Young people are constantly being judged by those around them: guardians, teachers, peers and called derogatory terms such as "snowflake", young people are stereotyped as arrogant, intolerant, or ignorant and referred to with negative language such as "useless", "stupid", and "careless". 

As part of one of our sessions on discrimination, the young people at New City College investigated media representations of young people. They explored how young people are presented in film, in newspapers, and on social media, analysing how these depictions differ and why. 

[articles taken from The Mirror and The Sun]

Over the course of the session, they discussed how young people tend to be presented more critically in newspapers and described how newspapers use negative language to divide young people from other generations, creating an Us versus Them mentality. In contrast, they found that as social media tends to be targeted at their generation, these platforms present them in a more positive light.

Any criticisms made about young people were dampened by comedy which the young people were more forgiving of. The key difference between how the young people received criticism from newspapers versus social media was the intentions behind the stories being shared. The negative assumptions made by newspapers are shared in an effort to humiliate young people, whereas the stories they see in social media tend to be shared to motivate young people and show an alternate perspective in a format that they can relate to.  

In an effort to challenge the negative stereotypes and assumptions made about young people, the group created TikTok videos showing how the expectations of the older generation contrasts to the reality of their lives.

In one example, we see the young persons perspective of how they expect their family to react to them studying versus the reality. When discussing the TikTok in further detail, the group explained how parents often assume that they're not studying when in actuality, they're taking a break. They wanted to use this TikTok to emphasise how their hard work is often ignored or unseen. 

A different group wanted to challenge the stereotype that all young people are in gangs or act aggressively. In this TikTok, the parent sees their child behaving tough and dressing a particular way, and assumes that they are going down the wrong path. However, in reality, the child is quiet and well behaved.

This project was produced as a collaboration between New City College Tower Hamlets and Headliners (UK).
Thank you to the Tower Hamlets Prevent Team for making these sessions possible.

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