious teenager. This film, together with East of Eden (1956) and his early death in a road crash, led to Dean becoming a mythic figure for youth.
  3. 3. The development of the ‘teenager’ Growing up prior to World War II, teenagers were expected to take life seriously. Males were expected to join the military or go out and get a job in order to help bring in money for their family or to take care of their future family. Females were taught how to take care of the household and prepare themselves to be a dutiful wife and take care of children. Marriage and preparing for a family, more than education or a career, was seen as a definite in the lives of teenagers. Also, teens had very little economic freedom, independence, and input into decision making prior to WWII.
  4. 4. Origins of youth culture Some critics would argue that because all youth cultures are constructed around patterns of consumption, including music, its proponents are in fact just manufactured and manipulated audiences and, like any other media audience, delivered to advertisers. However, media representations of contemporary youth cultures are usually content with broad generalisations and stereotyping rather than acknowledging the subtle differences between groups. It is a feature of group identity that recognition of subtle signs of similarity and difference creates a restricted code where only those closely engaged can recognise the meanings.
  5. 5. Origins of youth culture Classic film representations of youth and youth culture include : The Wild One (Lazlo Benedek, 1953) Marlon Brando’s classic outlaw biker film was blamed for the destruction of cinemas and teenage violence. It was frequently banned in its day.
  6. 6. Origins of youth culture Classic film representations of youth and youth culture include : Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969) – featured the strapline ‘A man went looking for America and couldn’t find it anywhere…’ probably because most of this classic hippy road movie is seen through a ccaannnnaabbiiss--iinndduucceedd ffoogg..
  7. 7. Origins of youth culture Classic film representations of youth and youth culture include : A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971) – a futuristic urban dystopia featuring vviioolleennccee,, vviioolleenntt sseexx aanndd ccuulltt ggaannggss ddoommiinnaattiinngg tthhee ssttrreeeettss. It was withdrawn in the UK by Kubrick himself, who was shocked by so-called ‘‘ccooppyyccaatt vviioolleennccee’’ iinnvvoollvviinngg sscceenneess ffrroomm tthhee ffiillmm. http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0066921/
  8. 8. Origins of youth culture Classic film representations of youth and youth culture include : Romper Stomper (Geoffrey Wright, 1992) – a classic skinhead film.
  9. 9. Origins of youth culture Classic film representations of youth and youth culture include : Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001) – a strange and moody film, principally about the alienation of youth in a world of moral contradictions. http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0246578/
  10. 10. Origins of youth culture Classic film representations of youth and youth culture include : Sweet Sixteen (Ken Loach, 2002) – the title of this film is ironic, as it follows the tragic life of a Scottish boy who, in spite of his best efforts to improve his life, is drawn into crime and ultimately murder just as he reaches the age of 16.
  11. 11. Origins of youth culture Classic film representations of youth and youth culture include : This Is England (Shane Meadows, 2006) – a representation of 1980s skinhead gang culture. Set in 1983 in a world of New Romantics, mods and skinheads, the film centres on 12-year-old Shaun (based on the director himself). It deals with masculinity, race and violence, with a background of working-class life, mass unemployment and xenophobia.
  12. 12. Origins of youth culture It would be useful for your case studies to look at some films from different decades, and analyse how and why the representations of teenagers has changed and developed.
  13. 13. The development of the ‘teenager’ However, in the 1950’s, expectations changed for the teenager. The economy started booming and families experienced a great deal of economic power, freedom and independence. This was the era that ‘‘ccrreeaatteedd’’ tthhee tteeeennaaggeerr. Until the 1950s people moved from childhood to adulthood, but the introduction of mass public education and greater general prosperity delayed the necessity for children to work and many enjoyed a longer leisured period into adolescence. Teenagers where more inclined and encouraged to attend college, find a skill, and seek a successful career. Their parents had more than likely gone through the depression and a number of wars, and now wanted something more for their children.
  14. 14. The development of the ‘teenager’ The newly found independence of teenagers wwoouulldd oofftteenn rreessuulltt iinn ccoonnfflliicctt wwiitthh ppaarreennttss.. Before the 1950’s, teenagers listened to the music of their parents, but when rroocckk aanndd rroollll ccaammee oonn tthhee sscceennee teens swarmed to it. This clash between parents and teens became known as the generation gap. The rise of rock n’ roll only served to widen this gap between the old and young, dividing those who looked back to pre-war values, and those who wished to look forward to a new American world. Americans had a newfound optimism about their future – a world in which automated technology and the good old American values of ‘enterprise’ and ‘risk-taking’ helped them achieve unheard levels of wealth and luxury.
  15. 15. The development of the ‘teenager’ Media attention on teenage behaviour became an early moral panic. Rock and roll music was seen as encouraging sexual promiscuity and therefore threatening mainstream society. Protecting and controlling the young has always been an obsession of adult society, and the media found easy targets and plenty of material for sensational jjoouurrnnaalliissmm ccoonncceerrnniinngg tthhee ggrroowwtthh ooff tthhee ‘‘sseexx,, ddrruuggss aanndd rroocckk aanndd rroollll’’ ccuullttuurree and the many stars and celebrities it produced.
  16. 16. The development of the ‘teenager’ TThhee mmeeddiiaa ppllaayyeedd oonn tthheessee eemmoottiioonnss aanndd oofftteenn ppoorrttrraayyeedd tteeeennaaggeerrss aass jjuuvveenniillee ddeelliinnqquueennttss..
  17. 17. Analysing the representation of teenager’s. How are teenagers represented on TV?
