Essay on Youth Culture

1433 Words Nov 12th, 2010 6 Pages
Essay on Youth Culture

The 60’s and 70’s saw the rise of youth culture. Youth culture can be seen as a particular pattern of beliefs, values, symbols and activities that a group of young people are seen to share.

Along with the rise of youth culture came the theories developed on it. The theories developed in the 60’s were mainly functionalism. Functionalists believe that society or a social structure is like a biological structure and that all social institutions function for the survival of society. As social structures change by becoming more complex, social institutions change by becoming more specialised. Functionalists, therefore, believe youth culture has a social function; they see it as young people solving there shared
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Their spending habits were an expression of their lack of responsibilities and dependants. Abrams argued that although this youth spending revealed a distinct leisure group, it didn’t reflect any sort of a rebellion. He said that teenagers were still embedded in the key institutions of home, school and work and their central values remained those of their parents and work mates.
The definition of youth as a consumer group had two consequences, firstly, it was interpreted as a form of mass culture. At the time, people saw mass culture as a culture where people were manipulated as consumers by big businesses. Also, Abrams theory on youth culture only initially referred to “working class peer group solidarity.” He didn’t take into account the middle class youth.

In Eisenstadt’s 1956 book “From Generation to Generation,” he uses a functionalist approach to explain youth culture. He believes that in all societies children have to be “socialised” before they can attain full adult status. They have to be taught their societies moral code, its common sense, rules, behaviour etc. They need to be given the skills and knowledge necessary to perform their adult roles. Youth doesn’t exist in primitive societies as there isn’t really a transition from childhood to adulthood, whereas in modern industrial society there is a clear,

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