Drugs And Popular Culture: Drugs, Media And Identity in Contemporary Society

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The fact I am an academic, a writer, a woman and the mother of drug-using and sexually active young adults is going to influence how I interpret and portray any situation. I perceive these as layers of interaction and understanding. Any representation within a fictional discourse relates to an element that has been written and will be read in a particular cultural moment. Creative pieces are not expected to reflect a truism within contemporary society, but rather to reflect the truth of the fictional discourse and its multiple layers as it represents the dialogic relationship between the writer, the characters in the novel and the prospective readers.

I approach the writing of a novel from many angles, and using a multitude of voices and identities, as mentioned earlier. In part these identities are constructed in order to enable me to enter the experiential gap between my young adult readers and myself, the adult writer. Each identity has a separate power base that engages with and influences the discourse. Their personal identities are made of their past, their future, their dreams and aspirations and their fears as decided by me, the writer.

The fictional characters I create are ones that I believe I have given space to, characters I have created to breathe life into their own story, and to be ready to meet the young adult reader in that perceived experiential gap. I hope that the characters are met with empathy in this perceived gap because they show similar cognitive development to that of the readers. They start to develop identities, and to form a code of ethics. This allows me as the writer to withdraw, so that the text can survive as a witness, but not as an authority Foucault This approach means I can write openly about potentially illegal pastimes in an informed but not didactic way.

Amanda Boulter offers an explanation of the process for the author:. Robert McKee says that when creating a story. We put each and every moment under a microscope of thinking, rethinking, creating, recreating as we weave through our characters moments, a maze of unspoken thoughts, image, sensations and emotions. This, along with research, enables young adult fiction to be a source of information for young adults, and its ongoing influence should not be ignored.


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Those of us who write for young adults need to continue to produce exciting story-driven narratives that open vistas for young adults, allowing them to explore, vicariously, activities that will help to inform their future choices. And personally, as a writer, I need to accept that the world around us is fluid and therefore we have to be prepared to respond quickly to any changes. Foucault, M [] Power: Essential works of Foucault vol. Goswami, U Byron review on the impact of new technologies on children: a research literature review: Child development, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

She writes middle grade and young adult fiction: her middle grade novel, Flight, was published in by Firefly Press. Her blog chaosmos—out of chaos comes order explores all aspects of creative writing. Skip to main content.

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Primary navigation Issues About Subscribe. Secondary navigation Home Contribute Editors Contact us. Vanessa Harbour. Young adults make a lot of noise and are the target of many marketing campaigns, as suggested by Martyn Denscombe: Young people are expected to navigate through an acutely difficult social and personal context on their passage to adult status. Robert McKee says that when creating a story We put each and every moment under a microscope of thinking, rethinking, creating, recreating as we weave through our characters moments, a maze of unspoken thoughts, image, sensations and emotions.

End notes 1. Melrose explores this in his first book Write for children and has since expanded the idea in his Here comes the bogeyman: exploring contemporary issues in writing for children Also see Zipes J.

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The relationship between mass media and sports has profoundly influenced both institutions. From the late 18th century onward, this relationship has passed through a series of stages, the first of which was parallel development, with the mass media reaching a broader audience through new technologies and market growth while sports were attracting a growing base of paying spectators.

Next, their trajectories began to intersect—the commercial mass media especially after their emergence in electronic form increasingly viewed sports coverage as an inexpensive way of supplying much-needed content. Sports were correctly perceived as ideal for capturing audiences for advertisers. Public or state media also recognized sporting events as opportunities to reaffirm national culture and to bolster patriotism. As the economic infrastructure of sports developed to the level of a bona fide industry, sports entrepreneurs began to see the mass media as important for generating interest among spectators and sponsors.

Finally, by the late 20th century, mass media and elite sports formed a marriage of convenience, becoming in this last stage so economically interdependent as to be virtually inseparable. It is now, for example, impossible to imagine the continued existence of professional sports—football, basketball, gridiron football, or baseball—without billion-dollar broadcast rights and saturation coverage in the sports pages.

This coming together of media and sports, however, can reinstate older practices, with the costs to media corporations of acquiring broadcast rights and sports clubs offset by reintroducing the charge for watching that home viewers previously evaded. The introduction of cable, satellite, and microwave delivery systems has enabled broadcasters to exact payment for access to hour sports channels or, in an even more direct revival of turnstile arrangements, for access to pay-per-view live broadcasts of especially popular sports events such as championship boxing matches.

Sports bars and other entertainment venues with multiple television screens also offer a more public way of watching sports, just as large screens are now a feature at most major sports stadiums. For those who prefer to stay at home, however, the spreading availability of the Internet has created many new ways of connecting sports fans, media companies, sponsors, and advertisers. For example, all the major American media companies now have a substantial online presence.

