notes, almost a brief list of chapter contents
on: Brake, M. (1980) The Sociology of
Youth Culture and Youth Subculture.
London: Routledge and Kegan Paul
It is possible to develop the classic CCCS line,
but also to see youth culture structured by
masculinity. The notion of class struggle
remains as a route towards liberation.
Again the problem and potential lies in class
struggle. Groups are polarised through
labelling, driven by a dominant ideology.
There are some American references
Skinhead racism is not amplified by them but by
the media (78). Rejection from school is
also important, and this is supported by survey
data. Glam [ask your parents] is also a
manufactured subculture. Even hippies retain
conventional notions of masculinity (82).
Empirical work on the 'focal concerns' of youth
indicate that they are 'masculinity, football, a
Puritan work ethic, fatalism, and realism' (84).
The chapter contains lots of figures and
demographics representing the numbers in that
particular period, and blames National Front
demagogues for demonizing them (121).
The cult of femininity is one possible response to
youth unemployment (138). Domestic labour is
a major factor as well. Young women can
escape into romance and develop 'bedroom culture'
(143). MacRobbie has studied female
subcultures in ways which replicate Willis.
Generally, feminism has not had much influence in
the dominant subcultures, any more than it has in
'respectable society'. There are some
emerging studies of gay subcultures.
The overall theme is one of complexity when
discussing the class determinations or political
implications of youth sub cultures.
Compensation is an equally likely theme.
Same sort of notes on: Brake, M. (1985)
Comparative Youth Culture. London:
Routledge and Kegan Paul
[this book is basically a slight update with added
This cites Woods as arguing that middle class
groups also want social change, while working
class groups seem to want accommodation.
There is an American background to the cult of
youth, seen, for example in the use of Parsons in
Murdoch and McRon. American studies indicate
that youth is marginalized rather than comprising
a separate class (45). 'Stratified domains'
mediate between class and delinquent modalities
[as in 'structures of opportunity'in the classic studies?].
Plummer has also pointed to some supportive
socialising sub cultures.
The British work shows the interconnections of the
National Deviancy Conference, the Leicester
School, and CCCS, especially in the collection by
Mungham and Pearson. The criticisms in
Cohen's introduction to the 1980 version of Folk
Devils and Moral Panics are noted (70)
[basically, Cohen argued that the concept had been
over politicized]. We find more American
themes in the work of Matza,
connecting delinquency, radicalism, and
bohemianism to class and ethnic cultures.
There is now a new bit on hispanics (129 F), and
chapter six is on Canada.
The work on girls now includes bits on fighting
girls (173), and notes that Australian girls are
not as interested in romance. American
female punks is shows certain class differences
(176) so, for example, 'dressing rather than being
punk' is more common among middle class young
women, and is used as a kind of cultural resource
and buffer against the notions of young motherhood
and unemployment. Peter Woods has also
criticized the romanticism of CCCS perspectives [Youth
Generation and Social Class, 1977, OU
Press]. He's more interested in the impact
of unemployment on youth, especially girls, and
notes that empirical studies of attitudes show
both conservative, even racist, stances and
revolutionary ones, including a belief in
more leisure studies