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A research on the relationship between consumerism and television usage of individuals in the united

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The problem with consumerism

Some educators, youth researchers, and parents lament this reality; but youth, media a research on the relationship between consumerism and television usage of individuals in the united, and learning nevertheless remain entangled in a rich set of relationships today. These anxieties first appeared in response to the fear that violence, vulgarity, and sexual desire in early popular culture was thought to pose to culture. Others, however, believed that media could be repurposed to have a broader educational impact.

This sentiment crept into educational discourses throughout the 1960s in a way that would shift thinking about youth, media culture, and education. For example, it shaped the development of television shows such as Sesame Street as a kind of learning portal.

In addition to the idea that youth can learn from the media, educators and activists have also turned to media education as a more direct intervention. Media education addresses how various media operate in and through particular institutions, technologies, texts, and audiences in an effort to affect how young people learn and engage with media culture.

These developments have been enhanced by a growing interest in a broad project of literacy. By the 1990s and 2000s, media production became a common feature in media education practices because it was thought to enable young people to learn by doing, rather than just by analyzing or reading texts. This was enabled by the emergence of new digital media technologies that prioritize user participation. As we have come to read and write media differently in a digital era, however, a new set of problems have arisen that affect how media cultures are understood in relation to learning.

Among these issues is how a participatory turn in media culture allows others, including corporations, governments, and predatory individuals, to monitor, survey, coordinate, and guide our activities as never before. Critical media literacy education addresses this context and continues to provide a framework to address the future of youth, media culture and learning.

Whether to research an essay, acquire new skills, find an expert, watch a video clip, or contribute a blog post, the Internet is often the first source that students turn to pick up new information, to access useful networks, or to find resources that they need to accomplish whatever it is they want to learn.

The Internet is now a digital learning economy populated by YouTube and Vimeo channels, social media sites like Wikipedia, software and learning games, library data archives, learning television shows, documentaries, massive open online courses MOOCsand assorted other resources that are changing when, where, what, and how young people learn. These relationships and the anxieties that they produce are not new. Since the earliest decades of the 20th century, learning dynamics have been thought to be integral to the way youth and media cultures weave together.

But these relationships are vexed; the connections among youth lives, media, and education are sites of tremendous anxiety and concern around the world. In this article, we examine this context and address how relations among youth, media culture, and learning have been understood since the turn of the last century. Our story begins in the Anglo-American world, but it has quickly become global as media and youth cultures expand around the world. To conclude, we detail three major problematics that continue to shape the a research on the relationship between consumerism and television usage of individuals in the united among youth, media culture, and learning.

Teen Screens Teenagers graduating from high school in 2017 across the global North and much of the global South have always known smart mobile devices, social media, and YouTube, near-constant data surveillance, the ability to Google facts as needed, and texting, messaging, and posting as part of the regular rhythms of daily life. While many statistics have been collected over the years about the time that adolescents spend immersed in media, the general impression is that most children and youth are more involved than ever with media technologies and content.

Today, however, one can no longer assume that television programming is viewed on a television set via regularly scheduled broadcasting. The fragmenting of tastes and preferences is notable, with no single medium standing out above all. Sonia Livingstone 2009p. With all these media options available, it is not surprising that teens are more likely than in the past to be media multitaskers, able to pack more media into an hour of consumption than was possible in previous generations.

Young people in the United States spend approximately nine hours a day consuming media, for example, but they consume more than one medium at a time. The typical teenage user today is someone doing homework while watching Netflix, listening to music, and responding to the occasional text, Snapchat, or Instagram message.

This story casts a pall over contemporary youth cultures for some. It is attached to and formative of the worlds of young people, and it would appear to allow for no distance or time away from screens and representations in everyday life.

Concerns of this sort are not new. To make sense of these worries, it is helpful to begin with the history of youth and youth culture, terms which are not exclusive to, but find an early emergence in, the West. Youth as a Distinct Life Stage The concept of youth can feel as though it has been with us for centuries.

But while the age of transition between childhood and adulthood exists across societies, the idea that this period is associated with a particular group of people—youth—and the cultures that they partake in is a recent phenomenon.

