THE POWER OF REPRESENTATION (ADULTISM: Disrespecting and/or mistreating…
THE POWER OF REPRESENTATION
Sometimes, stereotypes are built on prejudices and may lead to discrimination.
Many stereotypes about young people may rest on adultist thinking.
A way of representing and judging a person/s, based on specific characteristics they share with a known, human generated category.
Instead of being considered and treated as a distinctive individual, they are represented simply through their category.
Stereotyping can be positive (eg ) or negative (eg ), but arguably are all harmful.
The judging of a person/idea without prior knowledge of that person/idea, based on perceived group membership.
It can be positive (eg preference of particular ethnic food)
It can be negative (eg racism or sexism)
Therefore prejudice can either help or harm the person being judged.
The unjust treatment of people who have been grouped into a particular class of people (formally or informally).
Types of Discrimination:
AGE RELATED (AGEISM)
Discrimination against young people, where they are subject to unequal treatment based on their age.
This is reflected in laws, practices and attitudes.
Eg. youth wages, unable to vote, needing experience for jobs, strict when entering real estate market.
Disrespecting and/or mistreating the young (through attitudes and behaviours).
Our society typically considers young people to be less important than and inferior to adults.
Society does not include young people as decision makers in the broader life of their communities.
Apart from prisoners and other institutional groups, young people are controlled more than any other group in society.
Parents reserve the right to punish, threaten, hit and take away privileges from their children. As well as tell them what to eat, wear and time to go to bed.
Not everything the adult world does in relation to young people is adultist.
Young people and children need love, guidance, rules, discipline, teaching, role modelling, nurturance and protection.
Something can be considered adultist if it involves a consistent pattern of disrespect and mistreatment, that has any of the following affects on young people:
An undermining of self-confidence/esteem
an increasing sense of worthlessness/powerlessness
a consistent feeling of not being taken seriously
a diminishing ability to function well in society
a growing negative self-concept
increasing destructive acting out/in
developing health conditions, depression or attempting suicide
feeling unloved or unwanted
Common occurrences of adultism:
Physical and sexual abuse
Child Development Literature and Education
These occurrences can lead to negative consequences once the young person reaches early adulthood, such as:
Acting out (bullying, leaving home early etc)
Acting 'in' (becoming self-destructive through suicide, alcohl and drug abuse, depression
Join a gang to feel a sense of belonging
Isolate themselves, not having friends/family, no one to talk to.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO CHALLENGE ADULTISM:
The pain we experience as young people helps condition us to...
Accept further mistreatment as women, people of colour, workers etc
Flip to the other side of the relationship and act in oppressive ways towards others who are in relatively less powerful positions than ours.
We often assume the negative depiction of young people is a modern concept, however it started much earlier.
In modern times
, mass media, advertising, TV, magazines and cinema construct all account for the negative image of young people
The growing power of mass media paired with the increasing social segregation, has caused people to be more influenced by mediazed accounts of young people than in earlier times.
In the 18th and 19th centuries
, written and oral culture were produced, which highlighted the concerns of the time, and shaped the lives of youths.
The term 'hooligan' came about in 1898 after a holiday left a bunch of young men facing the court for disorderly behaviour and drunkeness
These events involving minority groups of young people created a general representation for youth.
Young people born post-war
are often seen as threatening, troublesome and radical. This is because they had new possibilities and hopes, and did not have to live with the horror and consequences of the World War.
Occurs when someone or something is defined by the media as a threat to the moral standards of society, and therefore becomes the folk devil.
(Social types that signify what we should not be).
The creation of folk devils can kickstart a moral panic.
The feeling of fear amongst people, that comes from the media depicting something or someone as threatening to society.
The moral panic can create a bigger phenomenon than the actual event itself.
The ways in which young people are represented, (through images and language) can have a powerful effect on their lives - it can lead to social anxiety and/or fear of social change.
Young people are often seen as the source of trouble and in need of control, but also as the victims of trouble and in need of protection.