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Write a report on the youth culture and sub-culture.
The world, over centuries, has experienced huge changes and modifications in every aspect, social, economic, political and others, owing to the dynamics and shifts in the behaviours of the population across the globe and the changes in the way of living. Among the different factors which have played crucial roles in contributing to the changing patterns and dynamics in every aspect of human lives, thereby affecting the global dynamics as a whole, one of the primary aspect is that of the changes in the cultural patterns, not only across the globe but also across generations, countries and time (Crane, Kawashima and Kawasaki 2016).
Culture, by the sense of the term, broadly refer to the characteristics and knowledge present with a particular group, which unites the members of the group and differentiates them from the other groups of people in terms of religion, language, cuisine, music, art forms and other social habits. Human beings being social entities, culture holds huge significance in the lives of people over the years as much of the lifestyles and everyday activities as well as habits of people depend on their cultural traits and the implementations of the same.
In this context, the young people of the global population form an integral part of the same as much of the future social, political and economic dynamics of the countries as well as the world as a whole depends on their activities and involvement. Thus, one of the phenomena of immense concern among the sociologists in the contemporary global scenario is the aspect of “Youth Culture” and there exists huge debates regarding the presence or absence of the phenomenon as well as regarding the meaning, implications and dynamics of the same in the real social and cultural scenario in all parts of the world (Gajjala and Chopra 2011). Keeping this into consideration, the concerned study tries to study extensively the aspects of youth culture and subculture, the theoretical and conceptual framework in this aspect, the debates existing in this scenario. The research also tries to take into account the variations and differences arising in the youth culture and sub-culture over decades.
As has been discussed above, youth form a significant part of the population of the world at any point of time, in the aspects of their contribution in bringing in changes in every domain of the global framework, including social, economic, demographical as well as political. Culture also plays a crucial role in this aspect as much of the activities of the young generation and their priorities, goals and objectives depend on their perception of the culture which they are taught or which they inherit by the virtue of their origin.
In this context, there works a notion regarding the fact that youth in general differ from the most of the adults by developing their own form of shared culture, which is popularly termed as the “Youth Culture” and which changes dynamically with tine and in this culture also there exist several sub-cultures arising out of differences and diversifications among the youth population of different parts of the world in terms of behaviour, ideologies, believes, tastes in music and arts, language as well as values and activities (Crystal 2013).
However, there also remain substantial debates among the global scholars regarding the very presence of such an aspect named “Youth Culture” per se. While a major share of scholars, sociologists and researchers assert towards the fact that the set of values, ideologies, behaviour, attitudes and modus operandi of the young generation as a whole differ from that of the adults in the world at a certain point of time, thereby indicating towards the presence of the notion of youth culture, another significant share of researchers nullify this view (Hull, Stornaiuolo and Sahni 2010). According to their perceptions, the differences which arise among the youth populations of different places as well as among the youth and adult population in general, may be due to other factors like technological, infrastructural, geographical and others and may not be a difference in the cultural aspects at all.
In spite of the presence of such a crucial debate regarding the existential aspects of youth cultures and subcultures in the contemporary global scenario, there has still been substantial research (both qualitative as well as quantitative) regarding the presence of youth culture and sub-cultures in the global domain and also regarding the dynamics in the same over the years. Scholars at different points of time and in different regions have tried to construct theoretical and conceptual frameworks in order to define and categorize the concept of youth culture and different sub-cultures and diversifications in this aspect.
Keeping this into consideration, in the more inclusive and integrated global framework where the different countries are highly inter-connected and where the economic, social and political activities of one region can easily and considerably the other regions across the globe, it becomes immensely important to take into account the different literary and empirically supported works dealing with the cultural traits which prevail in different parts of the globe as well as to explore the attributes of the concept of youth culture and its sub-cultures in order to get an insight about the activities and beliefs of the youth population of the contemporary and in order to study how the youth functions differently from the rest of the population across the world.
Keeping the above discussion into consideration, the concerned project tries to explore the different existing evidences, literary works, empirical evidences and thoughts regarding the notion of youth culture and sub-culture, their origin and transformation over the years, the theoretical and conceptual frameworks developed in these aspects over time. The paper also tries to study the different categorizations and diversifications which have been suggested by the different sociologists and scholars over time and tries to analyse and organize the findings in a productive way so as to construct a clear and insightful work in this aspect, which can help in creating a guiding path for future researches in the concerned domain.
