American youth culture

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РЕФЕРАТ

 

 

Курсовая работа 39 страниц, 33 источника.

 

Key words: youth culture, subculture, history, origin, fashion, ideology, influence, problems

 

Object: American youth culture

 

Subject: the history of different youth cultures and subcultures in the USA; their influence and problems

 

Methods of research: study of literature on the history of American youth culture and subcultures; analysis of their influence and problems

 

Purpose: to study the history and the main types of youth cultures and subcultures in the USA to understand their influence and problems

 

Objectives: to study the origin and definition of the terms “culture” and “subculture”; to describe the history of American youth culture and subcultures; to study the origin, fashion, ideology of the most popular subcultures in the USA; to find out the influence of subcultures and their problems

 

Results: the origin and definition of the terms “culture” and “subculture” have been given; the history of American youth culture and the origin, fashion and ideology of the most popular subcultures have been described; the influence and problems of subcultures have been found out

 

Recommendations: the results of the research can be used in study of American youth culture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONTENTS

 

 

Introduction……………………………………………………………...     4

1 The history of the youth culture in the USA…………………………    6

    1. The origin of the term “culture”……………………………….    6
    2. Youth Culture of 18th and 19th centuries……………………..     8
    3. Youth Culture of 20th century……………………………........    10

2 The most popular subcultures in the USA…………………………...     14

2.1 The definition of the term “subculture”…………………….. ..   14

2.2 The history of subcultures in the 20th century………………..   16

2.3 The origin, fashion and ideology of subcultures……………..   23

2.3.1 Punks…………………………………………………….   23

2.3.2 Emos……………………………………………………..     25

2.3.3 Hip-hoppers……………………………………………... 26

2.3.3.1 Rapping and dj………………………………….. 27

2.3.3.2 Breaking………………………………………….     28

2.3.3.3 Graffiti art………………………………………..   29

2.3.4 Goths…………………………………………………….. 30

2.3.5 Skinheads………………………………………………...   31

2.4 The influence of subcultures and their problems…………….      33

Conclusion………………………………………………………………   36

Bibliography……………………………………………………………. 38

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

 

The development of the culture of the United States of America has been marked by a tension between two strong sources of inspiration: European ideals, especially British; and domestic originality.

American culture encompasses traditions, ideals, customs, beliefs, values, arts, and innovations developed both domestically and imported via colonization and immigration from the British Isles. Prevalent ideas and ideals which evolved domestically such as important national holidays, uniquely American sports, proud military tradition, and innovations in the arts and entertainment give a strong sense of national pride among the population as a whole.

It includes both conservative and liberal elements, military and scientific competitiveness, political structures, risk taking and free expression, materialist and moral elements.

It also includes elements which evolved from Native Americans, and other ethnic subcultures; most prominently the culture of African American slave descendants and different cultures from Latin America. Many cultural elements, especially popular culture have been exported across the globe through modern mass media where American culture is sometimes resented.

Youth cultures have not been part of all societies throughout history; they appear most frequently where significant realms of social autonomy for young people become regularized and expected features of the socialization process. Most scholars would agree that the conditions necessary for the mass youth cultures recognizable today appeared after the formation of modern nation-states and the routinization of the human life course in the industrializing nations of the nineteenth century. The mass institutions of the nation-state, which separate young people from adults and gather them in large numbers for education, religious instruction, training, work, or punishment have been consistent locations in which youth cultures have developed. There is some evidence suggesting that youth cultures may have existed in certain circumstances during the medieval period. Also, it is important to recognize that there are significant gaps in our historical understanding, particularly for populations outside of Europe and the United States. Youth cultures have been clearly evident in the twentieth century, particularly since the end of World War II. The history of this period is notably marked by significant social and cultural influences of youth cultures on society at large, a trend that continues in the contemporary period.

Research into youth cultures has been most prolific in the disciplines of sociology, psychology, and anthropology; it is readily apparent in criminology of juveniles, demographic analyses, studies of the family and adolescent social development, and the study of ritual. The analytic frameworks and debates about youth cultures that have emerged from the three major disciplines have been taken up in other areas of study, including history.

