Full Text

Youth Culture

Richard Kahn and Douglas Kellner

Subject Communication and Media Studies » Communication Studies
Culture » Popular Culture

People Rousseau, Jean-Jacques

Key-Topics postmodernism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


As the social historian Philippe Aries reminds us (1962), “childhood” and “youth” are socially constructed conceptions of age and not biological givens. Indeed, the idea that a transitional period of youth occurs between childhood and adulthood is a relatively recent invention, beginning with Rousseau's Emile in mid-eighteenth-century Europe, which celebrated childhood and delineated stages of youth. Generational terms referring to the “lost generation” of the 1920s, or the “silent generation” post-World War II (1950s), began emerging in the twentieth century. During the post-World War II period, “youth culture” was widely used to describe the growing music and rock culture and consumer and fashion styles of the era that quickly mutated into the counterculture of the 1960s. Since then there has been a flourishing industry in sociology, →  cultural studies , and popular media designing terms like “baby-boomers” – who were born in the mid-1940s and the postwar period and came of age during the affluence of the 1950s and 1960s ( Strauss & Howe 1991 ; Gillon 2004 ; →  Popular Communication ; Popular Culture ). This generation were the beneficiaries of an unprecedented economic expansion and a highly self-conscious sense of generation, having gone through the turbulent 1960s together and emerged in many cases to prosperity and success in corporate, academic, and political life ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top