Media and Bedroom Culture

Authored by: Siân Lincoln

The Routledge International Handbook of Children, Adolescents and Media

Print publication date:  May  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415783682
eBook ISBN: 9780203366981
Adobe ISBN: 9781134060559


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The concept of a ‘bedroom culture’ was first introduced to youth cultural studies in the 1970s by Angela McRobbie and Jenny Garber (1975). They set out to ‘add on’ the missing dimension of gender to accounts written by the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies that primarily documented the subcultural activities of young white males using the concept of social class. In their now canonical paper ‘Girls and subcultures’, McRobbie and Garber outlined the reasons why teenage girls were absent in these accounts and what they were doing as an alternative. For example, McRobbie and Garber cited methodological issues between male researchers working with female participants, their interactions with whom were recorded as being difficult because the girls were mostly ‘giggly’ and ‘passive’ (p. 1). As a consequence girls were frequently considered as ‘hangers-on’, associated to subcultures only through their boyfriends. However, McRobbie and Garber surmised that teenage girls’ invisibility in these accounts did not mean that they were not participating, but rather that their subcultural lives were being lived out in an alternative domain: that of the home.

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