Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Youth and the Media

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Youth and Community Studies

DESCRIPTION This Study-unit focuses on a plethora of thematic issues related to the nexus between youth and the mass media. Applying Althusserian and Gramscian cultural theory as the foreground for critical engagement with the subject, course participants shall be encouraged to examine the impact of modern media on youth and youth culture and the society at large. Importance shall also be given to understanding how and why contemporary youth culture has shaped and influenced the direction of mass communication media. Emphasis will be made on elaborating the role new and alternative media, including inter alia, fanzines and the Internet have on the lifestyle and leisure patterns of modern youth, and how these impact on the young person’s identity. Study-unit participants will be expected to undertake extensive reading on the study-unit’s core themes and to participate in ongoing and animated classroom debate.

Study-unit Aims:

To assist study-unit participation build in-depth familiarisation with the diverse theoretical paradigms that have been applied to the study of the relationship between youth and the mass media;

To encourage study-unit participants to examine the nexus between youth and the mass media critically by examining case studies in moral panic and deviancy amplification throughout the problematisation of youth in the mass media;

To examine how youth emerge as both producers and consumers of mass media and hence challenge the stereotype of youth as mere passive consumers of media products;

To critically appraise the functions and uses of the media in relation to youth;

To consider the diverse youth policy implications emerging from young people's youth of youth and the media; and,

To encourage students to consider how the media may be effectively used by youth workers in their role as youth empowering agents.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Distinguish between neo-Marxist and liberal pluralist perspectives on the mass media and other related theoretical models;

- Have a clear understanding of the impact of the mass media on youth and to be able to conceptualise the related subject matter through a critical orientation;

- Have clear ideas on the how youth policy may be enriched by a thorough understanding of the relationship between youth and the mass media;

- Cite case studies that demonstrate the media's construction of youth as problematic and to divulge ways of how such problematisation may be avoided or overcome; and

- Identify modern trends in relation to young people's use of the media.

2. Skills (including transferable [generic] skills):
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Critically debate the salient themes at stake;

- Engage with the subject matter academically;

- Analyse media content critically and through the gloss of the theoretical paradigms presented;

- Synthesise and apply other related course content, and;

- Compare and contrast the diverse theoretical models in question.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:
(availability at the Library or otherwise is indicated against each entry)

Anker, R, Zuidervaart, L., & J. W. Worst (1990). Dancing in the Dark: Youth, Popular Culture, and the Electronic Media. Michigan. Eedermans, William B. Publishing Company. (available)

Atton, C. (2001). The Alternative Media. London. Sage Publications. (available)

Atton, C. (2002). An Alternative Internet. Edinburgh: EUP. (available)

Cohen, S. (1993). Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creations of the Mods and the Rockers. Newcastle: Blackwell. (available)

Fisherkeller, J. (2002). Growing up with Television: Everyday Learning among Young Adolescents. Pennsylvania. Temple University Press. (available)

Grossberg, L , Wartella, E., & Whitney, C.D. (2006). Media Making: Mass Media in a Popular Culture. London. Sage Publications. (available)

Kellner, D. (1995).Media Culture: Cultural Studies, Identity and Politics between the Modern and the Postmodern. London. Routledge. (available)

Livingstone, S. (2002). Young People and New Media. London. Sage. (available)

Strasburger, V.C., & Wilson, B.J., (2002). Children, Adolescents and the Media. London. Sage Publications. (available)

Remer, B. (1995). The Media in Private and Public Spheres. In Fornas J. And Bolin G. (eds.) Youth Culture and Late Modernity. Pp.58-71. London. Sage Publications. (available)

Weiner, S. (2001). Enfants Terribles: Youth and Femininity in the Mass Media in France, 1945-1968. Maryland. John Hopkins University Press. (available)

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study, Seminar and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Seminar Paper See note below Yes 40%
Examination (2 Hours) See note below Yes 60%
Note: Assessment due will vary according to the study-unit availability.


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.