Youth cultures

Youth cultures

Carles Feixa University of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain Jordi Nofre New University of Lisbon, Portugal

abstract In a wide sense, youth cultures refer to the way in which young people’s social experiences are expressed collectively through the construction of differentiating lifestyles, mainly in their leisure time, or in interstitial spaces in the institutional life. In a more restricted sense, the term defines the emergence of ‘youth micro-societies’, with significant degrees of independence from the ‘adult institutions’, that provide specific spaces and time for young people. This article focuses on the main research traditions that have approached youth cultures from the social sciences since the beginning of the twentieth century: the Chicago School, structural-functionalism, the Italian Gramscian School, French structuralism, the Birmingham School and the post-subcultural studies. It ends with an illustration of the new trends of research in one specific field – leisure and nightlife – and with a critical statement of youth culture studies today and in the near future.  

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