Radio, Children, and Young people

Catherine Wilkinson

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    Children and young people are now living in an era where their daily routines are saturated with different media platforms, competing for their attention. Once such platform is radio. Whilst other forms of media, such as social media and television, are associated with negative portrayals of young people in some contemporary popular and academic debate, radio has often been met with positive appraisals. For instance, radio has been heralded for its ability to empower young people and to position young people within dominant societal discourses, from which they were previously excluded. Writings on radio are a multidisciplinary effort, drawing on fields including communication and media studies; human geography; sociology; journalism; cultural studies; and musicology. There are many different ‘types’ of radio stations on which scholarship exists, including but not limited to commercial; community; college; university; and net-only. Most research into radio (particularly community radio) has used case studies from developing nations. Specific policy and political regulatory structures exist within different countries, and so research is not easily transferable. This article will introduce the reader to dominant themes and areas of interest from international and interdisciplinary scholarship regarding children and young people’s relationships with radio – both as listeners and as volunteers/staff - as explored in academic debate. This bibliography begins by detailing texts that provide useful overviews of the topic of children, young people and radio. It then lists and discusses useful textbooks and journals. The paper then moves on to discuss textbooks and journal articles thematically, beginning with empowerment and voice, then belonging, community and social inclusion, and a final thematic section on learning, knowledge and skills. Texts discussing online radio and the history of radio as it intersects with young people are also discussed. The paper concludes by detailing useful resources for making radio, either by, or for, children and young people.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalOxford Bibliographies in Childhood Studies
    Early online date28 Aug 2018
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Aug 2018


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