This job is topical nowadays as we knew about American youth culture too little. More detailed study of this theme helps us to understand, firstly, the influence of subcultures on the youth: their fashion, hairstyle and lifestyle, and, secondly, difference between such terms as culture and subculture. Also this project is topical because we want to solve such problems as use of alcohol, drugs and smoking among the youth. To solve these problems we need to find firstly the root of all evil, and to find the root of all evil we should study the theme of youth culture more detailed. There is one more problem nowadays among the youth – violence. Different subcultures create hostility between different youth groups. Such question as “why so?”  appear. The study of my job’s theme helps to find all answers which we need. Also my job is useful because in our country there are a lot of different subcultures which have come from the USA and for better understanding their essence we need study their origin and their history.

The aim of this job is to study the history and the most popular cultures and subcultures to understand their influence and problems. The following objectives have been posed for prevailing:

    1. to study the origin and definition of the terms “culture” and “subculture”;
    2. to describe the history of American youth culture and subcultures;
    3. to study the origin, fashion and ideology of the most popular subcultures in the USA;
    4. to find out the influence of subcultures and their problems.

During writing of job have been used such methods of research as study and analysis of different literatures. The results of this job can be used in different schools, colleges, universities and so on for study of American youth culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 THE HISTORY OF THE YOUTH CULTURE IN THE USA

 

 

1.1 The origin and definition of the term “culture”

 

 

Culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning "to cultivate") is a term that has different meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions [19,p.3]. However, the word "culture" is most commonly used in three basic senses:

  • Excellence of taste in the fine arts and humanities, also known as high culture;
  • An integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning;
  • The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group.

When the concept first emerged in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, it connoted a process of cultivation or improvement, as in agriculture or horticulture. In the nineteenth century, it came to refer first to the betterment or refinement of the individual, especially through education, and then to the fulfillment of national aspirations or ideals. In the mid-nineteenth century, some scientists used the term "culture" to refer to a universal human capacity [27,p.6].

In the twentieth century, "culture" emerged as a concept central to anthropology, encompassing all human phenomena that are not purely results of human genetics. Specifically, the term "culture" in American anthropology had two meanings:

    1. the evolved human capacity to classify and represent experiences with symbols, and to act imaginatively and creatively;
    2. the distinct ways that people living in different parts of the world classified and represented their experiences, and acted creatively.

Following World War II, the term became important, albeit with different meanings, in other disciplines such as cultural studies, organizational psychology and management studies [19,p.173].

According to the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia the culture is integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behaviour that is both a result of  integral to the human capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations. Culture thus consists of language, ideas, beliefs, customs, taboos, codes, institutions, tools, techniques, works of art, rituals, ceremonies, and symbols. It has played a crucial role in human evolution, allowing human beings to adapt the environment to their own purposes rather than depend solely on natural selection to achieve adaptive success. Every human society has its own particular culture, or sociocultural system. Variation among cultures is attributable to such factors as differing physical habitats and resources; the range of possibilities inherent in areas such as language, ritual, and social organization; and historical phenomena such as the development of links with other cultures. An individual's attitudes, values, ideals, and beliefs are greatly influenced by the culture (or cultures) in which he or she lives. Culture change takes place as a result of ecological, socioeconomic, political, religious, or other fundamental factors affecting a society [5,p.347].

We are interested the term in such sense as complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man person as a member of society. According to this point of view culture has several important characteristics: 

    1. Culture is comprehensive.  This means that all parts must fit together in some logical fashion.  For example, bowing and a strong desire to avoid the loss of face are unified in their manifestation of the importance of respect. 
    2. Culture is learned rather than being something we are born with. 
    3. Culture is manifested within boundaries of acceptable behavior.  For example, in American society, one cannot show up to class naked, but wearing anything from a suit and tie to shorts and a T-shirt would usually be acceptable.  Failure to behave within the prescribed norms may lead to sanctions, ranging from being hauled off by the police for indecent exposure to being laughed at by others for wearing a suit at the beach. 
    4. Conscious awareness of cultural standards is limited.  One American spy was intercepted by the Germans during World War II simply because of the way he held his knife and fork while eating. 
    5. Cultures fall somewhere on a continuum between static and dynamic depending on how quickly they accept change.  For example, American culture has changed a great deal since the 1950s, while the culture of Saudi Arabia has changed much less [19,p.168].

