Topic 7: Youth cultures and the media

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  • Created by: zoolouise
  • Created on: 30-04-16 13:11

Youth culture, folk devils and moral panics

Stanley Cohen (1972) conducted research on Folk Devil's and Moral Pancis, he studied events of the early 1960s. He came up with the term moral panic. He described how gangs of working-class London youths went to seaside resorts for bank holiday weekends. A dance hall scuffle between two groups led to some minor damage and also fighting. The newspapers reported this as a pitched battle and this led to a process of deviancy amplification. Young people become the folk devils and the response of authorities was a moral panic.

The press described the gangs, suggesting there were two groups: the mods and rockers. Young people gradually began to associate with either one side or the other and more of them began visiting the seaside resorts in order to witness or join in with the rioting. Due to this, the British seaside resorts became a dangerous place to be.  Another moral panic is that the media have reported teenagers who wear hoodies as thugs, and thus, making the public scared of them.

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Youths culture and consumption of media culture

David Buckingham (2010) stated that children and young people have became an increasingly important consumer market for media products and media technology. Music, films, TV programmes and computer games are all produced for a youth market.

Kellner suggest that over the last twenty years, youths have bought into identities through their purchases. Louise Archer points out that wealthier youths had a number of ways of expressing their priviledge; they certainly enjoyed conspicuous consumer of designer goods and created youth cultures based on purchasing. When middle-class people adopted working-class styles and fashions, they could be seen as cool and ironic.

A working-class or Black person in a hoodie is seen as 'dangerous' whereas a middle-class person may simply be seen as 'edgy' or 'fashionable'

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Youths as creators of culture

Danah Boyd (2010) pointed out that youths may develop a street syle such as a new style of music. Companies who are seeking new ideas may promote a particular style long before it's widely seen on the streets.

Hassan and Katsanis (1991) suggested that the growth of media technology is spurring the development of a global youth market for items of clothing, drinks and also music. Globalisation isn't a new phenomenon, technology has just speeded up the process.

Sonia Livingstone suggests that as a result of technological change youth culture is different in contemporary society as yougn people are able to develop global youth cultures. There isn't a single event or trigger that changes people, something more complex is occuring. Young people are monitoring other youths from around the world, constantly adjusting their behaviour and beliefs in the light of what they see.

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New bedroom culture

Both the 20th and 21st century have been marked by massive changed in media technologies. In the 1940s and 1950s, most homes might have had a radio and maybe a TV, the primary media form would have been a newsprint. Early youths may have bought records and record players, however, media forms have developed so each generation has had a new media form with which to access music and other cultural products such as film.

Morley (1986) showed that family life has dispersed; in the past families may have gathered to watch TV or listen to radio programmes. Media technologies have become cheaper, smaller and easier to access so there's been a process of individualisation in which people are encouraged to explore their own personal taste and traditional social grouping.

Outside spaces are now seen as dangerous for children meaning they no longer play outside as they once did before. This is due to the increase of cars. Postmodernist, Beck, refers to the emergence of risk culture whereby people are anxious about modern society. Home is now seen as 'safe'. Youths are now using the media in their bedrooms. Livingstone (2002) discovered that many youths have access to the media such as tv, pc games and products in their homes. New bedroom cultures are developing where youths organise their lives via social networking sites and use of media forms.

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