Topic 9: Youth cultures and gender

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  • Created by: zoolouise
  • Created on: 01-05-16 10:59

Girls in early youth culture

Girls weren't considered in most of the early studies of youth cultures due to the following reasons:

  • Girls had less freedom to express themselves so they may have been less likely to participate in some of the existing youth cultures
  • Heidensohn pointed out that much of the work was carried out by male sociologists who thereore overlooked the development of youth cultures among young women
  • The contribution of women to the development of youth cultures was overlooked and women were seen as invisible
  • Barbara Enrenreich (1983) pointed out that some youth cultures were anti-female. She claimed that the Beat world of the 1950s provided an opportunity for male bonding where women were unwanted
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Youth culture and masculinity

The first studies of youth culture began from a male point of view. Youth cultures were associated with males being aggressive and sexist. Albert Cohen explained that the association of aggressively male youth culture as being linked to school failure and the attempt to gain status through exaggerated masculintiy and criminal behaviour.

The work of the CCCS suggested that some youth culture demonstarted an aggressive hyper-masculiity in order to exaggerate working-class masculine traits such as youghnses and aggresion. Their masculinity was an assertion of class resistance to middle-class behaviours.

Bob Connell (1995) sugested male roles in society have changed, many men feel threatened by the rise in power of women. Male work has declined. Sociologists referred to this changing concept as the crisis of masculinity. Some boys have responsed to the challenge of female success by taking on a very masculine cultural form such as homophobia, anti-women amd macho.

Diane Abbott, claimed in 2013 that easy access to **** and pyschological issues linked to drink and drugs mean that young men are more likely to turn to peer groups and remain immature for too long.

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Evidence of the crisis of masculinity

There's evidence that's been gathered relating to the theory of the crisis of masculinity:

  • Mac an Ghaill (1994) claimed boys felt that education was a waste of time so they coped by developing laddish behaviours
  • McDowell reffered to redundant masculinity, claiming traditional male roles to be inappropriate to modern society
  • Griffin (2000) talked of boys experiencing a sense of loss of what is to be male
  • Frith amd Mahony (1994); Gilligan (1997); Keddie (2007); Robinson (2000) all suggested that boys demonstrate aggressively intimidating behaviour towards girls and even female teachers
  • Kimmel (2008) and Keddie (2007) suggested boys still tend to feel that their natural position should be one of power and that laddish behaviour means they'll attempt to undermine female teachers
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Women's participation in youth culture

Girls participated in the Teddy boy culture, but weren't considered fully part of it. It wasn't until the 1960s that girls could challenge traditional gender roles.Some young women embraced new youth culture by becoming feminists and challenging male dominance.

A major criticism of the CCCS was that it consisted of male sociologists looking at male participants in youth cultures. An exception to this work was Angela McRobbie's (1978) ethnographic study of girls at a youth club. She argued that girls had 'bedroom culture' different from the street culture of boys. The bedroom was an exclusively feminine sphere, a place of safety from the sexism of the streets. These 1970s teenagers were stil focussing on getting and keeping a boyfriend. The impact of technology has changed bedroom cultuer and now the TV, internet and the growth of social media means that bedroom culture isn't socially isolated, but a private sphere where girls are connected ot the outside world.

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Changing gender patterns and youth cultures

Sociologists find that women are developing a role in youth cultures in public spaces. Sarah Thortnon researched club cultures and claimed we live in a more fragmented society and people have more choice. McRobbie (1994) found Black Ragga girls using sexually explicit dances to ridicule sexism from the boys. Skeggs said that by the 1980s and 90s boys and girls would go to gay clubs.

Recent research into Straight Edge (sXe) in Australia and the USA suports the view that gender is fluid. It's a form of ********* punk that rejects drugs, emat, alcohol and easy said. They won't be taken advantage of it drunk. Boys may be hyper-masculine at shows but more progessive in other social settings.

Furlong and Cartmel have sugested that the movement of women into public youth culture isn't as dramatic as sociologists claimed. Many public spaces are still male dominated and others suggested that elements of youth culture, particulary adventure and shoting gamign are male dominated and male targeted. Women are portrayed in a sexual manner.

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