Youth culture

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Sociology G672- Youth

Created by soniula over 5 years ago
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Unit 1 Sociology: Family Types
Youth culture
1 Functionalism
1.1 Eisenstadt- Youth culture is a way of binding young people into society.It makes them feel like they belong.Young people have a shared way of life and share value consensus.Youth is an outlet for frustration- young people are expected to make mistakes - this is all part of its journey to adulthood.
1.1.1 X- By assuming that young people are homogenous. Functionalists ignore the fact that many subcultures are completely different in terms of their norms + values.- Punks vs Hippies. X- Marxists criticise Functionalists for ignoring the role that social class plays in society.
1.2 Parsons- Youth culture is the bridge between childhood + adulthood.This stage of people's lives allows young people to become more independent and less reliant on parents.Part-time work allows young people to develop financial independence.Youth is a rite of passage= everyone has to go through it on their journey to adulthood.
1.2.1 X- Feminists criticise Functionalists for ignoring the role of women in youth subcultures.
2 Marxism
2.1 Hall & Jefferson- RESISTANCE- Youth subcultures are a reaction agains the crisis of capitalism- high unemployment, inner-city decline and low wages.By joining a subculture,young people were able to resist capitalism and mainstream culture.Joining a subculture was their way of protesting and going against the norm.
2.1.1 X- Feminists argue that Marxists ignore the role of women in youth culture + youth subcultures. X- Did most working class youths really join a subculture to protest against the capitalism system? Most joined because their friends did.
2.2 Brake- MAGICAL SOLUTIONS- He suggests that youth subcultures act as magical solutions to problems that face young people in their lives.They are a safe haven from the social & economic problems that face youths.However magic isn't real- it is just an illusion.Joining a subculture is not really going to make the problems disappear.
2.2.1 X- Most research is based on the experience of working class youths.Many middle class youths joined a subculture but definitely not as a protest against capitalism.
3 Feminism
3.1 Carol Smart- SOCIAL CONTROL- She found that parents exercised a lot more social control over their daughters than over their sons.Boys are given more freedom and are a lot more visible in public areas.Girls are more protected and have their space limited to their own house.This explains why girls have largely been ignored by sociological research- boys have simply been more visible.
3.1.1 X- Most modern youth cultures are ANDROGYNOUS(genderless) - this means that analysing gender is virtually pointless.
3.2 Lincoln- BEDROOM CULTURE UPDATE- The bedroom culture study was first conducted in the 1990s by McRobbie and Garber. Modern bedrooms are based around zones which are shaped by the activities that take place in them.Technology plays a much bigger role in their lives than it did for girls in the 1970s.Communication via mobile phones/computers is very common.The girls used music to set the tone/mood they wanted.All the bedrooms that Lincoln studied has representations of the journey from childhood to adulthood. e.g. cuddly toys/photographs of friends/parties.
3.2.1 X- Many of the feminist studies ONLY look at gender- they completely ignore the role that social class and ethnicity play. X- The bedroom culture studies assume that all girls have their own bedroom- hundreds of thousands have to share with siblings/family members.
4 Post-modernism
4.1 Bennett- NEO-TRIBES- He claims that the phrase 'subculture' is not actually suited to post-modern society.Post-modern subcultures are far more FLUID and COMPLEX that the original subcultures of the 50s and 60s.He suggests that the term 'NEO-TRIBES' is used instead.It reflects the fact that people move in and out a lot more regularly.
4.1.1 X- There are plenty of groups who DO fit the definition of subculture- emos and goths are definitely NOT neo-tribes. X- There are still many subcultures that are largely based on social class/ethnicity/gender.
4.2 Polemus- SUPERMARKET OF STYLE- This is the idea that choosing a style in terms of FASHION/MUSIC/IDENTITY is like shopping at a supermarket- this results in lots of styles being fused together e.g. modern pop music using Bhangra beats in it's music.Young people create their identity from a range of SOURCES e.g. Nike trainers, Levi jeans,American football shirt and Prada sunglasses.
4.2.1 X- Are subcultures really that FLUID- do young people really move in and out of different subcultures at ease?

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