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Media portrayal of young people today Essay

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Adolescents- threat or asset to society? Discuss how media portrayal of young people today and in the past influences the concept of adolescence. This assessment will look at the various media that was used in the past and is used presently and consider the influence that it has on the perception of adolescence. Whether or not they are portrayed as an asset or threat to society will also be looked at. The essay will discuss both past and present media influences and state how there has been a change in both the use of media and the growth.

Also why the media portray adolescence in particular ways. The way in which teenagers view themselves will also be briefly touch on. There is an array of media that produces information about adolescents these can include radio, newspapers, magazines and television documentaries. The media tends to create stereotypical images of young people that generalise and brand all young people even though they are part of a much broader group. Young people often find ways to express themselves, which are different to the generally accepted culture of their society.

The various means by which they express themselves and mix are known as youth culture. (Jahsonic. com, 1996) There is no single youth culture in modern society, instead there is a variety of different youth subcultures. There are many reasons for this, such as there are more styles available and also a higher disposable income in family households to spend on today’s fashions and the media is a bigger influence than it use to be on young people too. (Direct essays)

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In the 1960’s there was a rebellion that swept across North America and Western Europe the term that is commonly used to refer to this is “counterculture”. The counterculture included the sexual revolution which started in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s this change in sexual behaviour in young people took place mainly in the wealthy western countries but in particular the U. S. A. and the U. K. especially after the introduction of the birth control pill. (Jahsonic.

com, 1996) The violence in the 60’s and 70’s was limited to a small sector of young males but it wasn’t as prevalent as it is now or as documented. Female youths were rarely involved or it was relatively unheard of but now there is a small sector of violent female gangs. In the Sunday Times in 1994 the title “Sugar n’ Spice but… Not at all Nice” was used to describe the growth of girl gangs in society in which the girls would have convictions of assault, GBH, criminal damage and being drunk and disorderly. (University of Leicester, 2001)


Santrock, J. 2005, Adolescence 10th Edition, McGraw Hill.


Direct essays, “A Single Youth Culture?”


Accessed 18/04/2005

Jahsonic.com, 1996, “A vocabulary of culture” 60’s, 70’s and 80’s


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