Representations of Teenagers

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The idea of the”teenager” as a distinct social phenomenon has been with us since the 1950’s-an intermediate world breaking up the previously straight definition between childhood and the world of work. In the present day, we are still used to media images of these young people, as evidenced in shows like Hollyoaks and Skins. How close to the truth do you think the portrayals of teenagers are in these two shows, and are they positive or negative representations?

Watch this clip from Hollyoaks to see how it deals with the issues of teenage drug users and young parents:

What kind of message does this trailer for Skins put across about British teenagers? Think about whether it is realistic in its representation, and why young people would choose to watch this programme based on such an advertisement (or, indeed, why not). 

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