Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Nilsen, Sarah


This thesis explores representations of British youth culture and adolescent identity formation in the ‘first generation’ (seasons 1-2) of the British television teen drama Skins (2007-8). Like its peers in the Teen TV genre, Skins focuses on normative teenage angst and rebellion that results in ‘naughty behavior’: sex, drug and alcohol use, and conflict with and alienation from parents. Skins sets itself apart from genre standards by heightening and glamorizing the way these behaviors are visually depicted. Furthermore, the characters experience very few substantial consequences or repercussions from parents or other authority figures, but rather repercussions come from within their own close-knit group. The primary source of tension in the series occurs during the moments when the group of friends challenge the cultural, biological and ideological constraints under which they find themselves when their preoccupied, self-involved, neglectful, and otherwise overbearing parents directly contribute to the conditions that fuel their excessive ‘naughtiness.’ The series creators, writers, producers and actors promote Skins as an authentic representation of teenage experience and this thesis ultimately seeks to explore the implications of this representation in order to gain a better understanding of British youth culture in the new millennium.