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Youth and Representation in Popular Media, U.S.

Media representations, whether uploaded to YouTube, streaming on Netflix, written across the pages of young adult fiction, or imprinted on newspaper dailies, play an important role in our understanding of young people, their worlds, and even their own understanding of themselves. Vast in form and diverse in image, the crowded and contentious contemporary media landscape is awash in meaning about youth as a group, offering a blueprint for how young people are expected to act in the world. Media representations of youth are used in support of institutions that surveille, discipline, and contain youth, including both educational and juvenile justice systems, and impact their encounters in public and commercial settings such as parks, shopping malls, and fast food outlets. Youth representations incite moral panics about ...

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