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Youth as a Social Class and Phenomenon Review

The given selection of the articles has been chosen based on two criteria: they deal with the youth and they explain different aspects and issues connected with media education. There is no denying the fact, that technological progress and the changes in political, economic and cultural spheres of society affect people of all ages, but it is evident, that the youth should receive special attention, as young people in the future of the world. Our task is to analyze the youth as a social class and to consider the phenomenon of media education.

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It is not by chance that the article by P. Lestina comes first in the list of articles we have to study. The author presents the general information on the way “class structures and struggles” influence the youth of the world “as they face a history of, and increasing subjugation to, the economic, political, and cultural logic of capital” (Lestina par. 1.1). The author throws light on hard economic conditions that are created in contemporary society: unemployment, which is the result of “capital flight and global outsourcing”, absence of government protection, and exploitation of labor (Lestina par. 1.5). It is commonly known that children and the youth are the most vulnerable social layers that require special treatment and care. The seriousness of the current situation is proved by statistics: about half of the population of the earth is under the age of 25, 11 million of the young die each year because of such problems as lack of food, bad sanitary conditions and unsatisfactory housing conditions.

Lestina’s article deals with the same problems that are discussed in the article by H. Giroux. The latter enlarges on obstacles that are faced by the youth, he elaborates on the way how conservatives are “dismantling the parts of the public sector that serve the social and democratic needs of the non-affluent majority of the American populace” (Giroux par. 1.1). He also stresses the problem of militarization of schools, which may be evidenced by such measures taken as the adoption of security systems and the carrying out of raids in American public schools. Giroux also disapproves and stresses the harmful influence of “zero-tolerance policies” and “criminalization” of “problem” young people, which is the main focus of the author’s work (par. 2.1 – par. 2.3). Both researchers mention racism as a “socio-political construction” that hampers natural development of society and contributes to the exploitation of labor (Lestina par. 2.7), (Giroux par. 2.4).

One more problem, which is elucidated in Lestina’s article and, is, certainly, of great importance, is the problem of class warfare, which is the result of new conservative agenda (par. 3.1). Its essence is in the fact that all participants of the educational process (parents, teachers, teacher unions, etc.) are deprived of the slightest possibility of making decisions. The only aim of the creators of this agenda is to sell it and gain considerable profit; what is more, this marketing operation is being held under the hypocritical cover of globalization, competitiveness, and efficiency. To struggle against these oppressive conditions of contemporary society, the author suggests fostering the development of political consciousness among the younger generation, which may be implemented due to cooperation of teachers and students, and by means of the students’ participation in political bodies.

On the whole, the main message of P. Lestina’s article is that there is vital necessity of the victory of politics over the “tyranny of market force” and the creation of theoretical approach to life for the youth (p. 5.2). We agree with the author on the idea of the paramount importance of class awareness and political awareness for the young. They are starting points for them to establish control over various spheres of life.

The central concept of the youth as a social class and the urgent problems of the young people are also discussed by S. Aronowitz in the article “Against Schooling: Education and Social Class”. The approach of this researcher may be characterized by more practical orientation in comparison with the above-mentioned authors who present theoretical points of view. The author’s main contribution to the concept of the youth as a class, that supplements the views presented above by his colleagues, is that he suggests abolishing “high-stakes standardized tests that dominate the curriculum and subordinate teachers to the role of drill masters and subject students to stringent controls” (Aronowitz par. 7.1). However, the scientist has no intention to eradicate the necessity of evaluation and evaluative tools in educational process. In fact, he offers certain innovations for the curriculum, such as the integration of etymological issues, the application of historical approach and perspective to the studying of exact sciences, such as math, that include rote-learning as a necessary element. We believe that this approach is sure to be productive; it will replace boring rote learning and bare drills with deep understanding and strengthening of motivation for learning, which is absolutely necessary for students to be successful.

