The term media can be defined as the main means of mass communication and it plays an essential part in developing and shaping public opinion (Ruddock, 2013). When the media represents people, they can be classified based on their age. Young people are commonly represented negatively. The prevailing representation of youth in the media is often stereotypical.
The terms ‘hoodlums, ‘yobs’ and ‘thugs’ are often used when describing young people in the media (Ruddock, 2013). The effect of this is that it reinforces judgement of young people as being a social problem. In this analysis I will be exploring the ways in which delinquents and delinquency are represented in the media.
The media piece i have chosen to analyse is the trailer of the movie Kidulthood which came out in 2006. This piece is of relevance as it is set in Britain and the themes with the media piece is drug and alcohol abuse, sexual activities and violence; all of which are increasing social problems amongst youths in today’s society (Kaufman, 2017). Using the media piece I will analyse how the youths are represented and relate it to subcultural theories of deviance such as Albert Cohen’s status frustration theory (1955), Walter Miller and his the focal concerns of the working class (1958) and Cloward and Ohlin’s three types of delinquent subculture (2013), Subcultural theories build upon the work of Merton’s strain theory. Instead of taking on the traditional perspective within criminology, Subcultural theorists assert that deviance occurs because individuals do not conform to the mainstream societies values and norms (Shoemaker. Instead they conform to the social group that they belong to (Shoemaker, 2010).
In other words Kaufman (2017) states that it is the peer group that encourages individuals to immerse in delinquent behaviours and commit crime especially if the group the individual belongs to has different norms and values. Delinquency and criminal behaviour is often the picture depicted by media regarding young people. The piece i am studying is the trailer of the movie Kidulthood.
Kidulthood (2006) is a British Drama Film directed by Menhaj Huda and written by Noel Clarke which addresses british street culture and youths. The movie focused on the lives of the teenagers in impoverished areas in west london. After the tragic suicide of a bullied student Katie, school was closed for the day and the movie followed the teenagers looking at how they spend the day. Bullying, drugs, sexual activity, teenage pregnancy, money and violence was presented as a daily norm throughout the movie.