Article | Inter: A European Cultural Studies : Conference in Sweden 11-13 June 2007 | Celebrated but Amusing? An Intersectional Analysis of Children’s and Young People’s Media Portraits

Title:
Celebrated but Amusing? An Intersectional Analysis of Children’s and Young People’s Media Portraits
Author:
Sinikka Aapola-Kari: Department of Sociology, University of Helsinki, Finland
Download:
Full text (pdf)
Year:
2007
Conference:
Inter: A European Cultural Studies : Conference in Sweden 11-13 June 2007
Issue:
025
Article no.:
009
Pages:
69-83
No. of pages:
15
Publication type:
Abstract and Fulltext
Published:
2007-11-27
Series:
Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):
1650-3686
ISSN (online):
1650-3740
Publisher:
Linköping University Electronic Press; Linköpings universitet


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In this paper; the focus is on cultural representations of children and young people in the Finnish media. The research data consists of 150 articles drawn from Finnish newspapers between 2003-05. It is mainly portrayals of children and youth (ages 7-18) who have been successful in the field of sports; the arts or education. The portraits are analysed as a particular media genre; from a critical discourse analytical perspective; combined with an intersectional analysis. The focus is on cultural constructions of age; childhood; youth and gender; but connections to representations of class and ethnicity will also be explored. Five case studies – the portraits of three athletes below the age of 13; a young female rap artist and a young entrepreneur – are used to demonstrate the analysis.

While on surface the media portraits seem to celebrate the young interviewees; on a closer look; however; it seems that they implicitly convey stereotypical; and often negative understandings of childhood and youth. At the same time; they seem to also implicitly reinforce traditional gender stereotypes. Intersections of age; gender; class and ethnicity interact in particular ways in the texts and work to create particular images of young people as either ‘amusing’; ‘threatened’ or ‘serious’. It seems that it is particularly the combination of masculinity with young age that creates tensions in the media portraits; while femininity does not appear equally problematic

Inter: A European Cultural Studies : Conference in Sweden 11-13 June 2007

Author:
Sinikka Aapola-Kari
Title:
Celebrated but Amusing? An Intersectional Analysis of Children’s and Young People’s Media Portraits
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Inter: A European Cultural Studies : Conference in Sweden 11-13 June 2007

Author:
Sinikka Aapola-Kari
Title:
Celebrated but Amusing? An Intersectional Analysis of Children’s and Young People’s Media Portraits
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