Culture is known to have many meanings. One of them refers to the spiritual and material achievements of humanity. On the whole it is possible to distinguish three kinds of culture. They are elite culture, folk culture and popular culture. These cultures are closely connected with one another and one culture is part of the others. Elite culture is a highly developed sphere, it is comprised of painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, music. Folk culture is the culture of everyday life and routine relations of social life. Folk culture consists of traditional knowledge and practice. It is like a habit of people, thus this culture does not change very quickly. Popular culture is mass culture. It is a professionally organized sphere that works for a large mass of people. Popular culture gives people, especially young, standards to be what they like.

Today the life of many young people is influenced by popular culture. The youth follow certain stereotypes that are imposed on them through TV, movies, and music. In their lifestyles they try to imitate the images of their idols. Other young people are sports and music fans. They frequent stadiums and huge concert halls. They follow their idols in their tours throughout the country and support them. Unfortunately they are intolerant to those who do not share their view. It is a specific aspect of the youth subculture that cannot be ignored.

Culture is among the most complicated words in the English language. It refers to the processes by which the symbolic systems (e.g., common sense, "usual way of doing things"; traditions and rituals, frameworks for understanding experience, etc.) characteristically shared by a group of people are maintained and transformed across time. Despite the appearance of stability, culture is a dynamic, historical process. Youth culture refers to those processes and symbolic systems that young people share that are, to some degree, distinctive from those of their parents and the other adults in their community.

 

 

1.2 Youth culture of the 18th and 19th centuries

 

 

As the institutions and practices of civil life within modern capitalist nation-states began to take their characteristic shape in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, several cultural, social, and economic trends emerged that formed the material basis for modern notions of mass youth culture. Protestantism came to understand the period in the life course that would later be categorized as adolescence as a particularly vulnerable time in moral development and thus open to collective supervision by trusted adult authorities. Sunday school served this purpose. As industrialization proceeded and expanded, rural populations migrated and concentrated in urban areas. No longer connected to longstanding, stable communities in which the responsibilities for the socialization and oversight of the young were collectively shared, the youth peer group often became a substitute, particularly for orphans, youths of marrying age, and runaways. Cities offered employment for wages for young people and a more or less open marketplace in necessities and leisure to people of any age. What many criminologists now recognize as youth gangs had appeared as early as the Middle Ages. As these examples indicate, a distinction between a cultural realm created for youth and monitored by adults on the one hand (an "approved" youth culture), and a cultural realm sustained primarily by young people themselves on the other (a "rogue" youth culture) is useful, although it must be recognized that the boundary separating the two is fluid and permeable [1,p.3].

The emerging social stratum of middle-class professionals (e.g., doctors, lawyers, engineers, and teachers) whose legitimacy was dependent upon formal education grew and expanded as the scientific and industrial revolutions placed secular experts alongside those from religious institutions. Reflecting the professional classes' power base in education, their children were sent to school rather than to apprenticeships in the trades. In the schools, large numbers of young people were segmented by age and placed under the supervision of adults that exercised very different relationships with these youths than those of their parents and community elders. The professional middle classes increasingly became the cultural and social standard bearers in many of the leading democratic capitalist countries during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As this group moved to assume responsibility for the unintended and unattended consequences of urbanization and industrialization, it took up an advocacy role for those young people who had been socially and economically displaced by the transition from agriculture to industrialization. In taking this advocacy role (through charitable and religious organizations and later through governmental agencies), their views of children and adolescence became the dominant and institutionalized view.

These developments began to coalesce to form a new understanding of the "place" of young people in leading industrial societies after the mid-nineteenth century. A period of public education was made mandatory for young people in many parts of the United States; increasingly, schooling became an expected and routine part of the life course. At roughly the same time, the field of medicine and the emerging discipline of psychology began to differentiate the stages of the human life course more precisely, determining a "normal" standard for biological and social development based on chronological age. The influx of migrants and immigrants to industrializing cities relieved some of the demand for the labor of young people, pushing young people to assume new roles outside the workplace. As concerns for the integration of immigrant children became a public issue, the schools took up this task as well. In 1904 American psychologist G. STANLEY HALL attempted to synthesize and codify the contradictory biological, psychological, and social understandings of youth that had emerged during the nineteenth century in a two-volume work entitled Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relations to Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion and Education. This work laid a "scientific" basis for the collective socialization of the young in large institutions, justifying the social segregation of young people by age. With progressive shift in the identity of young people from workers to students in the late nineteenth century, the process for the creation of mass youth cultures was in place [20,pp.132-133].

