Poised between the commercialism of mass consumption and a questioning of prevailing social norms, youth cultures offer a fascinating insight into the social and cultural state of western societies. This book provides an exploration of such cultures, with all their implicit ironies and contradictions, at the end of the 20th century. The contributors highlight current forms of expression - music, style, fashion, entertainment - and the richness of youth cultures' historical and contemporary variety. Key issues analyzed include: why are young people seen as at risk from popular culture? how does late modernity affect changing shifts in gender relations? how do young people relate to texts, from the literary to the transgressive? how do the young construct alternative social spheres and symbolic forms? At the same time the book outlines the range of approaches to understanding youth culture and subculture and their relations to, or differences from, popular and high culture.
This collection should be useful reading for students of cultural studies and communications, and for all those across the humanities and social sciences interested in the nature, formation and dynamics of youth cultures.
`Makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the changing face of "youth culture" in what has come to be known as the "late modern" or "postmodern" age' - Young People Now
`A scholarly text. It is firmly anchored historically and presents a range of informed theoretical perspectives.... [an] important contribution to the debate about the changing face of `youth culture', and the broadening ground on which it needs to be explored' - Reviewing Sociology