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Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture by…
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Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture

by Jon Savage

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The prehistory of Youth Culture 1875-1945
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
Dipped into this book when I was doing my degree many years ago and I gained some useful information from it while enjoying the lighthearted way the author wrote. Decided to go back to it to have a further read of those sections I had missed at that time. I was a little disappointed to be honest - the author was a little judgemental at times and some of the points made were a bit cliche. However, that aside, it did include some details that I hadn't known so made it an interesting read at points. Maybe a little too long for some people nevertheless. ( )
  SineadB | Dec 7, 2015 |
Dipped into this book when I was doing my degree many years ago and I gained some useful information from it while enjoying the lighthearted way the author wrote. Decided to go back to it to have a further read of those sections I had missed at that time. I was a little disappointed to be honest - the author was a little judgemental at times and some of the points made were a bit cliche. However, that aside, it did include some details that I hadn't known so made it an interesting read at points. Maybe a little too long for some people nevertheless. ( )
  SineadB | Dec 7, 2015 |
Savage's detailed work takes us through the development of youth culture in Britain, America, France and Germany into the powerful consumer group now known as 'teenagers'. He details the impact of key events on young people (prohibition, 1929 crash, world wars) and shows how young people are seen to carry the hopes of a nation, only to disappoint their elders with their wayward behaviour. It will come as no surprise that the concept of an influential youth 'movement' has always concerned older generations, with the regular appearence of moral panics about youth delinquency and degeneracy in the four countries discussed across a period of 70 years.

While I did not discover anything startlingly new in terms of analysis, I did learn a lot about the various youth groupings that have arisen at different periods from flappers to jitterbuggers to the Hitler Youth. The impact of specific cultures on youth movements and the transnational comparisons and connections are really interesting - youth groups that developed in Germany in the early 20th century, for example, focused on the outdoors and healthy activities in a way that clubs in the other countries didn't.

Inevitably, this book discusses those groups that came to the attention of contemporary newspapers and social commentators and this skews the work towards those young people who garnered criticism for their apparently deviant lifestyles or who were part of large movements/clubs. I would have liked to know more about what life was like for teenagers who weren't zoot-suiters or biff boys, what my grandparents and great-grandparents lives may have been like. However, this kind of detail can often be hard to find in primary sources and its inclusion would have made what is already a 465-page, small print hard-back far too unwieldy! ( )
2 vote charbutton | Sep 29, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670038377, Hardcover)

From the author of the critically acclaimed England’s Dreaming, a landmark cultural history of youth

Teenagers—as we have come to define them—were not, award-winning author Jon Savage tells us, born in the 1950s of rockers and Beatniks, when most histories would begin. Rather, the teenager as icon can be traced back to the 1890s, when the foundations for the new century were laid in urban youth culture.

Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture is a monumental cultural history that charts the spread of the American ideal of youth through England and Europe and around the world. From Peter Pan to Oscar Wilde, Anne Frank to the Wizard of Oz, Savage documents youth culture’s development as a commodity and an industry from the turn of the last century to its current driving force in the global economy. Fusing film, music, literature, diaries, fashion, and art, this epic cultural history is an astonishing and surprising chronicle of modern life sure to appeal to pop culture fans, social history buffs, and anyone who has ever been a teenager.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:53 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A history of teen culture documents how its twentieth-century foundations were established in the urban youth cultures of America and Europe during the 1890s, in a social analysis that considers such influences as Peter Pan, Oscar Wilde, and Anne Frank.… (more)

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