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


Extract

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

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