Cyberspace is the latest site for the intimate relationship between the mass media and professional sports to be consummated.

Tracing the rise of the mass media and professional sports demonstrates constant change and innovation in the presentation of sports in the media. The pace of this change has accelerated with the intensification of competition between media organizations, between different sports, and between sports and other forms of leisure entertainment. The print sports media have evolved far beyond their original 18th-century role of announcing imminent sports events and recording their outcomes.

Carl Hart Examines at Drugs in Pop Culture

By the end of the century, the popularity of these sports stories among mostly male readers had prompted the growth of sports desks staffed by specialized journalists. They produced sports pages, often conveniently located at the back of the newspaper, that provided readers with abundant, although largely sanitized, information about athletes and their performances. Sportswriters tended to concentrate on the anticipation, atmospheric description, and postmortem dissection of major sporting occasions.

Newspaper proprietors quickly discovered that the back page was often consulted before the weightier matters of state at the front of the newspaper.

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The importance of sports for newspaper circulation can be illustrated by the placement, as a lure for its readers, of a detailed horse-racing form in The Morning Star, the long-running but now defunct British Communist Party newspaper. The space devoted to sports coverage in the daily press increased to the point where, by the middle of the 20th century, even the august New York Times was producing bulky sports sections.

A host of sportswriting styles and genres are available to readers. Journalists have become increasingly enthusiastic about probing sports scandals. Sports fans have been enlightened about official corruption such as that surrounding the successful bid by Salt Lake City , Utah , to host the Winter Olympics , performance-enhancing drugs, and off-field violence committed by athletes and fans.

Drugs and popular culture: drugs, media and identity in contemporary society

There is also considerable space in the print media devoted to in-depth profiles of athletes and the examination of sports issues, some of which are collected in books such as the Best American Sports Writing series. In book publishing there are fictions e. These and other forms of writing contribute to and are a result of the prominence of sports in the contemporary economy and society. However evocative sportswriting might be, it lacks the immediate impact of a striking visual sports image. As newspapers have developed their design appeal, sports photography has enhanced the attractiveness of the sports pages and of general current-affairs magazines such as Time , Newsweek , Paris-Match , and Der Spiegel.

It still lacks a vibrant sense of immediacy. The diffusion of radio technology throughout Europe and North America in the s allowed fans, absent from the game for whatever reason distance, scheduling, venue capacity, cost , to listen in to play-by-play descriptions of events. Once radio broadcasting had been established, the next technological innovation— television —added the crucial visual to the existing audio dimension of live sports spectatorship.

Television provides an unprecedented opportunity for vicarious experience. The doubts quickly disappeared when it was discovered that television also had the capacity to generate legions of new sports fans. The enthusiastic response to sports programming provided sports organizations with a powerful new revenue stream: the sale of broadcast rights. By the late 20th century, as the cultural economy became increasingly important and the need to attract consumers to converging broadcast, computer, and telecommunications technologies became ever more urgent, entrepreneurs sold audiovisual access to their performances at vastly inflated prices.

For televised sports, technical and presentational complexity has increased alongside the cost, scope, and density of coverage.


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  8. From a single, static camera attempting to capture sports events as if from the perspective of a well-positioned spectator at the venue, the number and capabilities of cameras and microphones have vastly increased. At contemporary major sports events, multiple cameras are positioned to capture the action from a variety of angles including overhead , distances from extreme close-ups to panoramas , and speeds from super slow motion to time-lapse speed. The first will allow viewers to make their own production choices of camera angle and displayed sports data; the second will so immerse viewers in the sports action that they will feel like participants.

    In this way sports will remain central to the economics of the media. This popularity and adaptability have ensured that media companies will continue to invest a major share of their resources in one of their most valuable commercial assets—sports. Modern sports and modern mass media are both multibillion-dollar businesses.

    Elite sports cannot function as they do without the mass media to publicize and underwrite them. This dynamic synergy between sports and the mass media is not without its problems. The mass media have enormous influence not only on the way that sports events are staged but also on when they take place.

    When Olympic sprinters run their races at 5 am so that New Yorkers can watch them in prime time, as happened at the Summer Games in Seoul , South Korea, the media have clearly exercised a degree of influence that was unthinkable in the days of Olympic founder Pierre de Coubertin. Not surprisingly, there is an occasional backlash against the symbiosis of sports and the media. With various abuses in mind, some critics have argued that sports need to be monitored by governments, elite sports bodies, and fan organizations in order, ironically, to secure their long-term commercial value.