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Researching the Media Representations of Children and Young People

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Abstract

The introduction contextualises the monograph by exploring the context of Northern Ireland as a society emerging from 30 years of conflict. It asserts that in negotiating the impact of change and transition, children and young people living in marginalised and segregated communities, continue to experience the legacy of the Conflict and experience inequalities. It details the research methods employed, to explore the print media’s role in creating negative representations and maintaining negative ideological constructions of children and young people, in particular those who are the most marginalised, those considered anti-social within their communities and those in conflict with the law. The chapter outlines that the theoretical framework adopted is derived in critical analysis within criminology.

Keywords

  • Police Service Of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
  • Negative Media Representations
  • United Nations Convention On The Rights Of The Child (UNCRC)
  • Folk Devils
  • Hillsborough Agreement

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Throughout the monograph, the term ‘media’ refers to the traditional definition of the media, as consisting of newspapers (the print media), radio (broadcast media) and news bulletins and programs (televised media). However, the empirical research consists of analysis of the print media/newspapers. In the empirical chapters (Chaps. 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8), the term ‘media’ is typically employed to refer to the print media/newspapers.

  2. 2.

    The phrase ‘in conflict with the law’ is typically employed to refer to children and young people who come to the attention of the police. Children and young people ‘in conflict with the law’ may not have been formally arrested or prosecuted, however they have come into contact with the police or the criminal justice system.

  3. 3.

    The Hillsborough Agreement (NIO 2010: 7) outlined the need for a ‘review of how children and young people are processed at all stages of the criminal justice system, including detention, to ensure compliance with international obligations and best practice’. The Hillsborough Agreement can be accessed here: http://www.nio.gov.uk/agreement_at_hillsborough_castle_5_february_2010.pdf (accessed on 12 February 2010). The Youth Justice Review Team consisted of Mr John Graham, current Director the Police Federation for England and Wales, Dr Stella Perrott, former Head of the Care and Justice Division in the Scottish Government and Kathleen Marshall, a solicitor. The report published in 2011 presents 31 recommendations for changes to the youth justice system in Northern Ireland. The report can be accessed from: http://www.dojni.gov.uk/index/publications/publication-categories/pubs-criminal-justice/review-of-youth-justice---large-print-version-of-report.pdf (accessed on 1 October 2011).

  4. 4.

    This is particularly evident in relation to the difference in the ‘perception’ and ‘reality’ of children and young people’s involvement in ‘crime’ (see Schissel 1997; Poynting et al. 2004). In Northern Ireland, the Department of Justice’s bulletin (February 2012a) outlines the stark difference between the perceptions of crime and ‘high levels of worry’, ‘despite the lower prevalence of crime’. See: http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/media-centre/news-departments/news-doj/news-doj-29022012-perceptions-of-crime.htm (accessed on 30 August 2012).

  5. 5.

    The ‘Troubles’ is a reference to the Conflict in Northern Ireland. It is typically employed interchangeably to refer to the period of 30 years of conflict and violence in Northern Ireland.

  6. 6.

    There is contestation locally surrounding the name of this city. Thus, Derry/Londonderry is referred to throughout the monograph, empirical interviews and focus groups, using both of the local names. This recognises the conflicting and differing beliefs and preferences of society in Northern Ireland and it ensures that the researcher does not express or impose any perceived political allegiance or personal opinion.

  7. 7.

    As McAlister et al. (2009: 25) note, approximately 95 percent of social housing in Northern Ireland is segregated by religious affiliation – namely Loyalist/Unionist/Protestant and Nationalist/Republican/Catholic. Thus, division or ‘segregation’ in both ‘public housing’ and in ‘schooling’, ‘remain defining features of social, political and cultural experiences and opportunities in Northern Ireland’ (McAlister et al. 2009: 25).

  8. 8.

    Given the broad definition of what ‘anti-social behaviour’ is, it is vague and open to interpretation. It has resulted in ASBOs being given for a range of minor and what have been classed as ‘silly ASBOs’. See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_east/4902092.stm (accessed on 3 March 2010).

  9. 9.

    See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8457650.stm (accessed on 10 February 2010); http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8459824.stm (accessed on 27 April 2010).

  10. 10.

    See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8558466.stm (accessed on 27 April 2010).

  11. 11.

    See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/mar/09/stormont-northern-ireland-policing-vote (accessed on 10 March 2010).

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Gordon, F. (2018). Researching the Media Representations of Children and Young People. In: Children, Young People and the Press in a Transitioning Society. Palgrave Socio-Legal Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-60682-2_1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-60682-2_1

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