‘Youth-Hood’ as a concept, and what it means for equality

Volunteer Journalist Calvin

Within Society people communicate with one another by using signs, languages, and customs that are understood as concepts. Concepts generally have meaning by being compared with other concepts, namely an opposite one. For instance, the word ‘Youth’ derives its meaning from its opposite concept ‘Adult’. Consequently, the media influences our perception to form either a positive or negative perspective concerning certain concepts. Unfortunately, the concept ‘Youth’ has suffered as a a direct contrast with the concept ‘Adult’ being attributed with a positive identity by the media.

Certain questions arise thereof. Can the word ‘Youth’ generate a positive identity? In what manner do adults benefit by being perceived in a favourable fashion. Lastly, does the media really hold such great weight in forming our judgements about issues in society?

Although on paper, the media’s role is to transmit international and domestic news in an impartial manner, it does present biased information when reporting social problems. As a result, the term ‘Social Problem’ has been manufactured into the brand we call ‘Youth’. Consequently, the more negatively stereotyped ‘Youth-hood’ becomes, the more positively stereotyped its opposite concept ‘Adulthood’ becomes.

Young people are not necessarily a negative group. They actually contribute towards the advancement of society in many areas of civic life. The voluntary sector, especially London’s 2012 Olympic Games will be predominantly run by young volunteers. However, as expected, the media has failed to recognise such honourable behaviour displayed by the young.

As a consequence of the misrepresentation of young people, adults now possess absolute power and authority throughout all areas within our culture. This prohibits the intervention of young people democratically influencing the societal cosmetics used to powder and pamper masked social inequality.

The question begs, how do young people eradicate the stigma that hovers like a black cloud above them?

There are a number of methods and techniques used to create identities, and these exact methods can be used to undermine those same identities that have been formed. Furthermore, if the media has the potential to form perceptions, it also holds the power to change those perceptions. However, when social control is concerned, nothing is ever that simple.

There are numerous minor and major think-tanks across London, including ‘IARS’, which implement their ethos by presenting data to the public to voice obscure and underlying issues. Although small steps are taken, a French proverb reminds us that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

With constant renewal of the production of credible propaganda concerning the misrepresentation of young people, developments are and will be made to create equality for young people.

*All views expressed in this article are the author’s. IARS accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any views expressed in these articles and will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information or any losses or damages arising from its display or use.

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  1. I will advance a counter-argument (no one would expect me to do anything else!).

    In the olden days, older people were held in high regard and respected by society. They were seen as being wiser because they had more experience. They were treated with respect. Their voices were valued and they were listened to. None of that is the case any longer. Now they are dumped in care homes, and the general view is that they should not be seen or heard.

    Now being young is the thing to be. Everyone wants to look young, be young and remain young. No one wants to age. Women regularly lie about their age. They spend huge amounts of money on cosmetics, creams, make-up and clothes that make them look younger. “Youth” is the thing to be. No one wants to be middle-aged. No one wants to be old.

    Age discrimination, although against the law, regularly occurs to prevent older people getting jobs, even though they have more experience and are better qualified. The jobs go to the young, because they can be paid less, and it is assumed they will have more energy, and will be more committed because they do not yet have a family etc

    What are your views on these issues?

    • With regard to your claim “Everyone wants to…remain young”; this claim is apparently true, but comes at a dire cost, which people underlyingly know. People want to possess the advantages of being young per se (Such as health, beauty, and so forth), but conecerning the stigma attached to being young – namely, irresponsibility – society would rather opt to pursue an adult led life which has its own safety nets.

      Also, old people have still remained the most powerful group within our society. Take for instance, the most powerful members within our culture – Parliamentarians, especially the House of Lords; FTSE 100 CEO’s; QC Barristers – basically, every member that holds illegimate power has grey hair, lol.


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