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Youth and Media

by Andy Ruddock SAGE Publications Ltd
Pub Date:
Hbk 232 pages
AU$209.00 NZ$213.91
Product Status: Out of stock. Not available to order.
Available as eBook
AU$60.00 | NZ$67.91

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When societies worry about media effects, why do they focus so much on young people? Is advertising to blame for binge drinking? Do films and video games inspire school shootings? Tackling these kinds of questions, Youth and Media explains why young people are central to understanding critical issues in media studies and media education.

Andy Ruddock offers a fascinating account of how media define the identities and social imaginations of young people. He explores how the notion of media influence 'works' when daily life compels young people to act out their relationships through media content and technologies. Ultimately, Youth and Media explains why the experiences of young media users are central to new agendas in the fields of critical media studies and media education.

Complete with helpful chapter guides, contemporary case studies drawn from a truly global context and useful chapter summaries, Youth and Media is an engaging and accessible introduction to the hugely topical subject of media influence. It is ideal for students on youth media and youth culture modules across media studies, cultural studies and sociology.

COURSE USE: Undergraduate students of youth media and youth culture across media, cultural studies and sociology departments.

Why Youth Media?
Understanding media content: Social and Cultural Approaches to Media Effects
Understanding the influence of media technologies: Youth, Dissent, Social Media and Social History
Understanding global media industries: China, Reality Television and Media Governance
Understanding media users: Gender, Girls and Mobile Phones
Understanding media violence: School shootings, and the framing of social reality
Understanding Advertising and marketing: Students and Alcohol
Understanding political communication: Barack Obama and mediated intimacy
Understanding celebrity: Bam Margera and the role of sport in media convergence
Understanding Critical Media Studies: Child soldiers, media business and media education
Understanding Advertising and Youth Drinking
Why Advertisers Count on Active Audiences
Understanding Political Communication
Barack Obama, Media Convergence and Mediated Intimacy
Understanding Celebrity
Bam Margera and the Role of Sport in Media Convergence
Understanding Critical Media Studies
Child Soldiers, Media Business and Media Education

Using a series of case studies running the gamut from Kony 2012 to the life and times of Jackass star Bam Margera, Ruddock discusses how and why youth media studies matter, how it should be studied, and what we can learn from the findings. The book covers the influence and effect of media on youth in several contexts; in addition to the examples already mentioned, he covers the Ryan Florence and David Cameron incident, Insane Clown Posse and censorship, the Columbine high school shootings, child soldiers, and much more. The book does provide a good introductory discussion of a variety of key topics in the study of youth and the media, and does an excellent job of revealing the complexity of the relationship between youth and the media.

Throughout his ten chapters Ruddock frames his discussion in a recurring cyclical figure that flows in the following cycle: Research Question, Underlying issue about media influence, Relevant literature, Exemplifying case study, Outcomes, and Lesson for understanding media influence. This consistency in presentation is a strength of the book, adding some structure to a large and varied subject matter. This is a particularly good structure for students, Ruddock’s intended audience...Youth and Media is a good introductory text on the subject and students of media, sociology and violence will find it an excellent place to start.
My academic interests broadly centre on media audiences; although today, it isn’t possible to think about audiences without also considering media technologies, industries and content. Nonetheless, ‘audience’ remains an engaging concept that combines my training in history, mass communications and cultural studies. I have taught and researched at universities in the US, UK, New Zealand, Australia, Korea and China. I write about the politics of popular culture, with an emphasis on how people practice social power by using media. I have published on topics such as online football fans, political celebrity, reality television, youth, binge drinking and the meaning and impact of media violence. I’m still actively researching all of these areas. I’m interested in the convergence of qualitative and quantitative media analysis techniques. On this theme, I have argued that there are many theoretical and methodological parallels between cultivation analysis and cultural studies (particularly in studies of media rituals). I am involved in several writing projects with international partners that investigate the compatibility of these fields. I welcome postgraduate inquiries on any projects with an audience aspect.


-Monash University, Australia

Andy Ruddock has a Web Site at: