Again formed through the agents of socialisation, youth identities are one of the identities which we will experience through our lifetimes. The reason why they are considered identities, as opposed to simple stages, can be attributed to the fact that what we can and can’t do is related to our age. Sometimes these are categorised through laws (can’t drive until 17, can’t enter legally binding contracts until 18, can’t drink until 18 etc.) and sometimes through norms (you can dress as superman in public at age 5 and it’s perfectly acceptable, try doing that in your 20s and it’s less acceptable).
Youth identity is broadly classified as occurring from the ages of 12 to 25, although ages above and below this can still be considered as part of youth. During this time of life, transition to adulthood occurs – some people may work during this time, others will study. Abrams (1959) stated that all young people belong to the same broad youth culture. Clarke argues that youth culture is based around rebellion and resistance, something which is demonstrated through media representations of youth subcultures. While this is a fairly negative view, other sociologists see youth culture as a time to experiment with different identities…