Youth and Media

Bill Osgerby

in Communication

ISBN: 9780199756841
Published online April 2012 | | DOI:
Youth and Media

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The media are a ubiquitous presence in the lives of contemporary youth. The television shows they watch, the music they listen to, the video games they play, and the websites they visit all play a major part in young people’s lives, offering them a stream of different experiences, ideas, and knowledge. Moreover, developments in communications technology bring the media into young people’s reach as never before. With the rise of digital platforms and the growth of the Internet, the amount of time young people spend engaging with the media has risen significantly. Societies’ perceptions of the young are also shaped by the media. Rather than being a universal and unchanging life stage, “youth” is a relative, culturally constructed concept that has varied between different historical and geographical contexts. A wide range of social, economic, and political forces contribute to the way youth is defined and understood, but the media play a crucial role as well: They influence social attitudes toward youth as well as young people’s perception of themselves. Consequently, there exists a broad body of interdisciplinary scholarship analyzing youth’s relationship with media, and the nature of media texts aimed at young people. Considerable energies have been devoted to investigating the media’s possible influence on youth behavior, but a growing body of work also explores the ways young people actively engage with the media and make it meaningful in their lives. Other research focuses on how the media represent youth and target young people as a specific market for goods and entertainment. Additional studies focus on the development of specific media forms aimed at young audiences—for example, distinctive film genres or particular television formats. Whereas many studies of children’s relationships with the media have been grounded in psychological or behavioral approaches, much research on adolescents’ and young adults’ relations with the media has emerged from the fields of media, cultural, and communications studies. The entries cited in this bibliography represent key research in this diverse range of analysis. They include both landmark contributions and effective overviews of particular areas of inquiry. These latter publications include their own bibliographies, which readers can use to explore further the topic of youth and media.

Article.  10546 words. 

Subjects: Communication Studies

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