Keeping into account the above-mentioned objectives of the concerned research, the primary research question, which the study intends to explore with the help of the existing literatures and empirical works is as follows:
What is known as youth culture in the contemporary global economic and what are the sub-cultures present in this cultural domain?
Based on the above mentioned primary research question, the secondary research questions which are taken into account for the concerned study are as follows:
Keeping these questions and the research objectives into consideration, the concerned study focusses on the extensive works and literatures which are present in the concerned arena over the years and tries to review these works extensively in order to find the answers to the questions cited above.
As can be seen in the above discussion, the topic of youth culture and sub-culture has remained an arena of exploration, ideation and discussion among the global sociologists, researchers, philosophers and scholars and over decades which can be in turn attributed to the importance of the issue and its implications in the everyday lives of youth population across the globe as well as on the overall global social and cultural dimensions over the years. This section of the study, taking this into consideration, tries to review the extensive, widespread and highly varying literary works and empirical evidences which are present in the global framework and have developed considerably over the years, in order to construct a well-researched and highly insightful work in this aspect.
The term “Culture”, holding immense significance in the everyday lives of people across the world has its origin from the Latin term “Colere”, which in the generalized framework means to grow or cultivation and nurturing by tending to the earth (Williams 2011). Thus, the term has a direct linkage with the concept of development and cultivation in the global framework. Over the years, the term culture has received immense significance by gaining a permanent stature in the human lives as such across the globe. However, in spite of innumerable tries to define culture, there is still no unidimensional and one particular definition of the term as different people over the centuries have viewed the concept from different angles and perceptions (Ong 2012).
One of the most comprehensive, widely accepted and multi-dimensional definition of the term “Culture” can be seen to be present in the works of Wagner (2016), where the term is defined as the shared behavioural and interaction patterns among a group of individuals in a geographical domain or in a period, which makes them related to each other and differentiate themselves as a whole from other groups in terms of their customs, knowledge, daily activities and habits, language, religious and philosophical beliefs, priorities and other aspects of daily lives. The view of the author is augmented in the insightful works of Heine (2015), where the author breaks the stereotype of relating culture with ethnicity only. According to the author, the concept of culture is highly diversified and can vary not only across ethnicities but also across different generations, geographical locations as well as across different ideologies, professions and also areas of interests.
There have been extensive discussions and explorations regarding the different features present in the cultural domains which are shared by the people under one cultural framework and which separate one culture from another. LeVine (2018), elaborates in this aspect in his paper, by dividing the different characteristics and features in the cultural domain in external and internal features broadly. By external features of a culture, the author points to those attributes or special aspects of a culture which are visible or can be perceives externally and by internal features of a culture the author highlights those attributes which are abstract and cannot be seen or felt exogenously but are inherently present within the conceptual domain of a culture (Cote and Levine 2014).
Figure 1: Levels of culture and the interactions between these levels
(Source: Warwick.ac.uk 2018)
The external features of a cultural domain, which includes the tangible, visual or audible aspects of human life and behaviour are comprised of mainly the following components:
However, there also lie several underlying characteristics and traits in the cultural domains across the world, the primary ones being as follows:
According to the assertions of the author, each cultural framework in the world has its own view and notion of reality and the world-view of each of these cultures is self-contained or adequate in itself and it puts forward a coherent view of reality which in turn is incorporated, perceived and also experienced by the people who fall under the same cultural domain (Hwang 2011). This, in turn, makes the worldviews of different cultures vary in the degrees of openness and makes it valid within the purview of the concerned cultural domain, in its own terms. Johnson, Hill and Cohen (2011), add up to the above discussion asserting that the notion of reality and the difference in the worldviews, incorporated by different cultures lead to the creation of different sense of perceptions among the varied groups of individuals, thereby forming a significant and differentiating internal aspect of culture.
Thus, from the above discussion it can be asserted that there exist significant differences among the different cultural frameworks across the globe and these diverse elements can be identified on the basis of the internal as well as the external attributes or features present in each of these cultural domains.
