Young people today: media, policy and youth justice

2013-10-03T13:07:37Z (GMT) by Jo Aldridge Simon Cross
The new sociology of childhood sees children as competent social agents with important contributions to make. And yet the phase of childhood is fraught with tensions and contradictions. Public policies are required, not only to protect children, but also to control them and regulate their behaviour. For children and young people in the UK, youth justice has become increasingly punitive. At the same time, social policies have focused more on children's inclusion and participation. In this interplay of conflict and contradictions, the role the media play is critical in contributing to the moral panic about childhood and youth. In this article, we consider media representations of “antisocial” children and young people and how this belies a moral response to the nature of contemporary childhood. We conclude by considering how a rights‐based approach might help redress the moralised politics of childhood representations in the media.