Under the weight of apparently growing consumer affluence, globalisation and post-modern social theory, many have proclaimed the declining significance of social class and place to young people’s lives – and for social science. Drawing upon new, empirically grounded, theoretically innovative studies, this volume begs to differ.
It argues that the youth phase provides a privileged vantage point from which to interrogate and think about broader processes of social change and social continuity. These themes are addressed by all the diverse contributions gathered here. The chapters include investigation of: the problems of growing up in gang neighbourhoods and young people’s use of space for leisure; new patterns of class formation and youth transition in Eastern Europe; the effects of classed labels and identities (such as ‘chav’ and charver’) in youth culture and schooling; the changing meanings of class and place for young women in changing socio-economic landscapes; new patterns of youth culture and transition among Black young men in East London; and how we think and theorise about change and continuity in youth studies.
Together these new empirical studies and critical theoretical analyses confirm the continuing central importance of class and place in shaping the opportunities, transitions, sub-cultures and life-styles of young people.
This book was based on a special issue of Journal of Youth Studies.