Historicize This! Contextualism in Youth Media Studies

  • Mary Celeste Kearney
Part of the Studies in Childhood and Youth book series (SCY)

Abstract

This chapter is part of a larger project I am undertaking to rebrand my academic identity and work. Rather than describe myself as a media and cultural studies scholar, I have decided to label my research as that of a media and cultural historian. Why? Primarily, I want to improve the accessibility of my scholarship for the public. Time and again when I tell non-academics that I study ‘media’, they jump to the conclusion that I mean the news. ‘No, no,’ I say. ‘I study girls’ media.’ ‘Ohhhh,’ they respond, struggling to understand. ‘You mean like Twilight?’ This, in fact, is not the type of girls’ media l typically analyse; my speciality is girls’ media production, which, when announced, usually elicits blank stares, given the prevalent idea that female youth engage with media only as consumers. What is most intriguing to me about these interactions, however, is that the examples of girls’ media offered at this point in these conversations are always current. Before Twilight, common guesses as to my objects of study were Hannah Montana, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Clueless, among the most popular texts within girls’ media since I began research in this area. No one has ever assumed that some of the texts I analyse might have been made before 1995.

Keywords

Cultural Study Media Culture Popular Culture Historical Work Female Youth 
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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Copyright information

© Mary Celeste Kearney 2014

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  • Mary Celeste Kearney

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