Friday, June 3, 2011

Teenagers and Cultural Identification Patterns

Culture gives society its structure. It satisfies peoples needs and determines the lifestyles that they lead. Culture also allows people to differentiate themselves. This is the reason that teenagers have ventured into different sub-cultures - that is to express their differences and to be part of their own faction with a distinct way of life and value system. Group solidarity being the chief incentive.

The urge to engage in group activity allowed teenagers to find their own individual identity.

Youth culture itself arose from young people sharing common problems in the transition to adulthood. Youth culture exists as a way of adjusting and overcoming these common concerns.  For previous generations there was distinct differences between the goals and objectives of working class and middle class youth, which led them to develop their own distinct and separate cultures. One of the determining factors behind the formation of these sub-cultures was social class.

In recent times, the movement of people, traditions and ideas has lead to a universal appreciation of different cultures. People can relate to others different cultures without the need for much interpretation. Economic globalisation has led to international integration of technology, labour and culture. Widespread deregulation in political policies followed and averse changes in the labour and economic markets has lead to the narrowing of the social pyramid.

The Generation X children were brought up with no illusions as to the hostile state of the world. They were brought up with the recession of the 70s and the environmental collapse of the 80's. Smog, AIDS, and the ozone layer became 'the' issues. This has lead today to a more refined youth; teenagers who are open-minded, media savvy and highly intelligent.

Research has shown that young people around Europe are surprisingly similar in relation to their lifestyles and interests, however much has also been written on the contrary. There is a space to open the debate and an opportunity to investigate if today's teenagers identify with homogenous cultural elements, irrespective of their social class.

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