There have been substantial discussions and arguments over the years, regarding the importance of culture in the life of people across the world and over time. This can be seen in the considerable amount of literary evidences present in this aspect in the global scenario. Keeping this into consideration, the primary significances are discussed as follows:
Figure 2: The circuit of culture
(Source: Leve 2012)
Thus, from the above discussions and views put forward by various literatures, it can be asserted that culture holds a considerably important place in the lives of human beings in all parts of the world. In this context, the aspect of youth culture and the notions regarding the same is discussed in the following section of the study, in the light of the existing literary and scholarly evidences present in the global framework.
There exist diverse opinions and perceptions regarding the concept and notion of “Youth Culture” across the globe, with the opinions changing and new thoughts developing with time, regarding this aspect. Lipsitz (2013), in his extensive literary work, provides a comprehensible definition of the term in a generalized framework. The author, in his paper, portrays youth culture as the share culture, especially among the young population of different societies across the world, inclusive of the processes and symbolic systems which, used by the young people of a society, to some extent differentiates them from their parents and other adult population of the same society and community.
The aspects in youth culture, which makes them considerably different from the overall cultural norms and frameworks for the rest of the population in the world, include languages, behaviours of the young population, their activities, perceptions about life as well as the priorities, beliefs and values (Brake 2013).
The idea of Youth Culture, though being existing in the global scenario for decades, there have been substantial debates and controversies regarding the very existence of the same. As per the assertions of Rose and Ross (2014), there exist primary two schools of thoughts regarding the aspects of prevalence of youth culture in the global social framework. One of these school of thoughts strongly assert the presence of cultural patterns among the global youths which are distinctly different from those of the adult and previous generations. On the other hand, the other school of thought includes researchers and scholars who do not accept the presence of anything called youth culture and also assert that the differences which arise among the youths and adult populations of the world may be due to other non-cultural aspects (Powell 2010).
According to Boyd (2014), often youth culture is perceived by sociologists and researchers as the trends or activities which the youngsters of a generation share with one another or the habits which are commonly found among these young people at a point of time, for instance the usage of different types of technologies and languages. But the author also points out that a large section of adults also uses these technologies and languages, which in turn indicates towards the assertion that the concept of youth culture is vouge and ambiguous. Kirmse (2010), on the other hand, augments the above assertions in his works, mentioning that the youths of one region may vary hugely from the youths of other regions at the same point of time, owing to the geographical, ethnical and other inherent differences, thereby pointing out towards a lesser importance to the term “Youth Culture” as such, compared to what the notion gets among the researchers across the world over the decades.
However, these views against the distinct presence of youth culture, as a separate cultural entity than that of the cultural trends visible in the general adult population across the world, have also been robustly countered, theoretically as well as empirically by other sociologists and researchers. According to the arguments put forward by Leondis (2018), the young generations, at any point of time at any place of the world have to face a more complicated, complex and competitive world compared to the previous generations. Emphasizing on the contemporary American society, the author points towards the immense pressure and challenges which the young population of the society faces while dealing with their everyday life, which also changes their perceptions about reality (Goggin and Crawford 2011). These assertions also highlight the fact that in a more integrated and connected world, the young generation also faces huge number of ideologies and cultural patterns to choose from and often create their own cultural trends and practices to break away from the conventional and dominant mainstream culture with which often these young people cannot relate themselves, thereby creating what is popularly termed as youth culture.
In this context, one of the crucial observations, holding huge relevance to the reality, is found to be in the work of Wyman (2012), where the author highlights that the concept of youth culture is not found to be present or prevalent in all the societies throughout the history of human evolution. As per the assertions of the author, the formation of youth culture takes place in those social domains more frequently, where for the youth population the significant realms of the autonomy of the society become regularized and a common feature of the socialization process as a whole.
Warikoo (2011), supporting the above-mentioned views suggests that the necessary conditions for the development of the notion of mass youth culture, which is recognized today, particularly appeared after the formation of the new age modern nation-states and industrializing areas in the nineteenth century, which in turn led to the routinization of the human life as a whole. This routinization, as per the arguments put forward by the author, along with the mass institutions of the newly developed nation states in the nineteenth centuries, led to the creation of considerable separation between the adults and the young people, gathering the latter in large number son the places of education, training and others, making these places the areas of development of the youth culture. Giardina and Donnelly (2012), however, differ from the above assertion as according to them, the presence of youth culture can also be significantly felt in the medieval period in certain circumstances and also in the twentieth centuries, especially post the Second World War. The authors suggest that the youth culture as a concept has been present in different parts of the world in different periods and generalizing their evolution only on the basis of their evolution in Europe or the United States of America can be highly biased and inappropriate way of making assertions about the evolution of the concept of youth culture.
