Cinema for the jilted generation: a study of youth drug subcultures and their representations in contemporary cinema
KeywordsAdolescent / youth (teenager / young person)
High and popular culture
Portrayal of drugs and alcohol use in the media
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AbstractThis paper deals with the issue of youth subcultures and their relationship with and representations by mainstream society. Chapter One discusses the theories behind youth subcultural studies. Chapter Two examines a specific youth subculture i.e. the Ecstasy/Dance Culture. The nature and workings of this subculture and the solutions it offers to the problems and contradictions inherent in dominant society are examined. The general forms of societal reaction to these subcultural statements are reviewed in Chapter Three. The issue of moral panics, especially by those created by the mass media, is given a prominent analysis. These panics are often misguided as they are created by sensationalistic reporting which offers misrepresentations of youth subcultures. These misrepresentations lead to misunderstandings and misconceptions. Chapter Four presents a case study of moral panics and societal reaction to the Ecstasy/Dance Culture. The role of the various groups involved in reacting to the subculture is reviewed and specific examples are given on how moral panics have created misrepresentation about this youth drug subculture. The work of those involved in countering these misrepresentations is then examined. The final section of this chapter is an analysis of a Channel 4 documentary entitled Rave New World. Special attention is given to the representation it offers of the Ecstasy/Dance Culture. Chapter Five is based on the notion that contemporary cinema has the power to add to or challenge the prevailing norms in society. Thus its representations of youth drug subcultures are extremely important. As there have been no prominent films to date that have dealt specifically with the Ecstasy/Dance Culture, an analysis of three related films is offered - Trainspotting, Raining Stones and Drugstore Cowboy. The representations of this subculture or of other related youth drug subcultures are critically examined. I conclude that cinema's role in dealing with subcultures is a quintessential one as it can redress the imbalances of misrepresentations, offer wider perspectives and be positively used for educational purposes
Beirne, Vincent <http://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/view/people/Beirne=3AVincent=3A=3A.html> (1996) Cinema for the jilted generation: a study of youth drug subcultures and their representations in contemporary cinema. Masters thesis, Dublin City University.