Queer Youth Cultures

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Susan Driver
SUNY Press, Mar 27, 2008 - Social Science - 315 pages
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Essays explore the contemporary contexts, activism, and cultural productions of queer youth and their communities.

Engaging a wide range of cultural practices, including zine-making, drag performance, online chatting, music, gay porn, and organizing resistance, the essays in Susan Driver’s Queer Youth Cultures explore the creative, political, energetic, and artistic worlds of contemporary queer youth. The research in this collection bridges the perspectives of academics and queer youth, and the voices of the youth resonate throughout the analyses of their communities and lives. Through a variety of methodological approaches, the contributors bring into focus the institutional regulations of youth sexuality and gender, the complex and changing embodied experiences of queer youth, and the visual and textual languages through which the experiences of the youth are represented. Rather than seeing queer youth as victims, contributors celebrate the creative ways that sexual and gender minority youth forge subcultures and challenge exclusionary and heteronormative ways of understanding young people.

"...Driver’s excellent collection … draws together a variety of contributions that challenge the tendency within research and public debate to think about young people who defy prevailing expectations in relation to gender and sexuality predominantly in terms of deficit … Taken as a whole, Queer Youth Cultures provides a rich and textured reflection on some of the key concerns emerging from the increased cultural visibility of—and academic debate about—queer young people." — SIGNS

“Social sciences professor Driver has compiled a unique, thoughtful collection on queer youth subcultures, framed by a commentary drawing strongly on queer theory … The collection unpacks clear categories of gender, sexuality, and age, and challenges the ubiquitous victim narrative currently framing queer youth.” — CHOICE

“This book begins with the premise that queer youth are not pathologized, can and do exercise agency, and are legitimate actors in the public sphere. I am extremely pleased to see a book that successfully integrates transgender youth, politics, and culture as these topics have been sorely missing in ostensibly LGBT work.” — Susan Talburt, Director, Women’s Studies Institute, Georgia State University

“The essays provide an analytical rather than a merely celebratory view of the projects and cultures as well as critiques of mainstream LGBT cultures. The collection is well timed as LGBT youth issues become more visible and mainstream LGBT politics become increasingly assimilated.” — Gwendolyn Alden Dean, Director, LGBT Resource Center, Cornell University

Contributors include Cass Bird, Megan Davidson, Cristyn Davies, Susan Driver, Andil Gosine, Judith Halberstam, Valerie Harwood, Anna Hickey-Moody, Mark Lipton, Ziysah D. Markson, David McInnes, Mary Louise Rasmussen, Jackie Regales, Melissa Rigney, Neal Ritchie, Jama Shelton, Zeb J. Tortorici, and Angela Wilson.

 

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Contents

PART 2 DESIRING YOUTH AND UNPOPULAR CULTURES
157
Part 3 TRANSFORMING POLITICAL ACTIVISM
217
LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS
295

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Page 32 - I would suggest that this involvement can be an empowering experience, particularly for young people with no access to the skills and qualifications acquired as a matter of course by those other young people destined for university and for the professions. Subcultures are often ways of creating job opportunities as more traditional careers disappear. In this undocumented, unrecorded and largely 'hidden economy...
Page 10 - ... The body is not a self-identical or merely factic materiality; it is a materiality that bears meaning, if nothing else, and the manner of this bearing is fundamentally dramatic. By dramatic I mean only that the body is not merely matter but a continual and incessant materializing of possibilities. One is not simply a body, but, in some very key sense, one does one's body and, indeed, one does one's body differently from one's contemporaries and from one's embodied predecessors and successors...
Page 38 - play around' with femininity are nowadays credited with some degree of power to choose, gender experimentation, sexual ambiguity and homosexuality among girls are viewed differently. Nobody explains David Bowie's excursions into female personae (see the video accompanying his 'gay' single Boys Keep Swinging) in terms of his inability to attract women. But any indication of such ambiguity in girls is still a sure sign that they couldn't make it in a man's world. Failure replaces...
Page 34 - Different, Youthful, Subjectivities: Towards a Cultural Sociology of Youth," Angela McRobbie comments: "There is certainly no longer a case to be made for the traditional argument that youth culture is produced somehow in conditions of working-class purity, and that such expressions are authentic and in the first instance at least uncontaminated by an avaricious commercial culture

About the author (2008)

Susan Driver is Assistant Professor of Social Sciences at York University and the author of Queer Girls and Popular Culture: Reading, Resisting, and Creating Media.