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  1. D M Dagnaud1
  1. 1CNRS/EHESS, Institut Marcel Mauss, Paris, France


The media are posing as a stimulant of modern life, as a companion in everyday life. Their hold does not extend only over leisure time, it also widely overflows on times of constraints. They are taking approximately 6 h a day for a French teenager (not including cross-checks when several media are practised at the same time), 7–8 h for an American teenager.

They are fulfilling multiple uses—information, relaxation, escape, stirring in unison with the world, etc: works are plentiful about the uses and rewards of media and they display a great eclecticism in expectations and motives of satisfaction.

They offer a cultural bath of differentiation and construction of identity under the aegis of merchant economy. They appear as a pole of differentiation with regard to the world of adults. A vector of identity marking against peer groups. A pole of distinction with respect to school culture.

The media advertising sphere has been astutely able to take advantage of aspirations to identity among young people, offering those age brackets a whole range of products, which does not stop getting enlarged, diversified and renewed. Such a merchant onslaught has proved to be paying off: nowadays, children and teenagers will give an overwhelming majority to commercial radios and TV channels, particularly to those that are addressing them—in France public media have shown but a modest interest in the young public. The link with advertising, hence the offer of products for young classes consumption, is continuous.

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