The good, the bad and the ugly: Politics, social change and media representations of youth
Wednesday 20 February 18:00 until 19:00
Chowen Lecture Theatre, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex BN1 9PX
Speaker: Bill Osgerby, Emeritus Professor of Media, Culture & Communication at London Metropolitan University
Since the late nineteenth century, media and politicians alike have made recurring use of the themes and images of ‘youth’ as a medium for comment on broader social and political issues. This talk explores the historical construction of youth in media and political discourse, giving particular attention to the way such constructions have both celebrated young people as the exciting precursor to a prosperous future and (sometimes simultaneously) vilified them as the most deplorable benchmark of cultural decline. Such images of youth have invariably been distorted and exaggerated stereotypes bearing tenuous relation to social reality. But the talk highlights the way this dual imagery of youth has had enduring connotative power, serving as a key motif around which dominant interpretations of social change have been constructed.