Youth Culture

  • Created by: grsmith
  • Created on: 29-04-15 17:53

The emergence of Youth Culture


  • the baby boomers had grown up and formed a large group of teenagers
  • too young to remember the hardships of the 30's-50's, they grew up in a prosperous and stable Britain
  • Family sizes had decreased and real wages had increased
  • plentiful job oppurtunites for unskiled labour - disposible income - consumer demographic
  • National Service abolished in 1960 - increased freedom
  • Increased influence of the media
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Evidence and Statistics

  • Between 1961-1969 the number of students at University rose from 200,000 to 390,000
  • In 1959 the average teenager had £8p/w disposible income
  • Teenagers accounted for more than 1/3 of cinema tickets
  • Teenagers accounted for 40% of the market for records and record players

"The newly affluent young consumers patronised

a leisure market of unprecedented scale"

-Bill Osgerby

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The new Youth Culture

"Marked by the development of new values, styles and ways of behaiviour"

"Youth culture was about being different, rebelling against the past and appearing 'swinging' and 'with it'"

"Money gave young people a greater degree of independence... a means of asserting themselves"

"The new youth culture was spread by the media"

"The coincidence of increased living standards, the spread of education and the growing leisure time helped to create a youth generation"

"it was such a defining decade. Youngsters in the sixties were embracing new freedoms"

-S. Hattenstone

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"Religious teachings were being questioned"

"physical maturation... methods of contraception... meant a more liberal attitude to sexual relations"

"changes in the law (permissive society)... encouraged (and reflected) a further questioning of norms"

"caused a great deal of concern among the older generation and there was much discussion of the nations moral decline"

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Despite Criticisms...


"the picture portrayed in the media represented the extremes more often than the mainstream"


Schofield's study of over 2,000 teenagers in 1965 found that most teenagers were still virgins at 19.

A 1969 study showed young people spent more time in their rooms than at rock festivals and youth clubs.

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WHY was there an expansion within the fashion industry?

  • increased disposible income
  • increased target demographic due to the lucrative teenage market
  • changing and more liberal attitudes
  • the changing role of women
  • the development of technology and science


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Key Figures

Mary Quant

  • Miniskirt designer
  • made androgenous styled clothing
  • challenged social perceptions for womens fashion


  • face of 1966 - represented changing attitudes on what made a woman 'attractive'
  • boyish frame
  • highly androgenous

Jean Shrimpton "Shrimp"

  • 1965 Derby Day: wore a tiny shift dress, her hair loose, no hat, stockings or gloves
  • challenged perceptions
  • british people LOVED her
  • epitomised the 1960's as the "decade of youth"
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Youth Fashion

The 1960's maked a large shift in fashion, especially for the 'teenage' demographic:


  • Velvet shirts
  • 'mop-top' hair cuts (rejection of army style crew cut after abolishion of National Service in 1960)
  • scruffy fitting clothes
  • bright colours and psycedelic images


  • Miniskirts
  • Childlike, androgenous garment
  • geometric and angled cuts/clothing

By 1967 50% of all clothes manufactored within Britain were sold to people in the 15-19 age group

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"The first generation of 1960's fashion designers helped create the minimalist look - clothes that were easy to wear, yet daring, rebellious and provocative"

"The second wave of designers created a range of... flattering, **** garments"

"[fashion] reflected some of the changing attitudes and values of the decades"

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Popular Music

Why did Popular Music expand so vastly within the 1960's?

  • development of transistor radios offered a cheap and portable means of keeping up to date with the latest releases
  • development of technology and materials (eg plastic) meant record players and records were cheap and easy to access for the masses, including youth groups
  • new radio shows, such as Radio One in 1967, allowed people to stay up-to-date with the latest trends
  • increased leisure time, people just had more free time to spend listening to music and keeping up with the latest trends
  • expansion of the media; television programmes such as Top of the Pops (1964)
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Changing Attitudes/Controversy

"Elvis Presley heralded the arrival of a new type of music in the mid 50's... the link he establised between music, fashion and sex shocked the older generation as much as it delighted the younger one"

"in 1956 when Bill Hayley's film 'Rock Around the Clock' was first shown in Britain it caused outcry and in some towns it was even banned" - significant as despite it being a forward thinking film the reception was largely negative - it shows attitudes had not changed THAT much in the late 50's/early 60's NOT this breakdown of society it was made out to be

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The Beatles

"group managers, like Brian Epstein who managed the Beatles, realised there was money to be made from the 1960's youth... they helped turn pop into a cult" - TARGET CONSUMER DEMOGRAPHIC - BEATLEMANIA

"mod-styled suited, clean-cut, and 'mop-topped' Beatles" - Very middle of the road, not very ground breaking therefore gained a MASS fanbase and audience.. likeable

"In May 1965, British recordings held 9 of the top 10 places in the US singles chart"

"in the later end of their career their association with alternative culture... eventually led to the breakup of the group" - public liked their original innocent image.. showing society wasn't as permissive as it was made out to be

"explicit links to LSD" - example of drug culture within the 60's

"It was a classic, capitalist, market-driven competition" - Marr

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The Rolling Stones

"the Rolling Stones, whose 'bad boy' rocker image distinguished them from... the Beatles" - example of permissive music background of the 1960's, also seperates music into two key groups and fan bases

"By being deliberately unkempt and surly in appearence, swearing on stage, taking drugs and, at least by reputation, behaving in a promiscuous way, they became synonymous with the rebellious spirit of the 1960's" - permissive society example etc.

"Richards was given a year's sentence for possessing cannabis and Jagger four months for amphetemine tablets" - drug culture thrust into the media and limelight, bands were supposed to be role models? example of Britain becoming out of hand

Several banned songs, eg Little Red Rooster

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