British Youth and Collective Identity Some key themes
How are British youth represented in the media? â€˘ Analyse the ways in which the media represent one group of people that you have studied.
Young people areâ€Ś dangerous
How does Fish Tank link with other texts? What do they say about youth and identity?
Which of these phrases are the most important themes for the texts we have studied? Pick a handful
British youth are represented as beingâ€Ś
In search of belonging In About A Girl the protagonist has no sense of belonging: she is often shown as socially isolated and outside of groups (outside of the pub; on a wasteland practicing dance routines). She inhabits unused, identity-less places (such as the now-purposeless canal and the postindustrial wasteland), and these landscapes provide a visual metaphor for her own sense of placelessness and lack of belonging. She lacks a place to belong, and as such lacks an identity. Instead, she seeks out a sense of belonging through the world she constructs: the imaginary girl group, her idolisation and imitation of Britney, and her ability to â€˜hide thingsâ€™ from her Mum and construct a secret life all demonstrate her search for identity and belonging.
Pick a handful of points from the following slide and make these the skeleton of your essay for Collective Identity
Conflict between youth and adult world
Youth as alienated
Youth as violent/ threatening
Youth as anti-social
Youth as damaged
Youth assert/ get identity from tribes more than from family
Youth as a stage of identity formation/ identity assertion
Youth as victim
Young people express their identity through consumerism
Young people express/ find their identity through the tribes they join
Belonging to a tribe gives members a sense of belonging, collectivity and identity
Belonging to a tribe reinforces your own values and sense of self, giving members as sense of security
There has been a proliferation of niche tribes
Subcultures have fragmented and diversified, creating new ways off audiences to express their identity (and new markets to sell to)
Membership of tribes is no longer as delineated and distinct as in the past. Young people now take a more fluid/ pick’n’mix approach, borrowing parts of different subcultures and mixing them together.
Past styles are borrowed, but meanings are discarded.
Expressing identity through consumerism
Shifting/ Fluid/ Changing/ Evolving
Fragmented identity/ Multiple identities
Pick n mix/ Bricolage
Play/ Trying on/ Experiment
Identity is discovered; it is not innate
“Media texts often represent adolescence as a period of identity formation, self-discovery, and conflict.”
Rite of passage/ Coming of age
Youth as a period identity formation
Forgotten youth/ Directionless youth
National identity and landscape/ The meaning of Britishness/ British values
Are representations of youth simplistic or complex?