“Youth culture” is the shared set of beliefs, values, symbols and activities in a group of young people.There are many theories about what is a youth made off and how it operates. There different and opposing arguments about the existence of youth culture. In this essay I will try to explain these theories and views and form an opinion from there off.
The rise of youth culture was seen in 1960’s and 1970’s. Due to this rise in the youth culture, there were some theories developed on it. Functionalism was the main theory that was developed in 1960’s. The founders of this theory believed that society or social structure is like the structure of biology and that all the social institutions work for the survival of the society like the health institutions work for the survival of living things. With the change in the social structure, as the social structure is becoming more complex, there is a need to change the social institutions by making them more specialized. Therefore, functionalists believed that youth culture has a social function as young people were seen solving their shared problems.
During the 1970’s, the Marxist theories were developed on youth culture. The believer of this theory thought that a society mainly operates through conflict of classes of that society. They believe that each class of society pursues its own interests and it brings into conflicts with the other classes of the society. These ideas were used by the Marxists influenced Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies to explain youth culture. Their arguments were in the favor that youth culture was resulted from the youths that were fighting against a capitalistic society.
There is a debate within the scientific community about the existence of youth culture. Some researchers are of the view that there is no separate youth culture as youth’s morals and values are same as that of their parents’. The variations in contexts, age, sex and social status makes it hard to define a single youth culture.
Other researchers say that there are some definite elements that can define separate youth culture and that these elements of the youth culture are different from those of their parents’ culture. There are some other researchers that also believe that there are some youth cultures that are existing in society. The school boys and girls have their own set of patterns to understanding the same thing from that of university guys.
In short youth culture exists in our society specially in this modern age of strong electronic and social media but the definition of a single youth culture is very much complex and hard job to do.