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Outline and evaluate the view that the role of youth culture is to assist in the transition from childhood to adulthood

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Introduction

´╗┐Outline and evaluate the view that the role of youth culture is to assist in the transition from childhood to adulthood (33 marks) The view that youth culture is a transitory phase is a functionalist idea which comes under the process of social integration where individuals become integrated into different social groups so they have a sense of belonging. Parsons (1954), argued that youth culture provides a bridge from childhood to adulthood by enabling young people to become more independent and detached from their parents. This takes the view of youth culture being a ?rite of passage?. Eisenstadt (1956) suggested youth culture bound young people together and formed a sense of community stemming from a shared way of life. There are some criticisms of the functionalist approach such as the emphasis of shared features which means they ignore the differences between youth subcultures, a Marxist would argue these differences are important and cannot be ignored. ...read more.

Middle

Brake (1980) suggested youth subcultures provide ?magical? solutions by providing safety from problems and an opportunity to express freedom and new ideas. The subculture allows them to convince themselves they will be able to solve the problems of their time but the solutions aren?t able to be sustained in reality, thus the reason they are referred to as magical. Marxists are accused of ignoring the involvement of girls in subcultural groups and issues of ethnic identity. There is also an assumption in the CCCS work that most youths joined subcultures which is debateable as it is possible many were ?ordinary youths?. The CCCS are also criticised of looking too far into the reasons why youths join subcultures, perhaps many of them joined just for fun. There have also been accusations of Marxists ignoring the role of the media in the formation of youth subcultures. The main argument feminists make is that other approaches largely ignore the role of females in subcultures. ...read more.

Conclusion

Bennett (1999) called these fluid and complex youth styles ?Neo-tribes?. People can move in and out of these neo-tribes over time which reflects the transitory nature of youth. An example of a neo-tribe would be club culture. Polemus (1997) noted the ?supermarket of style? available to youths. They are able to choose from different fashions, music tastes and identities and mix them together to form their own. Postmodernist views have been criticised as there are still examples of subcultures in the present day such as goths or emos. The idea of fluidity may also be overstated as most young people don?t move in and out of neo-tribes over long periods of time. In conclusion, all of the approaches in a sense agree with youth culture being part of becoming an adult through increased independence and self-expression. It involves young people exploring their newfound responsibilities and freedoms along with ways to deal with any problems they face as a consequence. ...read more.

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