Development of Youth Culture

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Outline and explain the reasons for the development of youth culture

There is no single reason for the development of culture; rather, it came about as a result of the number of different social changes occurring at the same time. These developments included the increasing economic power of young people, the influence of the USA and globalisation, social changes at the end of World War 2, development of the media, demographic change in the numbers of young people and the transition to adulthood. Defining youth culture can be difficult because different cultures and interruptions in employment status’s can affect the perspective of what “youth” is. Culture is the way we live within our culture and youth culture is the way youth lives within it but because of the difficulties youth culture could mean different things to different cultures. Youth culture developed in the early 1950’s, although the idea of youth as a phase in life has a longer history. Youth culture was first developed in America after World War 2, which then Britain decided to follow due to media and other influences from America. In my opinion the most important factor that developed youth culture was the economic changes in society. Due to the demand in workers after the Second World War there was an economic growth. The first person to realise the impact this was having on young people was Abram’s (1959) who analysed the increased economic power of the ‘teenage consumer’. There was a noticeable pattern in what was getting most money spent on, because young people were the age group spending the highest proportion of their income on leisure activities and music, clothes and cosmetics. This increase in economic power created the conditions for the emerging youth culture to develop. For the first time, young people had significant amounts of money to spend. Another extremely important factor for the development was the social change at the end of World War 2. There was much more opportunities for...
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