This book assesses the implications of how children and young people are represented in print media in Northern Ireland – a post-conflict transitioning society. Gordon analyses how children and young people’s perceived involvement in anti-social and criminal behaviour is constructed and amplified in media, as well as in popular and political discourses. Drawing on deviancy amplification, folk devils and moral panics, this original study specifically addresses the labelling perspective and confirms that young people are convenient scapegoats – where their negative reputation diverts attention from the structural and institutional issues that are inevitable in a post-conflict society. Alongside content analysis from six months of print media and a case study on the representation of youth involvement in ‘sectarian’ rioting, this book also analyses interviews with editors, journalists, politicians, policy makers and a spokesperson for the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Noting the importance of prioritising the experiences of children, young people and their advocates, this timely and engaging research will be of specific interest to scholars and students of criminal justice, criminology, socio-legal studies, sociology, social policy, media studies, politics and law, as well as media professionals and policy makers.
About the Author
Faith Gordon is a Lecturer in Criminology and Director of the Youth Justice Network at the University of Westminster, UK. She is also a Research Associate at the Information Law and Policy Centre, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.
Table of Contents
PART I: THE THEORETICAL CONTEXT.- Chapter 1. Researching the Media Representations of Children and Young People in Northern Ireland.- Chapter 2. The Significance and Impact of the Media in Contemporary Society.- Chapter 3. The Impact of Social Reaction on Contemporary Policy Responses to Children and Young People.- PART II: MEDIA REPRESENTATIONS, SOCIAL REACTION AND THE IMPACT.- Chapter 4. Print Media Content Analysis.- Chapter 5. Reading the ‘Riots’.- Chapter 6. ‘It’s the Nature of the Beast’.- Chapter 7. ‘The Hidden Voices’ in the Media.- PART III: CHALLENGES AND FUTURE POLICY RESPONSES.- Chapter 8. Reading Between the Headlines
What People are Saying About This
“Every generation seems to succumb to fears about the generations that follow. Such moral panics about “the kids today” appear particularly misplaced in the context of a society in transition from a troubled past like Northern Ireland. In this insightful and rigorously evidenced analysis, Gordon argues instead in favour of listening to the voices of young people themselves as they represent our best hope for a brighter future.” (Professor Shadd Maruna, Professor of Criminology, University of Manchester, UK)
“Children, Young People and the Press in a Transitioning Society is exemplary critical criminology: an original interdisciplinary study of young people and the print media in Northern Ireland under transition. This multifaceted empirical investigation shows how the press has targeted and demonised ‘deviant’ youth, and to what effect. Gordon’s work is thoughtfully structured, clear and lively in expression, and forceful in argument: a rich asset for students of youth, media, law and society.” (Professor Scott Poynting, Adjunct Professor, Western Sydney University and Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
“Conflict takes away childhoods and its legacy into the peace can destroy children’s future. This expertly argued book draws on detailed research to address how children are represented in the print media in transitional societies and how these representations contribute to the problems youth are seen as presenting. It is cogently argued, very well written and erudite in its coverage. It is a wonderful addition to youth studies and transitional justice.” (Professor John D. Brewer HDSocSci, MRIA, FRSE, FAcSS, FRSA, Professor of Post-Conflict Studies, Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland)“This book offers a valuable contribution to criminological literature, in particular the growing body of empirically-informed critical youth justice scholarship. Gordon examines an issue of international significance in an incisive, cogent and articulate manner. A must-read for students and professionals with an interest in media influence upon constructing understandings of youth offending.” (Professor Stephen Case, Professor of Criminology, Loughborough University, UK)