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Title: A critical analysis of the print media representation of children and young people during transition from conflict in Northern Ireland
Author: Gordon, Emma Faith
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 3119
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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At a time of political, economic and social change in Northern Ireland, this thesis analyses the print media representation of children and young people, and its impact, in a society transitioning from conflict. The theoretical framework is derived in critical analysis within criminology. The study focuses on the media's role in creating negative representations and maintaining negative ideological constructions of children and young people, in particular those who are the most marginalised and those 'in conflict with the law'. The timing of this study, as policing and justice was devolved 'to the Northern Ireland Assembly, provided an opportunity to examine the UK's legacy regarding criminal justice and youth justice legislation, policy and practice, and its inheritance or contestation by the devolved administration. The research methods employed enable thorough analysis of media content. Covering six months (March 2010 to August 2010) of print media in depth, it explores the language and imagery to establish key themes. A case study of the portrayal of young people's involvement in what was represented as 'sectarian' rioting in July 2010 develops more fully those key themes. In the context of the content analysis and case study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with editors and journalists. Interviews with politicians and a spokesperson from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) demonstrate the relationship between the media, the state and state agencies. Children, young people and advocates presented their experiences of the impact of negative media representations. The findings confirm that the negative reputation ascribed to children and young people through popular discourse often brings them into conflict with the law whi le neglecting the structural and institutional relations which contextualise their marginalisation and exclusion. This is heightened in communities that continue to be divided by sectarianism yet are attempting to accommodate a gradual transition from conflict.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available