In this paper, I plan to analyze youth subcultures of the past; their significant characteristics, also seek a definition of ‘postmodernism’ and how it fits our world and culture, as well as the effect that changes in the post- postmodern world have had on youth cultures.I also hope to justify the theory that globalization, and free media practices have helped form a globally uniform youth culture; or rather, a culture where the youth aren’t liable to set themselves apart, but prefer to stick to societal norms. Youth Subcultures refer to the cultural preferences and tendencies exhibited by groups of young people which differ from the practices of the dominant groups. Youth cultures often differentiate themselves from others in respect to their musical tastes, distinctive fashion and shared names, which are names that the sub-groups in the youth culture assign to themselves and each other to differentiate them from the others. These names are like rappers, punks, geeks, and nerds for example (ENCARTA). Frequently, youth subcultures are formed due to differences in social class, gender and ethnicity. The need of youth to express their distinction from (or as a way of rebelling against) the dominant culture by using a different mode of expression, or changing their lifestyle— which reflect their attempt to solve simplify what they perceive are flaws in a society’s make up.'s make up.
Youth cultures are often said to have gained popularity after World War II and the boom in the consumer-based boom in the economy which created a market specifically for the youth. However historic evidences also exist of youth cultural groups differentiating themselves from the other age related groups. However most of these youth cultural groups have been found in western society.
However in recent years there has been a change observed in the overall atmosphere as instead of youths being specifically divided into sub-groups of their own youth culture, they often tend to shift from one social group to another in no fixed pattern (Kahn and Kellner). The choice of becoming a member of any group they wish is the contemporary aspect to the postmodern society. And this is what will be analyzed throughout the course of this assignment.
History of Youth Subcultures
Since the 1950's, distinctive youth subcultures have come to the forefront. They seek to be different through their music, their clothing, and their lifestyles. Similarly, members of subcultures seek to show their individuality by being (ironically) choosing to be part of a clique, and sharing a title.
Youth subcultures have become an object of study from the 1950's onwards. It has been theorized that the growth of a consumer-oriented society, and the media and advertisers focus on youth and beauty have made youth the dominant culture of Western societies.
Subculture theorists study the symbolism attached to clothing, music, and other distinguishing articles (such as body art, and dialect) by members of the subculture and also the ways in which these same symbols are interpreted by members of the dominant culture. According to wikipedia.com, Subculture theorist Dick Hebdige states that the a young individual shows his willingness to be a part of a subculture by making concrete choices in his clothing styles, hairstyles and footwear. However, abstract elements, such as common interests, dialects and slang, music genres and gathering places can also become deciding factors. Youth subcultures are popular as they provide young people with