Media representations of young people during pandemic times in Turkey


URAL H., Can-Mollaer E., OKAN C.

JOURNAL OF YOUTH STUDIES, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13676261.2022.2039601
  • Journal Name: JOURNAL OF YOUTH STUDIES
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Educational research abstracts (ERA), Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts
  • Keywords: Youth, pandemic, media, COVID-19, Turkey, NEWSPAPER COVERAGE, YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT, EXPERIENCES, TRANSITION, DISCOURSE, CRISIS, GIRLS, STATE, RISK

Abstract

This study discusses patterns of media representations of Turkish youth during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially, during the early lockdowns. We focus on media narratives as discursive practices, with the pandemic being the main object of these narratives. Building upon a thematic analysis of mainstream news media, we suggest that discursive representations portray young people along the axis of responsibilities and vulnerabilities. Along this axis, there lie three types of representations: (i) responsibilization of youth to deal with the health crisis, (ii) socio-economic vulnerabilities, and (iii) socio-cultural impoverishment. Viewing through this lens, we argue that representations of youth in news media during pandemic times maintain the recurrent figures of the youth that are conceived through the terms of the 'myth of youth' and 'denied citizenship' at the same time. To the extent that young people are recognized and praised as instrumental figures of crisis management, their vulnerabilities are partially or completely disregarded. Thus, youth in pandemic times emerges as a figure that is both instrumentalized and obscured.