Thus, from the above discussion about the different view points of scholars and literary works present in the global framework in the aspect of the presence and evolution of youth culture, it can be concluded that unlike some of the researchers and sociologists, most scholars believe in the presence of Youth Culture as a clear diversion from the conventional and normative adult cultural frameworks across the globe. However, their opinions vary considerably regarding the evolution, the reason behind the evolution and the timeline of the evolution of youth culture in the global scenario.
Although the topic of youth culture and its dynamics have been one of the comparatively new issues of concern and exploration among the scholars across the world, considerable works have already been done in this expect and the researchers and sociologists have explored considerably in the aspects of the emergence of the concerned phenomenon of the emergence of youth culture in the global framework. The opinions vary considerably regarding the actual reasons behind the emergence of youth culture and the period of emergence of the same. Keeping this into consideration, this section of the paper tries to extensively review the literatures highlighting the different theories of emergence of Youth Culture in the global domain.
The main differences between the universalistic and particularistic cultural norms can be seen from the following table:
Table 1: Universalistic Norms and Particularistic Norms
Focussing on the rules
Focussing on personal relationships
Consistency of rules and regulations
Flexibility in rules for each individual
Presence of one truth or reality
Presence of multiple and individualistic perception of truth and reality
Getting down to business
Getting to know oneself
(Source: De Blasio, Scalise and Sestito 2014)
According to Eisenstadt (2017), the particularistic norms being those guidelines which separate one individual’s behavioural characteristics from another and universalistic norms being those which are applicable to all the members of a society, the latter is found to have more contributions in the growth of youth culture in the global societal framework. Pilkington and Omel’chenko (2013), assert that in the contemporary world, increasing modernization has led to the increased implementation of universalistic norms as in a more connected modernized social framework, to relate and to communicate it is necessary for everyone to communicate and work under the same societal and cultural norms. This is turn has made it illogical that the socialization of youth will necessarily come from the family members only. Instead, in such a framework and in the presence of age grouping, development of a distinct youth culture, with which the young population can relate themselves, is encouraged. This is actually found to be highly relevant in the industrialised countries and societies, which follow a more universalistic social pattern (Simpkins et al. 2017).
Figure 3: Differences of expectations in youth culture and mainstream culture
(Source: Griffin 2013)
However, according to Hodkinson and Bennett (2013), in the adolescent period with the development of a distinctive youth culture and implementation of the same and its habits and norms in their lives, the adolescent population of a society tend to deviate in terms of behaviour, perceptions and activities from their parents and often replace the cultural patterns followed by the parents by those seen in their peer group.
However, as the youth population enters adulthood, the reliance and linkages with the independent peer group is found to diminish and as they increasingly take on adult roles, it is seen that they too often become a part of the mainstream social and cultural norm (Nilan 2011). Thus, according to this assertion, youth culture emerges and stays among the youths only and as the transition of the population takes place from adolescent to adult, their cultural traits become more aligned to the conventional and general cultural framework prevailing in the country or the concerned society. This in turn contributes to the considerably dynamics and fast changes and modifications in the youth culture which take place globally over different periods.
Although youth cultures have varied hugely across different points of time as well as across different corners of the globe, there are several elements which have remained common in the same and which help in differentiating youth culture from mainstream culture in the global framework and which also help youths of a society to identify themselves with one another and in differentiating themselves from mainstream cultural traits and population. Few of the elements in this context, as found to be highlighted by different literary works are as follows:
Beliefs and perceptions- In their empirically evidenced literary work, Nayak and Kehily (2013), highlights one of the primary building element of any youth culture at any point of time across the globe, to be the beliefs, thoughts and perceptions of the youth. According to the authors, the youths in a society tend to have their own set of perceptions about reality and their own beliefs which are often highly different from those of the mainstream cultural framework and are more aligned with the progress of the world as a whole.
