Klaus Neumann-Braun: Vorstellungsbilder und Bebilderungspraxis im Kontext von Jugend-Diskursen und jugendlichem Alltag

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Klaus Neumann-Braun, University Basel: »Images and illustrative practice in youth discourse and the everyday life of young people«

Images of young people are generated by both adults and adolescents in social debates about young people. The way in which adolescents / adults perceive themselves and the images they project of others have to do with vested interests and value systems (difference between the generations). Images of young people emerge in the course of a complex process of communication and mediation between the demands of adult society, representations in the media, expert substantiation and young people’s response. Experts and the media public alike construct an image of young people which is aimed essentially at demonstrating sensitivity to social deviations, the intention being to engineer a discussion focused on the logic of prevention, which oscillates between 'negative' youth images and 'positive' images of youthfulness. In terms of discourse theory the question arises as to the correlation between youth images (power-based) and images of youthfulness (value-based). In the everyday life of young people alien images are warded off and replaced by self-images of a 'peer culture society'. Everyone can create such images themselves these days thanks to the advances made in technology (digital photography, mobile phones, Internet).
Illustrations will be given of participation in various scenes ('token' [individual image] of a 'type' [style]) as well as of self-made media productions of self-determined leisure-time activity. - Examples of image analysis provide an empirical explanation of the brief outline given here of the study, which is rooted in the sociology of science and discourse theory.

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