Marxist view of Youth Culture

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Marxist view of youth aims to look at subcultures rather than functionalists who focus more on youth culture as a whole.The Marxist viewpoint had a revival in the 70's when a group of sociologists tried to explain the changes in youth culture. The CCCS group argued that social class differences between groups of young people explain the emergence and direction of youth subcultures.

There have been several studies done by members of the CCCS about youth subcultures. These include Skinheads( Clarke, Hebdidge) Teddy Boys (Hall and Jefferson), Mods (Hebdidge) Mods and Rockers (Cohen) Punks (Frith) Hippies (Brake). In their studies these sociologists were looking for reasons (resistance)for the development of these subcultures and how they were different to other youths (style and attitudes).

In explaining the reasons for why youth subcultures are formed (usually amongst the working classes) some of the reasons suggested are high unemployment, inner city decay and strikes. Hall and Jefferson thought that young people were reacting against the 'crisis of capitalism' but were unable to articulate this in a formal way so chose to do this through their subcultural styles. By forming a subculture young people were able to express freedom and experiment with ideas, often this comes in the form of 'bricolage' where young people give new meanings to accepted concepts eg Punks using black bags as clothes


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