Yanks and Brits: Transatlantic Youth Cultures Essay

1084 Words 5 Pages
In the years following the Second World War, youth around the globe started to undergo a drastic change, resulting in stylised fashions and subcultures that differed from their parent cultures dramatically. Great Britain and the United States had been the primary manufacturers during the war and that prosperity continued in the following decades, creating general economic prosperity. National optimism for the oncoming decade culminated in British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan making the optimistic claim to his fellow Conservatives that Britons “never had it so good” (BBC). As youths in the United Kingdom and North America came to appreciate the prosperity, rising inflation rates and the increased production in manufacturing industries …show more content…
Rockers were much more noticeable with their affinity for leather jackets, modified motorcycles, and greased hairstyles. Like the greasers, rockers were notorious for their association with American rock and roll and a general sense of violence and public desecration. However, rockers were against the use of illicit drugs, swaying toward alcohol misuse (Stuart, 1996).
As the economic recession started to take effect in the early 1970s, Malcolm McLaren had failed to gain a prominent following in the United States (K. Moliné, lecture, April 27, 2011). He and his girlfriend, designer Vivienne Westwood, opened a clothing shop in London, specialising in leather and sadomasochism attire (W. Sheasgreen, personal communication, February 21, 2011). McLaren had previously managed failed punk band New York Dolls and soon found himself managing the Sex Pistols. American youths had been exposed to the proposed subculture that McLaren was promoting, but failed to take a significant interest. It was only in London, where British youths were growing tired of the rock movement and seeking for a new outlet, were his styles widely adopted. McLaren had found a receptive audience in British youth, who had simmering frustrations in the widening economic inequalities of society, and exploited the aggression with the hard, fast, and heavy beats and distorted guitars (K. Moliné, lecture, March 23, 2011; W Sheasgreen, personal communication, February 21,…

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