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(How) Have representations of youth changed over time? Exam Question: How do contemporary representations compare to previous time periods?


A Clockwork Orange • 1962 dystopian British novel – Anthony Burgess – First person narration – Nasdat – invented youth language/ adolescent slang – Title was a metaphor: "...an organic entity, full of juice and sweetness and agreeable odour, being turned into an automaton."


A Clockwork Orange • 1971 – Film adaptation directed by Stanley Kubrick – “The story functions… on several levels, political, sociological, philosophical and, what’s most important, on a dreamlike psychological-symbolic level” - Kubrick – Themes: Morality; Youth; Psychology; The State and The Individual; Violence – Withdrawn by Kubrick in 1972 – Released in 2000 after Kubrick’s death (1999)


Does the film reinforce similar representations of youth/ themes of youth to contemporary media texts?

directionlessness? victims? anti-social? threat?


1. Here is a Venn diagram – create the cards/ answers that someone would categorise in this Venn.

Linking A Clockwork Orange to other representations of British youth 2. What would Theorist X say about A Clockwork Orange?

Michel Maffesolli

Stanley Cohen

Paul Ricouer

Hoodies or Altar Boys study

Dick Hebdige


What would Maffesoli say about this film? – Tribes? – The power of Media? – The decline of family? – How do the droogs express their tribalism? – How is the youth culture (their clothing and culture) an example of bricolage?


What would Stanley Cohen say about this film and its reception in the media?


Are Dick Hebdige’s points relevant to A Clockwork Orange? 1. 2.

3. 4. 5.

Young people construct their identity through fashion and musical influence Subcultures use bricolage, taking elements of past culture and putting them together in a way that changes their meanings Style has a meaning for every youth (sub)culture Style can be read. It is a language (a form of expression/ communication) Style is a way of defining who you are and who you are not


What does A Clockwork Orange suggest about the extent to which young people’ identities are mediated?


A Clockwork Orange shows young people surrounded by brutality: the police; the state; the government; the environment; the church; society – all are shown to be uncaring.


WHY DOES MISFITS USE THE SAME LOCATION AS A CLOCKWORK ORANGE? This website has some ideas on this (scan two-thirds of the page down to read): http://corabuhlert.com/2011/05/29/a-clockwork-orange-forty-years-on-and-its-parallels-to-misfits/

What does this suggest: has the representation of British youth changed?


(How) Have representations of youth changed over time? Exam Question: How do contemporary representations compare to previous time periods?


How is A Clockwork Orange of its time?


How is A Clockwork Orange of its time? •

Post World War 2 – – –

Cold War paranoia –

Post-Empire – weakened power Changing relationships between the classes Decline in industry

Rise in Youth cultures – – – –

Where is the threat coming from?

New Britain – – –

The violence and barbarism of humanity; The value of youth (‘we fought for our children’); Liberty; Freedom

1960s subcultures (Mod/ Rockers/ Hippies); Rise in Media (esp music); Generational divide; The death of the hippy generation (‘Summer of Love’ = 1967)

Modernism/ The Modern World – – –

Modernist buildings (Brutalist architecture) Rise in Media Synthetics (fabrics/ furniture/ lifestyles…)


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