‘Siarad Sense’ (Talking Sense)
: Language use in the representation of teenagers in film 1990-2005

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The thesis is an analysis of the cinematic representation of teenagers, specifically in the period between 1990 and 2005, focussing on the use of language as a marker of character identity. This period is significant as it includes not only a resurgence in the production of the teen genre, but also an escalation in the academic analysis of the genre as a whole following the publication of Thomas Doherty’s Teenagers and Teenpics: The Juvenilization of American Movies in the 1950s in 1988.

The thesis includes four in-depth case studies which analyse mainstream and independent American cinema as well as bilingual films from the UK and Australia. Each of these case studies depicts contrasting teenage communities. The dialogue featured in these films unites the teenage characters through the use of distinctive style and language combinations. The analysis of the representation of teenagers is framed by a combination of theoretical approaches including genre studies, socio-linguistics and literary studies; offering a variety of analyses of teenage identity as well as the representation of these identities in constructed contexts.
Date of Award16 Jan 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorJamie Sexton (Supervisor), Paul Newland (Supervisor) & Elin Jones (Supervisor)

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