- Clarke (1976) believes youth to be based around the concepts of rebellion and resistance.
- Youth is often associated with new styles and subcultures (e.g. chavs or punks).
- Postmodernists link youth with ‘pick and mix’ culture.
- Between young adulthood and old age.
- As there are no legal boundaries around middle age, it can be seen as a state of mind.
- Associated with the age at which the children are leaving home.
- Bradley (1996) claims it brings a higher status than youth or old age.
Victor (2005) described old age as being characterised by:
- Unable to learn
- Poor health
- Dependence on others
Rejects the categories we have just looked at. He instead suggests:
- First Age – The period of socialisation
- Second Age – Phase of work and childrearing
- Third Age – Stage of independence
How Socialisation Affects Age Identity
Religion in Britain is declining, old people attach more importance to it than young people
(2) Media Representations
- Youth = deviant and troublesome
- Middle Age = Crisis
- Old Age = Dependency and loneliness
These representations have a big impact on popular culture.
Thornton (1996) argues that they are particularly influential in shaping youth identities.
(3) The Workplace
- Retirement can be seen as the site that influences people’s age identity.
- Similarly, the minimum wage for 18-year-olds creates a sense of being an adult.
- The workplace is certainly the area in which age discrimination occurs most.