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The impact of the media on the social and psychological development of black adolescents in europe

Robin Walker

In the last 30 years, old and new media (television, radio, print and the Internet) has influentially changed the way that Black Europeans see and think about themselves as well as the way they think about others and the world. This research abstract will illustrate how the relational impact of the mass media has been even more influential on the development of today’s Black youth (aged from 18 to 24 years) than in previous generations. During the past four decades (1970-2000), cultural messages and images in international and European media broadcasts and publications have subtly and blatantly determined how adult and adolescent Black Europeans select sociological and psychological behaviors, as well as attitudes and lifestyles, that reflect this new virtual vision of themselves.

While much research has been conducted on how adults in the United States have been transformed by the media, there is limited research on how the media has affected the social and psychological development of Black European adolescents, particularly in regard to media’s influence on their behavioral, interpersonal skills and historical concept of themselves. Through an analysis of data by key development theorists, prominent social, medical and media organizations as well as statistical data, this research model will review and analyze shifts and standards measuring interactions, beliefs and behavioral changes among Black Europeans in this age group. Research questions will include: How has mass media impacted the daily lives of adolescent Black Europeans? How does international versus European media impact Blacks’ articulation of nation, gender, class and race? Has the media’s-representation of Black Europeans changed their concept of history, politics and education here and abroad? What research supports specific behavioral differences among Black Europeans, in relationship to other parts of the African Diaspora?


Impact of the Mass Media on Adolescent Behavior
(Black Europeans Ages 18-24)

Since the evolution of television, Black Europeans have been mesmerized by the myriad of commercial images, media products and philosophies transmitted to viewers around the globe. Other emerging media, previously film, radio broadcasts and print publications, but most recently the Internet, communications technology and video games, have been especially instrumental in shaping a new virtual world for young and old Europeans alike. Yet more specifically, the daily impact of mass media has immediate implications on Black adolescent social maturity, matching or exceeding influences previously measured by parents, schools, social institutions and community organizations. The data will show how the media now mediates the overall development of adolescent Black Europeans, as it consistently presents social and psychological views that affect their readiness, willingness and ability to successfully complete each stage of the behavioral and social process.

My intra-European research will focus on the development of media diversity and public information among Black Europeans, from the point of view of journalists, government officials, media executives and students and faculty at national media training centers. This research study will examine how freedom of expression and access to media information is extended to and received by young Black Europeans.

Part of my media research will focus on the relationships and partnerships between various European governments, the media industry and the community media charged with improving media access and public information. Through an analysis of the divergent press and information interests, I will also examine how Black Europeans, the government, private media and international donors can mobilize resources to promote global media diversity and development.

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