  18. 18. Rebel Without A Cause (1955) Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 film directed by Nicholas Ray that tells the story of a rebellious teenager played by James Dean, who comes to a town, meets a girl, disobeys his parents, and defies the local high school bullies. It was an attempt to portray the moral decay of American youth, critique parental style, and exploit the differences between generations. In 1990, Rebel Without a Cause was added to the preserved films of the United States Library of Congress's National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." The film had its opening on 27 October 1955, almost one month after James Dean's fatal car crash.
  19. 19. Cross Cultural Comparisons –50/60s Youth as fun’ was a central motif within British youth texts. Cliff Richard’s films of the early 1960s are exemplary. Sprightly musicals The Young Ones (1961) and Summer Holiday (1963) are both tales of cheery youngsters liberating themselves from the dull conformity of their work-a-day lives. The young people here are not rebels but responsible and enterprising citizens, the films’ unquestioning sense of freedom and optimism epitomizing the notions of prosperity and dawning social harmony that lay at the heart of dominant political ideologies during the early 1960s.
  20. 20. Cross Cultural Comparisons – 50/60s Related to this critique of youngsters’ cultural preferences has been the stereotyping of young people as a uniquely delinquent generation. This line of argument has often taken sub cultural style as its target. During the early 1950s, for example, these anxieties cohered around the figure of the Teddy Boy. First identified by the media in the working-class neighbourhoods of south London in 1954, the Ted was soon presented as a shockingly new spectre haunting street corners all over the country, his negative image compounded in the sensational press coverage of cinema ‘riots’ that followed screenings of the film Rock Around The Clock in 1956.
  21. 21. Teenagers in the 60’s - Mods By the end of the decade the Ted’s drape suit had been superseded by the chic, Italian-inspired styles of the mods. However, like the Teds before them, the mods’ appearance was often presented by the media as not simply a mode of dress but as a symbol of national decline. This approach reached fever-pitch in press responses to the mod ‘invasions’ of several seaside resorts in 1964, events given front-page prominence by national newspapers who spoke of a ‘day of terror’ in which whole towns had been overrun by a marauding mob ‘hell-bent on destruction’.
  22. 22. Look at these newspaper articles. What do you think might have happened? Why?
  23. 23. Quadrophenia  Is set in the mid 60s. It follows the story of Jimmy Cooper, a London Mod. Disillusioned by his parents and a job as a post room boy in an advertising firm, Jimmy finds an outlet for his teenage angst with his Mod friends. This film highlights rebelliousness caused by suburban boredom. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8E4znu82XhE&feature=endscreen&NR=1
  24. 24. How are teenagers represented in today’s TV programmes? TASK: - In groups of 3 analyse how the teenagers are represented in your chosen TV Drama. • Analyse are the teenagers represented as a fair and accurate representation of the teenagers you know? - If not why not? • What do the representations / stereotypes say about young people? • Find some short clips to evidence your points. • Present your findings in a PPT to present back to the class for Thursday (max 8 minutes).
  25. 25. LO: To understand what is a moral panic and the effects this can have in the media. Using teenagers as an example of one moral panic in the media.
  26. 26. Media presents a distorted view of the level of crime. Distorted view creates public concern. Related pieces of crime and deviance are over reported & given more prominence than otherwise would have. This keeps the issue high on the public agenda. The police want something done about the problem. The police are more aware or sensitive to the problem so they discover more crime. Police records reinforce the idea there’s more crime & deviance. MORAL PANIC
  27. 27. My name is Stan Cohen…whenever you talk about moral panics you must refer to me and mods and rockers.
  28. 28. Stanley Cohen – Moral Panics Stanley Cohen has termed such occasions of sensationalized media alarm ‘moral panics’, a situation in which : “A condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests; its nature presented in a stereotypical fashion by the mass media.
  29. 29. Stanley Cohen – Moral Panics In these terms distorted media coverage plays an active role in shaping events. Media attention fans the sparks of an initially trivial incident, creating a self-perpetuating ‘amplification spiral’ which generates phenomena of much greater magnitude and social significance.
  30. 30. Stanley Cohen – Moral Panics Cohen’s case study focused on media representations of the 1960s ‘battles’ between mods and rockers, charting how media intervention gave shape to these groups and crafted them into threatening ‘folk devils’. Moral panic representations often focus on conflict and fighting between different youth groups degenerate behaviour, antisocial practices such as drug taking and sexual promiscuity, and even fashion.
  31. 31. Stanley Cohen – Moral Panics Hippies, Punks, Goths and New Romantics have all been called degenerate and criticised by the media in this way. In this kind of representation, the young are seen as illustrating the moral decline of society as a whole. According to Cohen, youth subcultures have been subject to processes of stigmatization and stereotyping. Ironically, Media intervention gives youth subcultures not only national exposure but also a degree of uniformity and definition.
  32. 32. Stanley Cohen – Moral Panics Analysis Task : Look at Cohen’s criteria for creating a moral panic within a newspaper article. Use these points to analyse the newspaper article from 1964. •Title for the article (short, snappy, sensational, lots of alliteration, maybe even rhymes or play on words). •Focus on acts that are often seen as deviant e.g. sex, drugs, rock and roll •Convey such problem groups as being villains who are possibly trying to threaten social order •EXAGGERATION – over estimating such features as numbers of people and the scale of the damage. •PREDICATION – an inflated account that may give reference to future events. •SYMBOLISATION – makes remarks about the dress and style of the deviants. Visual signs of delinquency e.g. lifestyle, habits etc.
  33. 33. How were young people portrayed during London riots in the summer?
  34. 34. After watching the riots on the TV, what may I think about young people and why?
  35. 35. Moral Panic - Homework Pick a modern day media ‘moral panic’. •Make a collage of pictures / news clippings and annotate how the event created a moral panic (using Stanley Cohen’s diagram as the steps). •Do the media use EXAGGERATION, PREDICATION and SYMBOLISATION in the news reports? If so explain how?

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