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Teenage pregnancy A Level Media Studies Representation.

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1 Teenage pregnancy A Level Media Studies Representation

2 Teenage pregnancy on the rise in the UK Welsh government sets out to reduce teen pregnancies Reality shows glamorise teen pregnancy Teen pregnancy not a new occurrence Pill trials could cut teen pregnancy Shock teen pregnancy rates The twisted ethics of ‘teen mom’

3 Teen Pregnancy in the media Young Mum’s Mansion (2008) Underage and Pregnant (2009) Pregnancy: My big decision (2009) Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter – gave birth in 2008. Juno Vicki Pollard…

4 Class Divisions The concept of social class influences the way in which British society and power relations operate in everyday situations. This intense preoccupation with class in society can be recognized in a range of contemporary media portrayals which deal with the issue of teenage pregnancy. The association of social class with issues of teenage motherhood is unmistakable. The constructed 'chav' mum is stereotypical of how working class girls cope with pregnancy.

5 The ‘Chav’ Phenomenon During the last century, developments in the terminology used to refer to the working class have become increasingly negative and unconstructive, meaning that social class has become distinguished by taste, and more importantly, a perceived lack of taste.

6 The ‘Chav’ phenomenon ‘Chav’ is a derogatory yet constructed term It has become a common idiom realigned with stereotypical notions of the lower-class It is a notion that is reinforced daily by both tabloid headlines and broadsheet style inserts The ease with which we accept this term and connotations indicates the inherent power the media has upon the representation and construction of class in society. The concerns surrounding teenage mothers arguably stem from more deep-seated social worries.

7 Jeremy Kyle

8 Frampton – Exploring Teenage Pregnancy and Media Representations of ‘Chavs’ The Daily Mail – 2005 – “I didn’t want this baby” Depicts the experiences of working class teenage mother, Melissa, just days after the birth of her son.

9 Melissa “The nappy is on back to front. It is the grandmother who notices, comments loudly and rolls her eyes. Mother just gives one of her ‘what-does-it-matter’ shrugs and can’t quite decide whether to giggle or glare. Baby, mercifully, is only two days old, oblivious to everything. Long may it continue, for all their sakes.” Invites the reader to gape voyeuristically at the subjects on display Middle class reader can indulge in a mingled horror and fascination of working class women Caricatured behaviour We are distanced through lack of Christian names

10 Melissa “ ‘Melissa only does things she wants to do,’ says Maureen. It soon emerges that there have been lots of things Melissa has not wanted to do. She proudly announces that she didn’t attend antenatal classes either.” Caricature continues throughout the article to convey Melissa as humorous yet despicable to a middle class readership She is characterised as a typically obstinate and ungrateful ‘chav’ teenager Vicki Pollard/Kevin the Teenager She is framed as a bad mother and carefully inserted asides from the journalist illuminate the use of mockery as a form of class distinction

11 Melissa “Kody’s second name is equally contentious. ‘It’s Craig, after my son Craig, his uncle…’ begins Maureen, breezily. ‘No it’s not,’ shouts Melissa. ‘It’s Craig after Dwain’s father Craig. It’s got nothing to do with our Craig. It’s me that chose it, so it’s me that knows.” Use of dialect to construct working class representation Melissa’s voice punctures Johnston’s controlled and well- constructed narrative Our attention is drawn to her regionally classed background

12 Melissa “She ‘might’ go back to college. To do what? ‘Dunno.’ When? ‘Dunno.’ There is the same dismissive shake of the head when I ask about her hopes for little Kody.” She is positioned as a young mother unwilling to take responsibility for her newborn son She is constantly subjected to the intense scrutiny of the middle class gaze She is a spectacle – unable to conform to middle class ideals of normality

13 Lucy Daily Mail – July 2008 “I had FOUR abortions by the time I was sixteen”

14 Hannah The Guardian – September 2005 “The Stigma of being a Teenage Mum”

15 Homework Print, read and annotate Frampton’s article from Wikispace. Find recent news items on teenage pregnancy – how are the teenage girls represented?

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