Generations of Youth: Youth Cultures and History in Twentieth-century America

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NYU Press, Jun 1, 1998 - Family & Relationships - 474 pages
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America has long been fascinated by youth and its cultural expressions. The notion of "youth" has played a central role in processes of social reproduction and historical change throughout the twentieth century. But when we turn a critical eye to youth culture, we too often focus on youth as a passive and unchanging concept.

In Generations of Youth, Joe Austin and Michael Willard have brought together leading cultural critics from history, sociology, and cultural studies to explore the cultural expressions of twentieth- century youth. The contributors to the volume explore diverse popular culture practices such as Chicano rock-and-roll dancing; the Boy Scouts and heroism; 'zines and community; Native American boxing; African American hip-hop; fan clubs and femininity; Malcolm X's zoot suit; Filipino Mcintosh suits; lesbian, bisexual, and gay Internet culture; Chicano lowriding; skateboarding and the production of urban space; graffiti and spatial mobility; Native American pow wows; and post-punk, Generation X, and downward mobility. Generations of Youth considers the ways in which young people's autonomy and "youth" itself is produced in negotiation with adult authority and institutions of socialization.

The definitive volume on American youth cultures past and present, Generations of Youth traces the central ways in which historical meanings and experiences of youth intersect with other axes of the U.S. social hierarchy. We learn how race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, class, and space intersect to affect our notions of youth and youth's notions of itself. Essays focus on the ways in which young people have appropriated and created cultural forms, practices, and social ideologies that are connected to changes in consumer and labor markets, to economies of prestige, and to received social hierarchies and traditions.

Contributors to the volume include Victoria Getis, Jay Mechling, Mary Odem, John Bloom, Georganne Scheiner, Paula Fass, Linda N. Espaņa-Maram, Robin D. G. Kelley, Matt Garcia, James T. Sears, Beth Bailey, Ernesto Chāvez, Jeffrey Rangel, Ryan Moore, Kyra Gaunt, Robert Walser, William Wei, Susan Willis, David Roediger, Joanne Addison and Michelle Comstock, Rachel Buff, George Lipsitz, Brenda Bright, Stanley Aronowitz, and Steve Duncombe.

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About the author (1998)

Joe Austin teaches in the American Cultural Studies program at Bowling Green State University.

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