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Youth Culture, Theories of

Most accounts of the formation of a construct called youth culture converge on the advent of industrialism and an accompanying modernist shift in general cultural practices as the forces that moved theorists to cast youth as an object of scholarly interest. From Margaret Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa (1928/2001) to the University of Chicago’s urban street sociology (e.g., Becker, 1963) and the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham (e.g., Hebdige, 1977), scholars have argued that youth in modernized societies experience social conditions that lead them to band together, thus producing youth cultures, or what many scholars at the time referred to as subcultures. The use of the term subcultures implicitly positioned youth as players in larger cultural forces but also ...

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