"A Source of Anxiety Like Never Before"

Unpacking the Irish Print Media Sexualisation of Children Discourse

Authors

  • Elizabeth Kiely Applied Social Studies University College Cork.
  • Debbie Ging School of Communications, Dublin City University.
  • Karl Kitching School of Education, University of Birmingham.
  • Máire Leane School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork.

Keywords:

Sexualisation Media Children Discourse

Abstract

Drawing on a corpus of articles pertaining to the sexualisation of children in national Irish newspapers (2012-2014) and using tools provided by critical discourse analysis, the discourses in their Irish cultural context are ‘unpacked’ (Egan & Hawkes, 2008) toward identifying their peculiarities but also their similarities with the discourses on the sexualisation of children, produced in other country contexts. The construction of sexualisation as a child protection problem is explored as are its presumed bad effects on children and its required solutions. The age related, gendered and classed cultural assumptions explicit and implicit in the discourses are revealed. The paper concludes with a discussion as to how sexualised childhood and its binary opposite innocent childhood, were mobilised in the print media in the service of agendas, which celebrated and obviated features of Irish societal culture, past and present.

 

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Published

2021-06-11

How to Cite

Kiely, E., Ging, D. ., Kitching, K., & Leane, M. . (2021). "A Source of Anxiety Like Never Before" : Unpacking the Irish Print Media Sexualisation of Children Discourse. TEANGA, the Journal of the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics, 12, 89-113. Retrieved from https://journal.iraal.ie/index.php/teanga/article/view/500