In order to get a firmer grasp on the topic of sociology pertaining to the media, but more specifically my first research question, I conducted an interview with Gill Hendrie. Mrs. Hendrie is a child and youth social worker, working in Toronto.

1. I am focusing on sociology of the media and one vital part of that is the way the media influences youth. As a child social worker, which ways have you seen this to be true?

I think the media has a very strong influence on teens and their perceptions of themselves. I don’t think it hinders it but I do think it can create confusion and conflict as teens search for what feels most comfortable.

2.  American psychologist G. Stanley Hall defined the teen years as a “distinct stage in life that begins that puberty and is marked by inner turmoil.” The inner turmoil that teens feel as they travel through their teens years is what can contribute to many teens turning to eating disorders, for example, in order to look a certain way. Would you say that the media hinders a teen’s ability to “find” themselves, and thus contributes to these identity crises?

Do you think that supportive family and friends are important in one “finding themselves” in an identity crisis?

I thinks a strong support system is very important . Teens need to feel people are behind them as they try many different ways of being out. As teens evolve they have to feel they free to try different identities.

3. What role do you believe technology plays in the lives of teens? Do you think it affects them negatively or positively?

You guys are constantly connected. I personally think its to much. Once something is out there you can’t get rid of it. You also don’t have the ability to control what others do.
4. What do you believe to be the number one influence behind teens and their attitudes?

I don’t think there is one single factor that contributes to teen eating disorders. I believe them to be very complex and many factors contribute. there needs to be a full evaluation of what is going on in a teens life….family life, social life school life. There needs to be an assessment of coping skills, problem solving and critical thinking skills.

5. Many factors can influence teens to partake in sexual activities. Do you believe that the media influences teens to have sex? If so, how?

I do think the media influences a teens decesion to have sex. It is everywhere and there is little on the emotional and psychological impact of sexual interaction.

6. Margaret Sanger advocated for use of “The Pill” because it gave women choice when it came to sexual activities and whether or not they wanted to get pregnant. What are your views on “The Pill”?

Open and honest dialogue must go hand in hand with going on the pill. The pill is only birth control and does not protect against STI ‘s so there needs to be lots of education. My own opinion is that it is better to be safe than sorry.



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