Behaviours- Another important and differentiating component of youth culture is pointed out by Polhemus (2010), to be the behavioural pattern of the youth population of a society. The youths in general, have striking behavioural differences with that of the behavioural patterns of the adults. These differences, as asserted by the author, often comes from the act of seeking independence of some kind by the youths from their parents or adult family members and from the act of relating with their peer groups.
Areas of interests- Another chief element of youth culture is that of the area of interests of the youth, which keep on changing with time and also across regions and are mostly found to be much more diverse and different than that of the areas of interests of the adult population who are mostly part of the mainstream cultural framework (Farthing 2010). Youth and adolescent population, in the contemporary world, being more connected to the global population of their age, build up new areas of interest in which they venture, especially in their leisure time. This, as suggested by Van Dijck (2013), as a trait has developed even more in the recent years, due to the increasing usage of the social media and internet, which have brought the enthusiast youth population across the globe closer to each other, thereby developing new and distinct areas of interests from that of the mainstream population.
Styles and Clothes- Best (2013) suggests that one of the crucial component or element of youth culture which acts as the most tangible and external attribute of the same, thereby helping in differentiating youth culture from the mainstream ones is the aspect of styling, dressing and choice of clothes of the youths across the globe. As per the assertions of the author, the youth population tend to stand out of the crowd of mainstream population in some way or other and dresses being one of the most easily observable way of one’s personality, dressing and styling become one of the most important elements of any youth culture at any point of time. Augmenting this view, Henseler (2012), asserts that youth culture at any point of time shows distinct traits in dressing and styling, which in turn have underlying implications and meanings, which are often different and more noticeable than those in the mainstream cultural framework across the globe.
Language and vocabulary- Wyman (2012) suggests language and vocabulary to be one of the most essential and significant elements of youth culture over the decades. According to the author, the teenagers and adolescents often develop divergent and separate vocabularies and construct new words and terms, mostly informal, especially as a communication mode among the peer groups. These language divergence and newly developed vocabularies and words are very much specific to the youth population at a point of time and are not seen to be usually present or used by adult population in the mainstream cultural framework (Glass 2012).
Music and arts- Music, painting, literature, movies and other forms of arts being the considerably significant components of any cultural framework across the globe, are also important elements of the youth culture. Art forms, especially music acts as one of the most distinguishing features of the youth culture, acting as a medium of their expressions and voice in the world. Epstein (2016), in his work points out that youth culture in fact has been the root for the birth of many forms of music like rock music, pop music, music of hip hop genre and others, all of which originated from some ideology and beliefs of the adolescents over the years and became an attribute which the youth could related themselves to and which differed from the mainstream music and culture.
Apart from the above mentioned elements, which are commonly found to be the building stones of youth culture, over ages and across different regions of the globe, there are also many other components of youth culture, like that of dating set, concept of love and romanticism, perceptions about sexuality, objectives and goals of lives and also career activities and thoughts of the adolescents which form significant elements of the youth culture as a whole and which significantly differentiates the same from the mainstream cultural traits, thereby helping the youth population of a society or of the global framework as a whole to identify themselves with their age mates and differentiate themselves from the adults and previous generations (Sealey-Ruiz and Greene 2011).
However, the youth culture, as discussed above taking reference of the extensive literary and scholarly works existing in this aspect across the world, is not uniform across the globe and over time. The notion of youth culture and its traits and components vary across regions and also across time, depending upon the needs, perceptions and visions of the teenagers and adolescents (Lewis 2013). Thus, within the broad and global domain of youth culture, there exist many branches and sub-cultures, each having their own distinguishing trends and origins and can be distinguishable from one another by beliefs, perceptions, behaviours, appearances and other attributes of the member of such sub-cultures. Keeping this into consideration, the following section of the study emphasizes on the concept of sub-culture, thereby reviewing the literary evidences present in the domain of youth sub-cultures and their attributes and implications.
