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Urban segregation, game arcades and codified porn: Representations of youth in Madrid (1980–1995)

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This article studies how Spanish film depicts the everyday life of youth from the beginnings of democracy to the mid-1990s. I start off with youth-centred films from the early 1980s that captured previously censored occurrences of everyday living, displaying a commitment to the representation of social reality. I then move on to cinematic works stemming from a post-1992 ideological ‘present-centredness’. First, I focus on the relationship between subject and urban environment since it is one of the key representational strategies in portraying the unprecedented transformations in Spanish society during this time period. Second, I analyse the emergence of audiovisual forms of consumption and how they relate to the leisurely practices of youths as they navigate the cityscape. Finally, I explore how young people interact with the early 1990s scenario and the kind of behaviours that define their engagement with the social. This analysis demonstrates how films encounter an unfolding social real, codifying it in a variety of ways, becoming thus active recording devices of the practices of the everyday.
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Keywords: 1992; Spanish film; Spanish society; Transition; audio-visual technologies; cityscape; urban; youth

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Universidad Carlos III

Publication date: 01 June 2016

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  • Cities have been increasingly at the forefront of debate in both humanities and social-science disciplines, but there has been relatively little dialogue across these disciplinary boundaries. Journals in social-science fields that use urban-studies methods to look at life in cities rarely explore the cultural aspects of urban life in any depth or delve into close readings of the representation of cities in individual cultural products. As a platform for interdisciplinary scholarship from any and all linguistic, cultural and geographical traditions, the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies prioritizes the urban phenomenon in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities.
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