The uneven rate and extent of this shift both within and across national boundaries is important to bear in mind. Slaves, indigenous peoples, and colonial subjects did not proceed along this timeline. For instance, young African-American slaves were chattel property in the United States until emancipation in 1865, a clear divergence from the experiences of even the most destitute of white youths. Despite these limits, however, elements of a youth culture in the form of games, rituals, and stories did develop among young slaves, particularly during the period of their lives (sometimes as late as fifteen years old) before they entered the regulated agricultural work of adulthood. Indigenous Inuit youth in north-central Canada did not pass through a period of adolescence before contact with Europeans, instead experiencing a swift transition between childhood and adulthood. Parents arranged marriages for their children, sometimes at birth, leaving scant space for a youth culture to emerge. Even the homogeneity of the shifts within the United States in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries can be overemphasized. As many contemporary scholars note, there have been many "pathways" from childhood to adulthood.

The institutional structures and practices of mass socialization in place at the end of the nineteenth century created a new place (both figuratively and literally) for young people to emphasize their common bonds over other mediating differences. Identities connected to parent communities–class, ethnicity, gender, religion, and later, sexuality and race– were often partially (but rarely completely) subsumed under the common experiences of youth and the rituals of the new mass socialization. The autonomous realms in which youth cultures developed in these institutions were not always intentionally granted to them by adults. Adults have only limited abilities to constrain the activities of their youthful subordinates, and young people across history have demonstrated great resourcefulness in collectively exploiting those limitations to gain some self-directed social space. Drawing on that shared experience, the peer group became an (unintended) mass social institution in its own right, at times creating alternatives that were visibly opposed to adult cultural and social norms. Schools took young people away from the daily activities of most adults, opening the possibility for a youth social system, even if that social system was limited and constrained [17,pp.267-268].

 

 

1.3 Youth culture of 20th century

 

 

New distinctions are needed to understand the development of youth cultures in the twentieth century. First, while the conditions for mass youth cultures to emerge were in place, young people did not become a homogenous social group; there has never been a singular youth culture in complex societies, but rather a wide variety of youth (sub) cultures. Second, a distinction needs to be made between the wide variety of commercial products (including forms of entertainment) marketed to youth and the unique ways in which young people took up the opportunities of these activities and products to produce a separate sphere of cultural processes and practices. It has become commonplace to refer to youth-marketed products as "youth culture," but this tells us little about the cultural lives of young people themselves. While the development of national markets did offer new connections between youth people across great distances, the youth market did not lead to a homogenization of youth cultures. Third, the definition of youth itself changes, as more young people extend their period of semi-dependence on family to attend colleges and universities [4,p.5].

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Описание работы
Курсовая работа 39 страниц, 33 источника.
Key words: youth culture, subculture, history, origin, fashion, ideology, influence, problems
Object: American youth culture
Subject: the history of different youth cultures and subcultures in the USA; their influence and problems
Methods of research: study of literature on the history of American youth culture and subcultures; analysis of their influence and problems
Purpose: to study the history and the main types of youth cultures and subcultures in the USA to understand their influence and problems
Содержание
Introduction……………………………………………………………... 4
1 The history of the youth culture in the USA………………………… 6
The origin of the term “culture”………………………………. 6
Youth Culture of 18th and 19th centuries…………………….. 8
Youth Culture of 20th century……………………………........ 10
2 The most popular subcultures in the USA…………………………... 14
2.1 The definition of the term “subculture”…………………….. .. 14
2.2 The history of subcultures in the 20th century……………….. 16
2.3 The origin, fashion and ideology of subcultures…………….. 23
2.3.1 Punks……………………………………………………. 23
2.3.2 Emos…………………………………………………….. 25
2.3.3 Hip-hoppers……………………………………………... 26
2.3.3.1 Rapping and dj………………………………….. 27
2.3.3.2 Breaking…………………………………………. 28
2.3.3.3 Graffiti art……………………………………….. 29
2.3.4 Goths…………………………………………………….. 30
2.3.5 Skinheads………………………………………………... 31
2.4 The influence of subcultures and their problems……………. 33
Conclusion……………………………………………………………… 36
Bibliography……………………………………………………………. 38