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‘Quadrophenia’ and ‘This is England’ is both movies based on real life experiences and also stereotypes of the British youth. ‘Quadrophenia’ is a film which was directed by the famous ‘Franc Roddam’, which was made in 1979, but focused and based around the year 1973. The focus of ‘Quadrophenia’ is to show how the youth of Britain were acting. In 1973, there was a conflict between two British subcultures which were the Mods & Rockers. The two conflicting subcultures rose doubts to the future of Youth, which is where Moral panic started. The director of this movie shows us how the Moral Panic started, and that there could’ve not been a moral panic if the media hadn’t interfered with everything.

The focus of ‘Quadrophenia’ was to show the point of view from the British youth’s side, how they felt about everything, how they worked with life, and how the youth acted as individuals. Franc Roddam wanted to show a point of view from the British youths, so that not everyone would stereotype them because of their behaviour, Roddam wanted to show what the cause of their behaviour was. The issues that ‘Quadrophenia’ raised was that it showed that the media was the reason behind the moral panic, it showed the public that the media took a small portion of violence (by the youth), and made it as big as they can in order to create this Moral Panic. ‘This is England’ is another British movie directed by Shane Meadows, which is made in 2006, but based on early 1980’s. The focus of this film is to show how the skinhead subculture in England became adopted by white nationalists, which leads to separations within the skinhead scenes. The director of this movie wanted to show the story behind the skinhead culture, what made them different, why most groups of them were violent, and why some groups of them were humble.

In the movie ‘This is England’, respect for elders is represented as very openly. In This is England, we see lots and lots of young, angry, violent British youth. However, what the director has showed us is the respect that they have for their elders. In the British society, we see that the elderly don’t respect their youth, reasons why is because they automatically assume, and stereotype them because of the way they look. For example, if an elderly was to see a young teen in some baggy clothing, they’d assume violence and not show any respect. The director of ‘This is England’ has challenged this stereotype with specific scenes in this movie such as when the protagonists (Shauns) mother walk into a café shop to shout at all the youth that her son hangs around with, us as an audience expected the youth to get violent, but what happens is that the youth show her full respect.

The impact that this challenged stereotype could have on the audience is that it may show them that not all youth are bad, and that they shouldn’t judge all youth just because of the action of a few. On the other hand, in ‘Quadrophenia’, there are differences with this type of theme. In ‘Quadrophenia’, the protagonist Jimmy is very loud, disrespectful and violent towards his elders, especially to his parents, which is the exact opposite to what the youth are in ‘This is England’. The impact that this representation of Youth in ‘Quadrophenia’ may have on the audience is that it leaves them thinking about how youth really act around them. This type of impact can cause a moral panic, if the media was to make it seem like a big situation. Debates that this type of challenged stereotype could raise is, ‘What is the actual behaviour of Youth is in the society we live in’.

In ‘Quadrophenia’ and ‘This is England’, the representation of sexual encounter has huge differences. In Quadrophenia, we are shown that it is set in 1973, which were times when the female gender had only got similar laws to the male gender, meaning that the female gender had much more freedom than they did before. The character Steph in this movie is shown as very promiscious, which gave us thoughts that she was abusing her ‘power’ in order to get what she wants, meaning that she was selling out on her body in order to ‘hang’ around with the male gender. There is also another representation which connects to this which is drug use, ‘Steph’ is shown as being promiscious to boys in order to get drugs. However, in This is England, the director shows us that there is a huge difference between the two different time zones. In the 1980’s, females already knew about their powers, so they wasn’t so keen on abusing it. This is shown by the character ‘Lol’, she shows us that she is very strong minded, and doesn’t need to sell her body to get what she wants. The impact that this has on the audience is that it shows them how much a specific time zone could change the actions of sexual encounter.


Representation of drug-use by the Mods and Rockers in ‘Quadrophenia’ is shown as damage to the future of Youth. In Quadrophenia, the use of drugs is very large, it is almost shown as a daily routine that the youth must comit to, otherwise they were seen as ‘un-cool’. In Quadrophenia, the protagonist Jimmy is always going to clubs and parties with his friends, and when he does he always has dugs. This leaves an impact on the audience of this film as to if the Youth of Britain are really like this in reality.

This is where Moral Panic theory kicks in because it leaves the audience with questions on there mind, and with the media always trying to exxagerate small news, this could be bad potential and an oppurtunity for the media to take advantage and exxagerate these questions that the audience has. Comparison of this to ‘This is England’ is at large because throughout the movie, we can see that all the small subcultures are always using drugs, such as ‘Woody’ and his group of friends. This type of drug use also shows the audience that this could be a part of the subcultures in todays society. This type of representation leaves the biggest impact on the audience because it shows them that the youth in our generation could potentially be like this in real life which could leave angry elders in todays society.

Gerberner stated that overtime individuals, especially audiences became cultivated into believing certain messages to be true. If we apply such theory to the representation of British youth in the media, this could be worrying. Numerous of youth films are largely negative portrayals. In Quadrophenia we see many scenes of anti-social youth, where drug taking is the norm and elders are disrespected for having a point of view. Like this, in This is England smoking pot and vandalising the community with racist graffiti is portrayed. What is worrying is that if audiences grow up viewing such negative representations of young people them they may become to accept it as true, which would mean that deviance/bad behaviour may be copied and continued.



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