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The History of Youth Culture

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Culture refers to the processes by which the symbolic systems (“usual way of doing things”; traditions and rituals, frameworks for understanding experience, etc.) shared by a group of people are maintained and transformed across time. Despite the appearance of stability, culture is a dynamic, historical process.

Youth culture:

Youth culture refers to those processes and symbolic systems that young people share that are, to some degree, distinctive from those of their parents and the other adults in their community.

Youth cultures have not been part of all societies throughout history; they appear most frequently where significant realms of social autonomy for young people become regularized and expected features of the socialization process.

The mass institutions of the nation-state, which separate young people from adults and gather them in large numbers for education, religious instruction, training, work, or punishment, have been consistent locations in which youth cultures have developed.

Youth cultures have been clearly evident in the twentieth century, particularly since the end of World War II. The history of this period is notably marked by significant social and cultural influences of youth cultures on society at large, a trend that continues in the contemporary period.

History, domain of youth culture:

Research into youth cultures has been most prolific in the disciplines of sociology, psychology, and anthropology; it is readily apparent in criminology of juveniles, demographic analyses, studies of the family and adolescent social development, and the study of ritual. The analytic frameworks and debates about youth cultures that have emerged from the three major disciplines have been taken up in other areas of study, including history.

The modern period:

The start of youth culture==) in Europe;, young people were misbehaving. Young men having conflicts with adult authorities, is a clear indication that a distinctive male youth culture was in place. Most societies of this period integrated young people into the labors of everyday family and community life. Young people integrate in the society, claim for their rights, made culture institutions & clubs where they can gather and discuss all the domains, culture, politics, education of women and children, justice, democracy…. !

Youth Cultures, 1900–1940:

Emigration: extend of youth culture.

Youth markets: markets become the voice, the symbol of youth culture as well as music.

The definition of youth: the definition of youth itself changes, as more young people extend their period of semi-dependence on family to attend colleges and universities.

Youth Cultures, 1940–1970:

  • *High school students: new consumers.
  • *Youth culture in high school: social problem; sexual activities, delinquency, the influence of comic books, music, mode…!
  • *the automobile: not only for travelling, but also for some bad activities like taking drugs, sex…
  • *Hippies, rockers and skinheads.

    Youth Cultures since 1970:

  • *Punk: “do it yourself” everyone can be a musician.
  • *Glam rockers and disco dancers, clothing style.
  • *Skateboarding, scooters.
  • *youth culture as a “lifestyle”: some people are continuing their youth culture affiliations into adulthood.
  • *Internet: a way for new culture to emerge.

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The History of Youth Culture. (2018, May 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 19, 2021, from
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