UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Media as a social institution : the power dynamics of media in the young adult dystopian fiction of M.T. Anderson and Suzanne Collins Baker, Kaline Elizabeth


Using a wide array of research on media and youth, combined with theories about dystopian literature, this thesis examines the portrayal of media in the young adult novels Feed, by M.T. Anderson, and the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. This research study is a part of the larger critical discussion about how adult anxieties concerning media use by youth manifest themselves in the fiction written for adolescents by adult authors. By examining the concepts of surveillance, discipline, punishment, and resistance through the critical lens of Michel Foucault’s theories in his work Discipline and Punish, as well as the work of Roberta Trites in Disturbing the Universe, this study finds that media is classified as a social institution in Anderson’s and Collins’ young adult dystopian narratives. In these novels, the dystopian regimes utilize media to maintain social order and behavior. This study explores how the young adult protagonists are disempowered by media, learn how media as a social force controls their lives, and gain agency through a reversal of media use to reinforce their personal power and independence.

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