YOUTH CULTURE: then and now


Racing around in the garden, playing with dolls and doing the household chores …

That´ s the way young people see the everyday-life of their parents´ youth. Unimaginable these days. Instead of enjoying the fresh air in the outdoors, the young prefer slumming in front of the TV/PC. Even though there might be some exceptions to this lethargic way of life, it is still true that young people become lazier and lazier these days.

Parents appear to adopt a very relaxed way of handling their offspring and they allow their teenage kids to stay out as long as they want in the evenings. One consequence of this ´trend´ is that the age when young people first try cigarettes and alcohol is continuously getting younger. Going out at the weekend you can see scores of 13-year-olds – and they´ re mostly not sober! Young people and girls in particular, seem to grow up much earlier and have lost some of their childhood.

There is no doubt that the freedom to choose your own style is a good thing. Yet, ever so often this also leads to conflict between some style groups and lots of prejudices.  All those perfectly thin and ethereal beauties parading on the catwalk around the world represent an ideal that is impossibly hard to live up to. What is more, this beauty craze of recent years is certainly at the basis of bulimia and anorexia. Sometimes clothes and brands are very important for youth. Those who don’t follow fashion trends get labeled as outsiders and are bullied. These kinds of attacks can lead to brutal violence and suicide. In recent years the number of suicides among young people has risen dramatically.

Respect is a foreign concept to many young people, not just respect for other people, parents and teachers, but also for nature. A lot of them don´ t care about the environment and throw their waste on the ground and aren’t aware of the extreme situations in other countries.

In spite of these problems, girls have more opportunities for education and equality. In former times, girls were expected to have families. Nowadays, they pursue a good education and a good job. It´s not a problem if a girl wants to attend a university.  Indeed, they are mostly supported by their parents. They can go their own way and make their own decisions.

On the whole, we can see that the youth have more freedom nowadays and childhood definitely starts earlier and ends later.

Fragebogen Deutsch Erwachsene     Fragebogen Deutsch Jugend   

Fragebogen Englisch Erwachsene    Fragebogen Englisch Jugend

COM11 – youth culture, changing values (BORG Krems,Austria)

9 Responses to “YOUTH CULTURE: then and now”

  1. I just read the text and completely agree!
    I think that it’s very sad that the youth culture changed so much

  2. Definitely you’re right. Nowadays we often hear “Oh, the youth of today…”
    Our grandparents usually say this because they can detect the difference between today’s youth and themselves. These differences are due to various reasons, but the main one is the result of improved living conditions of people. Times have changed and so have young people. In the past young people had no such problems as we do because their problems were much worse. For example, during the war, they had to fight for survival, look how their relatives die and often had nothing to eat. We fortunately do not live in such times, but have another problems such as teenagers are drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes before they turn eighteen year old. This is not only harmful, but also forbidden by law. This is just our problem, but also our parent’s. In the past the youth were more respectful of their parents and had more contact with them. Today young people do not talk to parents , argue with them and believe that parents do not understand them. Nowadays the youth also have a better chance of education regardless of wealth. In the past only the rich could be educated. Today we hear about many fights between youth because now people respect each other less. In the past young people did not pay attention to clothes, appearance and look. Now is has changed. Today’s youth depend on good look, a lot of money and luxurious clothes. So we see the diametric differences, which have an impact on this.
    But there are exceptions to the rule and the today’s youth will be better.

  3. I liked this article a lot. It is a pity that so many kids spend their life in front of the computer instead of meeting friends and having fun in the fresh air. The fact that kids try alcohol and cigarettes at such an early age is sad indeed. Though, from my point of view, group pressure is the strongest reason (besides the unsuccessful upbringing of the parents) why they try these “drugs”. After reading this article I’m very glad to have had a completely different childhood which included playing in the garden with loads of other friends – everything without a mobile phone or a computer. And I am proud of it.

  4. You’re right. Who would have thought in the past that there would be so much freedom for the youth nowadays?
    All the children and teenagers in the past were used to listening to their older and more experienced parents and helping them in everything they were asked for. They had to respect the elderly, and so they did, I guess.
    These days some adolescents don’t really care what their parents say. They believe that they’re the wisest people in the world, and they don’t need any help or advice. They start taking drugs, drinking alcohol, trying cigarettes. But of course, not every teenager is such a rebel.
    Indeed, some people may call our generation ”spoilt”, but in my view it’s unfair to say that the whole generation is bad. It’s true – some teenager’s behaviour is definitely unacceptable, but usually adolescents make stupid mistakes, and only later do they realise they did something wrong. It’s like that: first, they do something and later they think about it. I’d say we’re only young and naive, we still don’t know what’s good or bad and so we want to check it ourselves.
    We all learn new things by making mistakes :)

  5. You are totally right. A lot of things have changed since our parents were teenagers. Maybe that’s why we argue so often with them. I also think that we should be more careful of how we proceed with people and the environment, because every action has a reaction.

  6. Liebe Sonja,

    bitte (vgl. meine eMail) lies die “Rules and Hints”, die ich gerade gepostet habe. Und klicke in deinem Dashboard “Allow Comments” an. Für ein Thema (Artikel) soll k e i n eigener Blog eingerichtet werden, sondern nur für die Mitglieder, d.h. jedes Mitglied hat nur 1 Blog (siehe: geänderter Blogname), sonst würde die Webseitenstruktur auch für den schnellsten Server zu heavy!

    Die Artikel werden im Blog des Autors gepostet und auf der thematisch entsprechenden “Group” ein kurzer erläuternder Hinweis und ein Link auf diesen Artikel gesetzt.

    Soll innerhalb eines Posts noch eine Dateil angehängt werden, so drückt man im Dasboard auf “Add media”: Der 1. Icon erlaubt das Hochladen von Bildern, der 2. dasjenige von Texten (doc, pdf usw.)

    Ihr als Koordinatorinnen – und nur ihr – habt auch das Recht (und in diesem Fall auch die Aufgabe) eine neue “Group” einzurichten, was ihr, wie ich sehe, schon erledigt habt.

    Ich hoffe, das hilft dir und euch weiter.

    Herzliche Grüße aus Bilbao

    Lothar Thiel