Youth on ScreenRepresenting Young People in Film and Television
Youth on Screen
Representing Young People in Film and Television

Right from the origins of cinema, countless films and television dramas have offered sensational and seductive representations of young people's lives. Youth is typically associated with energy, idealism and physical beauty, but it is often represented as both troubled and troubling. These representations are almost always created by adults, implicitly reflecting an adult perspective on how young people 'come of age'.

<i>Youth on Screen</i> provides a historical account of representations of youth in Britain and the United States, stretching back over seventy years. From <i>Blackboard Jungle</i> to <i>This is England</i>, and from <i>Jailhouse Rock</i> to <i>Skins</i>, it covers a range of classics, as well as some intriguing obscurities. Engagingly written and clearly organized, it offers a perfect introduction for students and general readers.

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  • August 2021
  • 256 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509545254
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9781509545261
  • Open eBook $56.00
  • 9781509545278
Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. Troubling teenagers: how movies constructed the juvenile delinquent

3. Dreamboats, boybands and the perils of showbiz: the rise and fall of the pop film

4. Reeling in the years: retrospect and nostalgia in movies about youth

5. Gender trouble: cinema and the mystery of adolescent girlhood

6. This is England: growing up in Thatcher’s Britain

7. Skins and the impossibility of youth television

8. Conclusion: histories and futures

Further reading

TV and filmography


About the Author
David Buckingham is an Emeritus Professor of Media and Communications at Loughborough University, and a Visiting Professor at Kings College London, UK. His research has focused on children and young people’s interactions with media, and on media literacy education.
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"Offering insightful readings of both classic and less known films and TV series, Youth on Screen is a fresh and compelling introduction to mediated representations of adolescence. Buckinghams analyses of British texts are especially welcome given that U.S. properties have received far more attention to date."
Mary Celeste Kearney, author of Girls Make Media and editor of Mediated Girlhoods

"Buckingham offers an insightful and highly readable account of how young people have been portrayed on screen and the critical debates that have ensued. In the process, this book sheds new light on the evolving politics of youth as a social category."
Sue Turnbull, University of Wollongong

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