Early youth cultures can also be linked to stylistically distinct groups of young workers in northern England in the late 19th century, and to what Timothy Gilfoyle 2004p. Schooling would be key to this development. Publicly funded or supported schooling on a mass scale was regularized in the United Kingdom by the late 19th century and had been ongoing in the United States in the post—Civil War period i.

Public schools developed around the same time in French and English Canada, and slightly later 1880 in Australia. The practice of batching students into groups by age contributed to the emergence of a new subject position linked to the teen years. If schools started this process, worries about delinquency served to consolidate the notion of youth as a stage of development.

Juvenile crime in particular, initially considered primarily an affliction of poor and working-class youth, became generalized by the 1890s as juvenile delinquency and applied to all youth Gillis, 1974. The fear of rising crime rates led to legislative action and the expansion of welfare provisions in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The resulting system of social services addressed adolescents as a particular age cohort with specific interests and needs Osgerby, 2004.

By the early 20th century, in psychology and pedagogy studies, G. Its Psychology and Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, and Education Hall, 1904 addressed this stage of life as a specific period of development associated with tumult and uncertainty—the sturm and drang of adolescence.

Thinking of adolescence in these terms reflected the worries of legislators, educators, and reformers, but it was not until the early 1940s that the notion of youth culture was coined by the American sociologist Talcott Parsons 1942. Parsons used the phrase youth culture to name a specific generational cohort experiencing distinct processes of socialization that set them apart from others. But more significantly, a series of changes in the social, economic, and cultural lives of adolescents that began prior to World War II and consolidated during the postwar years proved essential to marking out a modern notion of youth culture.

Media and consumer markets were integral to these changes. From the start of the 20th century, mass media were among the key developments shaping youth culture and learning. This was evident in the United Kingdom and the United States, where industrialization and mass consumer markets emerged earlier than in other nations. This reveals something about the characteristics of youth culture; in many ways, youth cultures dance, music, fashion, sports, etc.

In this way, youth and modernity are tightly connected. Modernity is linked to experiences of change driven by urbanization and migration, the expansion of mass, factory-based production, and the proliferation of images and consumerism as normative conditions of everyday life.

Since the late 19th and early 20th centuries, youth have been harbingers of these developments and have often been considered the archetypical subject of modernity. Early Mass Media and Youth Audiences The tendency to link youth with the changes characterized by modernity has produced a history of anxieties where the relationships among youth, media culture, and education are concerned.

These anxieties first appeared in response to the violence, vulgarity, and sexual desire in early popular culture e. The emergence of the cinema at the turn of the 20th century epitomized these fears by forever changing the nature of the intergenerational transmission of knowledge.

Movies can be understood with little tuition, meaning that they can fix the attention of all age groups on the screen, a development that proved particularly attractive to children. Early cinematographers were able to stage dramas on a scale unheard of in live theater, to command an audience much greater than literature could, and hence to shape the popular imagination as never before. But because movies work through the language of images, they were thought to create highly emotional—and intellectually deceitful—effects.

In This Article

Images were thought to leave audiences particularly young people in something like a trance, a state of passivity that left adolescents open to forms of manipulation that were morally suspect and politically dangerous.

Such responses not only reflected the sentiment of early film boosters, but they also were part of a more nuanced sense of how life—including the experience of learning—was changing in the 20th century.

These tools allowed people to see and experience distant lands, other times, and new and fantastical experiences in live-action and highly structured narrative formats. Far more common were fears that modern media would serve to undermine how young people learn proper culture—meaning good books and the right music and stories thought to foster a vibrant and meaningful cultural life.

Drawing from their experiences with the role that media i. They meant that movies, advertisements, and eventually television were signs of the commodification of culture, an indication that culture itself—epitomized by the rich European traditions of classical music, painting, and literature—was being reduced to a sellable thing, a commodity just like any a research on the relationship between consumerism and television usage of individuals in the united in capitalist societies.

