YOUTH CULTURE: then and now

November 15th, 2011 by sykora3sonjat


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.

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