as a part of my coursework - I had to write a response to two articles.
I was wondering whether would be kind enough to just quickly read over it and just correct mistakes and add/change words and phrases to make it sound better etc
Change it as much as you want to be honest!
The Guardian Newspaper,
90 York Way,
In this letter, I would like to offer my response to the two articles responding to the comments made by Boris Johnson, a conservative politician and Patrick Ness, a journalist and author. Boris’s article speaks about the problem of the youth who, in his opinion, are lazy and immature whereas Patrick Ness defends the youth and explains that the youth are experiencing a lot of changes therefore should not be criticised as much as they are currently by society and the media.
Generalisations and assumptions are dangerous. The most obvious example of this is Hitler, his assumption/view that all Jews were responsible for the economic collapse in Germany resulted in one of the most shocking genocides in history . Flash forward to 2011 where the London Riots, sparked by the negative racial profiling of the black community by the police, destroyed both lives and businesses and we, as a society, still have not learnt our lessons that stereotypes and assumptions are both dangerous and ultimately pointless.
Mr Ness’s rightly comment ‘teenagers are angels’ along with Mr Johnsons cruel assumption that ‘teenagers are lazy layabouts’ force us to question the way in which society perceives the youth. It is perhaps too large a leap to suggest these comments will lead to the next Holocaust or riot but I do think they are over-simplifying a complex topic rather pathetically.
No doubt if both articles prefaced the word ‘teenagers’ with the word ‘some’ in their headlines, I could certainly sympathise with many of the comments and opinions that are put forward. For example, Mr Oliver naively stated: “[some] British teenagers are too lazy to do the ‘menial’ jobs.” Too many of today’s teenagers are too ignorant and snobby. They can not understand that ‘menial’ jobs such as cleaning and shelf-stacking are not encouraged for teenagers “to get them off their backside and have them earn some money instead of letting them sit down all day on their PlayStation and phone” (Jack, 19) but to teach them an abundance of new skills necessary for their future work life. As Mr Johnson said, these jobs are “stepping stones” as a beginning to a life in work. But why would they take up such ‘patronising’ jobs when our youth are simultaneously pressured to work hard and get the best grades possible to even stand a slight chance of leaving sixth form to go into a degree.
Our education system is constantly undergoing changes leaving our students confused, fed up and ultimately demotivated to work hard and strive to their best. I spoke to one girl (Jackie) who complained that the recent changes to how GCSE’s worked forced her school to commence a new qualification for her English language GCSE – meaning she will have to re-do all her coursework again. Jackie now feels overwhelmed and irritated thus leaving her with a lower quality coursework portfolio. By adding that you expect Jackie to find a job is just incredibly indifferent and ignorant. The right to education has been fought for, for many years – many countries still do not enforce this human right! Yet, we are travelling backwards. This government should focus on giving our youth the best and most focused education possible to ready them for a lucrative and prosperous future. It is clear that criticising British youths for being lazy will have adverse effects as it will only get in the way of their education. I understand that are some British teenagers who are not in education and also do not have a job nonetheless, I still believe this is, for the most part, the fault of the government and media.
More than two thirds of 14-17 year olds believed negative portrayals of teenagers in the media are affecting their job prospects yet the government refuses to help. How do the government expect teenagers to ‘take up opportunities in the opportunity city’ when they are constantly patronised, and portrayed in a negative light to the general public? How do you feel employers envision the youth of this generation when the media that surrounds us associates teenagers fashion, dialect, and other traits to: unemployable , lacking motivation and laziness. In this case, I strongly agree with Mr Ness and his statement that “they certainly deserve a better government.” We deserve a government that supports us and presents us as high achieving, capable teenagers, waiting to develop into highly successful individuals in the future.
Furthermore, I agree with Mr Ness’ on his comment that teenagers can experience hardships in adolescence,’ there is no such thing as a typical teenager’ We know it’s pointless assuming that every teenager who does not have some sort of job is ‘lazy’ since there are many factors that make up an individual which can affect whether they are fit to work. What if his anxiety is so great, he struggles with high workloads? Or she’s so overwhelmed by stress that more demand is too much? Or perhaps he’s so depressed over a loss he lacks the capacity to care? What appears to be lazy or a lack of motivation can mask significant other issues. It’s again completely indifferent and ignorant to think this way.
So, why are we, as a society, still generalising teenagers?
From this, we've learnt that generalisations and assumptions have consequences. They very rarely serve us well. It is ironic, that people continue to label teenagers as "lazy", without evidence, or even a solution. If it is the "laziness" of British teenagers that truly concerns our government, why has so little been done? If the government worries about the future generation, why are we constantly seeing more cuts to education? It is meaningless to make vague, patronising statements about the youth without action. Show us you care.
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Responding to Boris Johnson watch
- Thread Starter
- 28-01-2015 21:58