To understand the concept of sub-cultures, present within the domain of youth culture, it is of immense significance to understand the concept of sub-culture. Like the notion of culture, the term “Sub-culture” has also been perceived and interpreted differently from different perspectives by the scholars and sociologists across the globe. Hebdige (2012), in this context, defines sub-culture has the culturally diversified traits and activities practiced by a group of people who try to make themselves from the mainstream culture or parent culture or from the mainstream society in some manner, which may include diversions or differentiations through beliefs, dressing and styling manners, through behaviours and attitudes, activities, languages and vocabularies as well as through the music, literatures, poetries and other art forms. The author also asserted that “Subculture is a sub-version to normalcy”.
Augmenting the views and assertions of Hebdige, the works of Rubington and Weinberg (2015), also adds to the definition or meaning of the term “Sub-culture”, by suggesting that sub-cultures are often created under the domain of parent culture with the purpose of bringing together like-minded people of same mental frequency, who often, due to their inherent differences and separate attributes feel neglected or rejected by the normal societal or cultural standards and find a sense of identity in their chosen or developed sub-culture.
In his elaborate research paper, Nwalozie (2015), highlights the theoretical assertions put forward by Ken Gelder, in the aspects of distinguishing and identifying sub-cultures from the mainstream ones as well as from the counter-cultures. According to the assertions of Gelder, as shown by the concerned research paper, the ways in which sub-cultures can be identified are as follows:
The theories and concepts regarding sub-cultures in the global framework have evolved over the decades and different school of thoughts regarding sub-cultures developed over the period of time, especially in three distinct steps as can be seen to be asserted by the existing literatures. These three steps are as follows:
Thus, from the above discussion it can be seen that different subcultures present in the global framework play crucial roles in the behavioural patterns, activities, beliefs, practices, perceptions and overall lifestyles of different population across the globe, segregated by age, gender, time or other attributes. In this context, the following section of the study emphasizes on the different subcultural patterns which are present in the domain of youth culture, in the global scenario, studying the relevant and existing literary evidences in this aspect.
As per the assertions of different sociologists and scholars, like that in the mainstream cultures, subcultures are also present in the global and widespread domain of youth culture and there also lies various perceptions and opinions regarding the notion and concept of youth subculture. A comprehensive definition of the concerned term is found to be provided by Blackman (2010), who defines youth subculture as the different sub-divisions or diversions which exist in the broad domain of the global youth cultural framework and have characteristics which make them different from one another while they still remain in the domain of youth culture. Nwalozie (2015), in this context suggests that the members of different subcultural groups under the domain of youth culture try to signal their identities to the other members of the subcultural groups as well as to other groups and to the world through their symbolic choices of styles, behaviours, languages and slangs, music and other art forms as well as through the expression of their areas of interests (Griffin 2011).
There have been a lot of research and speculations regarding the features of the different youth subcultures and the attributes which differentiate one youth subculture from another and which help the members of one particular youth subculture to identify themselves with the co-members. In this context, Abraham (2013), cites several features or attributes on the basis of which the different youth subcultures identify and distinguish themselves from one another while still remaining in the purview of youth culture, which are as follows:
In the contemporary world with more awareness generation and with the significant development of the female population across the globe in different aspects, gender and gender orientated perceptions and behaviours also play crucial roles in the formation and differentiation of the various youth subcultures (Bettie 2014).
In this context, Bennett (2011), highlights that there often exist subcultures which are part of the youth culture and many subcultures which are not subjective to youth only and are equally accepted and practiced by both young as well as adult generation and are thus not solely subjective to youth culture. This can be diagrammatically shown as follows:
Latysheva (2011), provides an extensive and robust literary work in dividing and categorizing the youth subcultures into three broad types on the basis of the nature and aspects of differentiation, which are as follows:
Over the years and across the globe different youth subcultures have developed, varying in the basis of fashion, ideology, music, belief, perceptions, activities and behaviours of different section of the youth and adolescent population, the most significant few of such subcultures being discussed as follows:
Apart from these prominent and widely popular youth subcultures, many other subcultures have originated time and again in the global framework of youth culture, namely Flappers, Metalheads, Fashion fanatics, Head Bangers, Trendys, Vagrants, Strivers and many others, each with their own characteristics, origin, stories, ideologies and distinguishing traits.
