Are young people represented fairly by the media in British society?
0900001846 Haleema Shafi
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This research is an investigation into whether the media in the UK represents young people accurately. The media have been constantly running stories about young people binge drinking, being involved in knife crime, gang culture and drug taking, amongst others. The daily mail has run headlines such as ‘British Teenagers are the Binge Drinking Champions of Europe’ (Hope, 2009), ‘The Face of Britain’s Knife Crime Scourge: Teenage Mutilated during Vicious Assault With Three-inch Blade’ (Daily Mail Reporter, 2009), ‘Inside Feral Britain: a Blood Chilling Journey into the Heart of Teenage Gang Culture’ (Malone, 2007). These stories give readers the impression that young people are violent, did not have respect of other or the law moreover they did not have respect for the society. This research will investigate whether media stereotype young people in this way or whether media reflect reality. This is done in the context of teenage pregnancy.
In the Daily Mail the article ‘Time to get tough on teenage mums’ by Katie Hampson (2006) is saying that teenagers think that they can get an attractive lifestyle by getting pregnant. This includes getting free council flats and finical rewards which is provided by the tax payer. Hampons also suggests that young mothers have different values to the rest of society. One example is that teenage mums go out night clubbing and are sexually promiscuous (Johnston, 2008). This provides readers with a stereotypical view of young mothers.
Stereotyping is when people are put into groups and are classed as something, for what they do or what they wear. One example from Rosenhan (1978) where she said ’on being sane in insane places’ this shows how people behave according to someone is labelled or stereotyped.
Research has shown that the media has stereotype social groups in the past for example Stan Cohen (1980) shows the different type of stereotyping views that are used by the media. In his study he describes how the media are categorizing young people into groups which are ‘mods’ and ‘rockers’. From this the media nowadays is using the same thing with teenage pregnancy. The media is saying that young teenage girls are ignorant and did not think about others, or society as they get intoxicated and pregnant and are using the tax payers money and getting support from the government to help them.
This can also lead to prejudice, discrimination and persecution. Prejudice- A prejudice is an implicitly held belief, often about a group of people. Race, economic class, gender or sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age and religion are other common subjects of prejudice ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prejudice) Discrimination- Discrimination toward or against a person of a certain group is the treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit.(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination) Persecution- Is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another group. The most common forms are religious persecution, ethnic. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution)
For example, Stuart Hall’s stereotyped black males as muggers. People then believe the stereotype and behaved differently. People were afraid of being mugged by black males, and were scared to go out at night people called for the government to do something about the supposed problem of black males mugging. The government bought in the suss laws they were used to prosecute black males. ‘In Britain, the Sus law was the informal name for a...
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