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Critical Studies in Television: scholarly studies of small screen fictions

Editorial board: Kim Akass, Stephen Lacey, David Lavery, Janet McCabe, Robin Nelson and Rhonda V. Wilcox.



Growing Up Degrassi: Television, Identity and Youth Cultures

Edited by Michele Byers


With a Preface by Geoff Pevere and an Introduction by Mary Jane Miller

Growing Up Degrassi is the first collection of its kind to explore one of the most widely recognized series in Canadian television history. Sixteen essays bring together scholars and fans of Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High and Degrassi: The Next Generation to explore the pivotal role the series has had in shaping Canadian youth identity over the past twenty-five years.


Section I: Degrassi and Youth Cultures looks into how technology and media have shaped character identity and viewer devotion; how online fan fiction expands plot-line boundaries and outcomes; the role of fantasy in teen programming in both Canada and the U.S.; and reasons why Degrassi’s characters have become more polished and professional as the series has matured.


Section II: Building Identity on Degrassi brings into view the critical contemporary issues of the AIDS crisis among young adults; the role that sex, drugs and money play in teen lives; interracial relationships, race and ethnicity within youth cultures; and young men coming of age.


Section III: Web Sites, Fan Clubs & Reminiscences offers a celebration of Degrassi fandom. American fans write of their devotion and passion for the show and their need to visit Toronto to see where the series takes place, and Canadian fans describe how they have initiated and built successful fan clubs — one at Queen’s university and the other online.


In her afterword, Linda Schuyler comments on the twenty-five years it has taken to build such a remarkable phenomenon called Degrassi and why it deserves to be both celebrated and critiqued for its unique place in television and youth cultures.


Michele Byers is Associate Professor at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. She has published many articles about the role of Degrassi and other contemporary television series in popular culture, and is currently completing a work that explores images of the “other” on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


Notes & Bibliography
Cast List & Partial Episode Guide / Web sites / Photos
320 pages
$28.95 Can/paper
$25.95 US/paper
ISBN 1-894549-48-1
For more information, contact Sumach Press at sumachpress@on.aibn.com