In general, the different youth subculture goes through different stages in its life-cycle from its evolution, which shows the growth of the same over the years as discussed by Council. This can be shown with the help of the following flow chart:
Figure 5: Life-cycle of youth subcultures
(Source: Ilearn.careerforce.org.nz 2018)
As per the assertions of the above theory, the youth subcultures generally originate as underground trends with smaller peer groups. Many of the cultures disappear from this stage while some receive media attention and often moral panic develops among the adults regarding some of the youth cultures. However, with media attention and popularity more and more youth join these subcultures thereby bringing them over-ground (Mills 2016). Eventually as the cultures get more popular businesses try to use them and their attributes to gain profit by advertising them, which in turn leads to commercialisation of such cultures, which in turn leads them towards mainstreaming with time.
Over the years, there have been significant debates regarding the implications of the youth cultures and subcultures on the overall lifestyle and future of the youth population of the world and there are sufficient positive as well as negative viewpoints regarding the same, which are discussed in the concerned section with reference of the existing literatures.
The primary positive implications of youth culture and subculture can be explained with the help of the Circle of Courage theory (Bolin 2010). This can be shown with the help of the following figure:
Figure 6: Positive implications of youth subculture
(Source: Reclaimingyouthtrisk.org 2018)
As can be seen from the above figure, the presence of different youth subculture and with the youth practicing or belonging to these subcultures, the level of independence, the sense of identity, knowledge and perception about purpose of life and other positive traits develop among the youths and it also helps them to relate compassionately with similar people and peer groups where they feel a sense of belonging, thereby considerably saving them from isolation and confusions about their lives (Espiner and Guild 2010).
On the other hand, there are several concerning negative implications of the same as has been pointed out by Bennett (2011), who highlights the problems of stereotyping, negative labelling by the adults and discriminations faced by the youths by the mainstream societies due to their cultural differences and subcultural traits, which often lead to creation of crisis in the lives of the already confused youth population in the global framework. There also remains several practices by the deviated and misguided youth population due to their impulsive and risk-taking behaviours which lead to dangerous outcomes, both for them as well as for others, which being branded under the different youth subcultures, these subcultures are often viewed suspiciously by the normative societies, thereby bringing in negative implications for the youth members of such subcultural frameworks.
From the above discussion it can be concluded that the youth culture and subcultures hold immense significance over the decades in the human lives in the global scenario, especially in the lives of the youth population over the years. There have been considerable debates regarding the presence of the youth culture per se in the global framework. However, the proponents of the notion have provided various theoretical and conceptual frameworks regarding the evolution of the youth culture in different regions of the globe, thereby asserting the presence of the same. Various reasons have also been cited by researchers and sociologists across the globe regarding the evolution of youth culture and their elements, the common ones being the need of independence, variations of ideologies, need to deviate from mainstream cultures as well as the need to find one’s identity and purpose in life.
The common elements of youth culture are found to be beliefs, perceptions about reality, dressing styles, attitudes, behaviours, activities, vision about life and others. In the domain of the global youth cultural framework, over the decades different subcultures can also be seen to have evolved, the primary and most popular ones being hippies, emo, gangsta, punk, rockers, greasers and many others, each of which had their own reason, place and historical background as well as their own dedicated member groups, who in terms of characteristics, lifestyles, behaviours, perceptions, music and perception identify their peer groups and differentiate themselves with other subcultural groups as well as with the mainstream society across the globe.
There have also been various positive and negative implications of such cultures and subcultures, both on the lives of the youth population as well as on the mainstream society associated with them, which have been elaborately discussed in various literary and empirically supported scholarly evidences and have been discussed in the concerned study. However, due to the limited scopes and constraints, the study leaves considerable chances for future explorers to extend the research in this domain and the concerned study, by creating a robust and well researched and organized content of the existing literatures, paves the path for future exploration in the concerned domain.
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Arnett, J., 2018. Metalheads: Heavy metal music and adolescent alienation. Routledge.
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Bennett, A., 2011. The post-subcultural turn: some reflections 10 years on. Journal of youth studies, 14(5), pp.493-506.
Bennett, T., 2013. Making culture, changing society. Routledge.
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Bettie, J., 2014. Women without class: Girls, race, and identity. Univ of California Press.
Blackman, S., 2010. Youth subcultures, normalisation and drug prohibition: The politics of contemporary crisis and change?. British Politics, 5(3), pp.337-366.
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