Representation: How Have the Youth of Today Been Portrayed in Documentaries?

Topics: Sociology, Youth, Violence Pages: 4 (1129 words) Published: June 15, 2013
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Representation: How have the youth of today been portrayed in documentaries? The youth of today are viewed as being an uncontrollable generation; events such as the London Riots have created a shift of perspective of youths in the United Kingdom. This uncontrollable generation is depicted through social issues such as binge drinking, drugs, smoking; as well as violence and unemployment. Most of the representations in the media today are exaggerated to an extent for entertainment purposes; such as documentaries, news and reality television shows. I will be looking into documentaries to view how the youth of today are being portrayed whether it is positive or negative and if it conforms to cultural stereotypes of society. The image of teenagers has changed over the many years with Stanley Cohen’s Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of Mods and Rocker (1972); has led the innovative discussion on the constantly growing image of the teenager. He used moral panics to describe the emergence of individuals or groups to become defined ‘as a threat to societal values and interests’ [1]. His book has been evolutionary to the perspective of teenagers and his inspection of youth gangs; most notably the ‘Mods and Rockers’. This links to the London riots of 2011 that had shook the nation, the tension between gangs and the police grew resulting into chaos. Such a social issue is viewed as a taboo of the current era and the media took a pivotal role to generate facts and spread anxiety and fear; thus creating a Moral Panic in the UK. The first documentary that I will be analysing is Channel 4’s documentary ‘Educating Essex’. The Passmores School in Harlow, Essex, is a successful school in a challenging area. The documentary exposes what life is really like for today's students and teachers. The school had been rigged with 65 fixed cameras -...

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