One more idea of Aronowitz that has claimed our attention and has got our definite approval is his statement of the preference of earned authority of teachers instead of the assumed one (par. 7.2). The necessity of the cultivation of critical skills among the students is obvious, but it should be taken into account that any criticism should be based on a certain cultural background that should be provided by the curriculum. This is why the current school curriculum needs absolute reformation which will be aimed at intellectual endeavor. This is why serious and radical changes should take place in teachers’ training that will enable them to eliminate warfare state.

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Carlson’s article also deserves attention, as it introduces several terms that are useful for us. The author operates such terms as “outsider stories”, “insider stories” (par. 5.5). The article is aimed at progressives whose task is to challenge “current hegemonic discourse” (Carlson par. 5.8). Thus, it can be concluded that all scientists claim that there is vital necessity for the reformation of contemporary educational system.

The articles, which were analyzed above, create necessary basis for correct perception of the question of media education at school. This matter is discussed with much detail in the report of Kate Domaille, who presents the analysis of the global survey of media education, which focuses on its application at schools. The results have proved to be impressive and reliable as they cover the vast range of responses of the citizens of 35 countries.

The report suggests the shift of approaches in media education: from “inoculation” to “empowerment” (Domaille 3). A very important fact is worth mentioning: the author’s point of view differs from Lestina and Giroux’s points of view, as she says that the main aim of media education is not to protect young people, but to develop “critical awareness”. However, we came across the similar information in Giroux’s article.

Domaille draws our attention to the fact that in most cases media education is included in the process of assessment of other subjects, and it has to struggle in order to become recognized as a self-efficient and independent form of education. The author states that, though the circumstances of the development of media education are rather complicated, it is in the process of constant development now, due to considerable support of enthusiastic teachers and publication of materials on the topic.

The unquestionable merit of Domaille’s report is that it throws light on the obstacles that are faced by media education. The most important and topical of them are as follows: the necessity of the recognition of the value of media education; absence of specialized training courses for teachers; too complicated approach to media education on the basis of high tech, especially in Japan; and, on the contrary, poor financial and technological basis of schools. Thus, it can be stated, that Domaille’s report creates a perfect image of the current global situation concerning media education.

In his turn, Jenkins also throws light on certain aspects of media education and media literacy. The advantage of this work is detailed description of the reasons for teaching media literacy: participation gap, transparency problem, and ethic challenge (10). Because of these issues, it becomes evident, that teachers’ task is to take into account new media landscape and specific skills and competencies that are engendered by it. Among the skills that form media literacy of students, the author mentions the following: play, simulation, performance, appropriation, multitasking, etc. (Jenkins 56). Besides, the author suggests possible ways of practical application of skills.

Drawing a conclusion, it should be stated that all the authors agree on the importance of the social class, called “the youth”, and all of them also agree that definite social changes are necessary to ensure healthy existence of the youth. Media education can provide young people with media literacy and other necessary skills, which may make a great contribution to successful development of their personalities and may give them many opportunities to become good citizens.

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Works Cited

Arnowitz, Stanley. Against Schooling: Education and Social Class. 2004. Web.

Carlson, Dennis. Leaving Children Behind: Urban Education, Class Politics, and the Machines of Transnational Capitalism. 2004. Web.

Domaile, Kate. Youth Media Education Survey. 2001. Web.

Giroux, Henry A. Class Casualties: Disappearing Youth in the Age of George W. Bush. 2004. Web.

Jenkins, Henry. Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. 2009. Web.

Lestina, Pepi. Introduction: Youth as a Category through which Class is Lived. 2004. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 29). Youth as a Social Class and Phenomenon Review.

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"Youth as a Social Class and Phenomenon Review." StudyCorgi, 29 Oct. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Youth as a Social Class and Phenomenon Review." October 29, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Youth as a Social Class and Phenomenon Review." October 29, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Youth as a Social Class and Phenomenon Review." October 29, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Youth as a Social Class and Phenomenon Review'. 29 October.

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