module specification

SM5052 - Youth Culture and the Media (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Youth Culture and the Media
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 25%   Annotated bibliography
Coursework 75%   Case study research project
Running in 2019/20
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Morning

Module summary

This module explores the important relationships between the media and young people’s cultural experiences and expressions. The media are a ubiquitous presence in the lives of contemporary youth - the television shows they watch, the music they listen to, the video games they play, and the websites they visit all play a major part in young people’s lives, offering them a stream of different experiences, ideas and knowledge. This module considers the broad body of interdisciplinary scholarship that analyses youth’s relationship with media, and the nature of media texts aimed at young people. Attention is given to the way the media represent youth and target young people as a specific market for goods and entertainment, and also to the development of particular media forms aimed at young audiences – for example, specific kinds of advertising, distinctive film genres and TV formats,and particular kinds of social networking website. Consideration is also given to the possible influence of the media on youth’s behaviour, and to the ways young people actively engage with the media and make it meaningful in their lives. Here, particular attention is given to issues of gender, ethnicity, sexuality and social class, and the role they play in patterns of young people’s media usage and their practices of cultural expression.


Module aims

This module aims to:

1. Examine the historical development of media forms geared to the youth market.
2. Critically consider key theoretical perspectives developed in relation to the analysis of young people’s engagement with the media.
3. Examine the nature, significance and impact of media representations of young people.
4. Familiarise students with theoretical debates about the media’s effects on young people’s behaviour.


Indicative Bibliography

• ‘Youthquake’: The Rise of the Commercial Youth Market.
• ‘Getting Close to the Customer’: Youth, Post-Fordism and Market Segmentation.

• The Usual Suspects: Media, Politics and Images of Youth.
• Natural Born Killers?: ‘Media Panic’, Media ‘Effects’ and Young Audiences.

• ‘The Kids Are Alright’: Subcultural Theory and Its Critics.
• ‘Post-subcultural’ Theory – Post-Subculturalists Scenesand Neo-Tribes.
• From Bedroom Culture to Grrrl Power: Femininity, Youth Culture and the Media.
• Querying Youth Culture – Sexuality, Identity and Youth Media.
• ‘Rockin’ All Over the World’: Globalisation and ‘Youth Media’.
• ‘Insurgency Across All Borders’: Hybridity, Diaspora andSyncretic Youth Culture.
• Totally Wired: Youth, Digital Culture and Social Networking.

Learning and teaching

This module will be delivered through a combination of modes of delivery, including formal lectures, seminars, film and television screenings, and individual tutorials. The mixed-mode module delivery will used to encourage a supportive environment for individual and peer-group learning. 

A blended learning strategy will be employed to enhance the learning experience, facilitate communication between students and tutors and develop collaboration among students. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will be used as a platform to support online activities including on-line discussions, evaluation of online resources, and access to electronic reading packs. The VLE will also be used to facilitate formative assessment and related feedback, as well as a tool to integrate useful online learning materials provided by research institutions, academic publications, professional organisations and other relevant sources.


Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Manage their own learning, and make use of scholarly studies related to media representations of youth and young people’s engagement with media texts.
2. Describe and comment upon theories of the relationship between the media and contemporary youth culture.
3. Apply the ideas and arguments they have learned to review, consolidate and extend their knowledge in a research project of their own.


Assessment strategy

This module includes two pieces of assessment work:

1. Annotated Bibliography – This is a formative piece of assessment, to be submitted in Week 6 Students will submit an annotated bibliography of sources dealing with a specific aspect of young people’s relationship with the media. The precise topic is open – it can relate to particular kinds of media text, specific kinds of media representation, or particular cultural expressions – but the subject must first be agreed with the seminar tutor. The bibliography must include at least two academic books, two articles from academic journals and one appropriate web site. The word countfor the bibliography is c. 1,000 words.  The bibliography serves as a basis on which the second piece of assessment can be developed.

2. Case Study Research Project – This is a summative piece of assessment, to be submitted in Week 15.Students will submit is a case study research project in which they analyse one aspect of the relation between youth and the media. The project can deal with any of themes and issues dealt with during the module, but the discussion and analysis must be anchored around a case-study of a particular media text, cultural identity or subcultural style. The choice of topic is open, but must first be agreed with the seminar tutor. The word count for the case study research project is c. 3,000 words.



Bennett, Andy (2003)Cultures of Popular Music, Buckingham: Open University Press.
Buckingham, David (ed.) (2008)Youth, Identity and Digital Media, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Davis, Glyn and Dickinson, Kay (eds.) (2004)Teen TV in the 1990s: Genre, Consumption and Identity, London: BFI.
Dovey, Jon and Kennedy, Helen (2006)Game Cultures: Computer Games as New Media, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Drotner, Kirsten and Livingstone, Sonia (eds.) (2008)The International Handbook of Children, Media and Culture, London: Sage.
Hodkinson, Paul and Deicke, Wolfgang (eds.) (2007)Youth Cultures: Scenes, Subcultures, and Tribes, London: Routledge.
Huq, Rupa (2006)Beyond Subculture: Pop, Youth and Identity in a Postcolonial World, London: Routledge.
Jamieson, Patrick and Romer, Daniel (eds) (2008)The Changing Portrayal of Adolescents in the Media Since 1950, New York: Oxford University Press.
Krinsky, Charles (ed.) (2008)Moral Panics Over Contemporary Children and Youth, Farnham: Ashgate.
Ito, Mizuko et al. (2010)Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Nayak, Anoop (2003)Race, Place and Globalization: Youth Culture in a Changing World, Oxford: Berg.
Nilan, Pam and Feixa, Carles (eds)(2006)Global Youth?: Hybrid Identities, Plural Worlds, London: Routledge.
Osgerby, Bill (2004)Youth Media, London: Routledge.
Palfrey, John and Gasser, Urs (2008)Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives, New York: Basic Books.
Rideout, Victoria, Foehr, Ulla and Roberts, Donald (2010)Generation M²: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds, Menlo Park, CA: Kaiser Family Foundation.
Ross, Sharon Marie and Stein, Louisa Ellen (eds) (2008)Teen Television: Essays on Programming and Fandom, Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co.
Shary, Timothy (2002)Generation Multiplex: The Image of Youth in Contemporary American Cinema, Austin: University of Texas Press.
Springhall, Jon (1998)Youth, Popular Culture and Moral Panics: Penny Gaffs to Gangsta Rap, 1830-1996, London: Macmillan.
Wee, Valerie (2010)Teen Media: Hollywood and the Youth Market in the Digital Age, Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Key On-line Resources.

Games Studies -
Journal of Children and Media -
Journal of Popular Music Studies -
Journal of Youth Studies -
Popular Music and Society -
Young: Nordic Journal of Youth Research -
Youth and Society -