Topic 4: Joining youth cultures

  • Created by: zoolouise
  • Created on: 29-04-16 17:03

Why do people join youth cultures?

Rite of passage - functionalists suggest that youth cultures developed due to the fact that there's no clearly defined point at which people become an adult. In some cultures, children go through a riutal where they become an adult. In Western culture this is served as youth culture.

Peer group pressure - young people feel the need to belong to a youth style as everyone else does. 

Establish an identity - membership of a youth culture helps people gain a sense of identity. They take on values and morals of those around them

Achive a higher status - youth cultures are associated with young people who don't have a stake in society, by belonging to a youth culture it gives them importance and alternative routes to self esteem.

Media pressure - Stanley Cohen suggest that the media exaggerate youth cultures and offer an image of an exciting and attractive lifestyle option. Young people become attracted to the illusion as young people consume media, they're vulnerable to pursuasion and will buy items associated with the styles.

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Why do people join youth cultures?

Rebel against the rules of society - Marxists look for signs of working-class resistance to capitalism. The CCCS claimed that youth cultures were resistant to capitalism.

To consume the latest fashions, styles and trends - Postmodernists claim that youth culture are consumer-orientated. Young people can't distinguish between what they need and want, they're targetted by aggressive marketing. They buy consumer goods that give them a sense of identity, personality or status.

Solution to a problem such as racism or sexism - Sociologists interested in the experiences of minority groups such as women or ethnic minorities point out that a youth group can be a form of safety against the aggression of dominant cultures. Girls may form bedroom cultures to share understanding of how to cope in a male-dominated, patriarchal society. 

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