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The young ones

[journal article]

Bentley, Nick

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Abstract Dominant accounts of subcultural analysis have tended to read early British New Left writing on youth as a combination of high culturalist and neo-Marxist approaches. This article reassesses this position by showing the variety of methods and forms of analysis adopted by New Left writers in the 1950s, including autobiographical, ethnographic, sociological, cultural and fictional. In particular, it compares the writing on youth by Richard Hoggart, Stuart Hall and Colin MacInnes. It argues that their representations of youth were intricately bound up with general anxieties and concerns in 1950s culture, which created an ambiguous and dual interpretation of youth in ideological terms. It goes on to suggest that the way in which the subcultural subject was represented in textual and methodological terms affected the way in which it was interpreted ideologically. It also suggests that the traces of this representation are embedded in the way that youth is interpreted today.
Classification Sociology of the Youth, Sociology of Childhood
Free Keywords 1950s; Absolute Beginners; Colin MacInnes; ideology; New Left; representation; Richard Hoggart; Stuart Hall; uses of literacy; youth subcultures
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 65-83
Journal European Journal of Cultural Studies, 8 (2005) 1
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)