In this context, Adorno and Horkheimer suggested that culture no longer works to promote critical and autonomous thought; rather, the culture industries promote sameness, a uniformity of experience and a standardization of life that at best serve to distract people from significant issues of the day. Through childish illusion and fantasy, the culture industries produce false consciousness, a form of thinking that misinterprets the real issues that matter in our lives, leaving young people and adults blissfully unaware of key issues of common concern that demand our attention and action.

Youth Markets and Media Panics The concerns of the Frankfurt School found a receptive audience in the second half of the 20th century. The postwar decades mark an especially significant period of expansion in youth markets and youth culture in the West Osgerby, 2004. Complicating this were the emergence of television and an intensely organized effort to shape and calibrate the spending power of young people in the service of conspicuous consumer consumption.

The small screen represented the promise and possibility of modern times. Not surprisingly, this sentiment was short lived Goldfarb, 2002. Most often characterized by exaggerated claims about the impact of popular commercial culture on children and youth, media panics are a special kind of moral frenzy over the influence of media on vulnerable populations Drotner, 1999.

He reveals how youth are positioned in postwar industrial societies as a source of fear and often misplaced anxiety. In the process, youth and youth culture become scapegoats. Media panics continued to appear throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Related concerns arose in the 1990s regarding video games and violence, the presence of dangerous and disturbing messages buried in the lyrics of popular music, and fears about fantasy board games, including Dungeons and Dragons.

We note these fears not to dismiss them outright, but to draw attention to the history of anxieties that have characterized worries about youth and media culture. Such concerns are often underpinned by the view that young people are vulnerable and highly impressionable persons unable to manage the impact of media in their lives. Indeed, the wariness of public officials, parents, health practitioners, and educators toward media is still today often underpinned by deeper commitments to a sense that youth is a time of innocence and hope.

Whether understood biologically as a period of maturation toward adulthood or as a distinct generational cohort characterized by shared processes of socialization, adolescence has long been a repository for both the greatest hopes and fears of a nation. While youth are often considered a risk to society and the reproduction of social order, they also have long been framed in connection with the future health and well-being of nations.

The result is that youth often occupy a contradictory space in relation to media culture Drotner, 1999. On the one hand, popular media culture has been a vital resource through which youth communities, subcultures, and generations have defined themselves, their desires, and their hopes and dreams for decades. This continues to be reflected in the dynamic ways that youth are using and creating digital media to shape their lives and address matters of common concern in societies around the world.

We take up these developments in more detail later in this article. On the other hand, it is evident that consumerism and commercial media culture remain sources of tremendous anxiety. The media content that teenagers access—beyond the watchful eye of guardians and educators—and the way that they learn about gender, race, sexuality, the environment, and other issues continues to raise alarms. The digitization of media and the emergence of more dynamic, participatory media cultures Jenkins, 2006 are crucial to this development, as we explain in the final section.

But changes in media concentration and the development of vast media conglomerates—including Google, Disney, Time Warner, Viacom, Baidu, and News Corp—that produce media commodities and experiences for various national markets have been instrumental in shaping the tensions and impact of media culture on youth lives. It is just these sorts of developments that have long raised the concerns of educators and others who remain deeply ambivalent about the relationship between consumer media and young people.

The consequence of this ambivalence has led some educators to argue that media, including film, television, and the Internet, can have a broader educational impact, particularly given their ability to reach large audiences. This sentiment crept into educational discourses throughout a research on the relationship between consumerism and television usage of individuals in the united 1960s in a way that would shift the thinking about youth, media culture, and education.

  1. Big data enables the production of complex algorithms that produce what Wendy Chun 2016 , p.
  2. None of this was reflected in the world of domestic comedies, where even the Hispanic gardener in Father Knows Best was named Frank Smith Coontz, 1992.
  3. Our story begins in the Anglo-American world, but it has quickly become global as media and youth cultures expand around the world.
  4. This is not surprising — if the system is not aimed at meeting human needs and interests, but at generating profit, then it will only be a matter of extreme luck that it ends up doing the former.

Using this media system to create successful learning resources has been a delicate business. The idea of using radio and documentary movies as informational and often didactic educational tools to teach kids social studies, geography, and history has a long tradition in national schooling systems.