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Youth culture has been described as the tendency by the youth to differ from their immediate and cultures. Youth culture sprang out as a reaction to the educational, political and economic changes after World War II in Western civilization (Helping youth conference, 2005).
Also, pop culture is the short form of popular culture and can be categorized as the values, language, attitudes, music and entertainment of the masses. Today, popular culture is depicted in the major media which include movies, radio, television and the World Wide Web or the internet.
However, different regions will have slightly different pop culture depending on the evolution that took place in time (Cooper, 2000). In the paragraphs that follow, are the descriptions of how youth culture within the last 30 years influenced New York, London and Tokyo cities.
New York City and Pop Culture
The youth culture became an accepted form of life in several developed nations and was easily emulated by other nations. Changes in the youth culture manifested itself in strange behavior and lifestyle such as strange dress codes by the female youths and funny haircuts by the males.
An example, Punk, used the “do it yourself” aesthetics with a message that any person can become a musician to attack to the previous generation of the hippie subculture (Faqs.org, 2008). Punk tried to negatively impact the society’s mass marketing, but surprisingly, it also turned into a style for shoppers around the globe.
The availability of records and dressing styles was welcome among most of the youth who would adopt the lifestyle even without joining particular subcultures (Faqs.org, 2008). Youth culture has become younger and older at the same time by assuming new meanings.
As such, some people take on their youth culture into their adulthood in a move that tries to explain the situation as a lifestyle (McRobbie, 1999).
It is evident that youth cultures in the last 30 years have had a strong influence in the current lifestyle of people in New York City. Some of these influences are depicted in the media like film, popular music, television, and the internet.
Alternatively, youth has been defined as post-adolescent and pre-adult groups, or as the 1.1 billion young people who are between the ages of 15 and 24 years according to the United Nations (Kett, 1977). It has been noted that the youth form the largest portion of the most media and technologically literate people of their society.
As a matter of fact, the youth are considered as the primary engine for the growth of global media culture and are targeted as a consumer class by multinational corporations (Klein, 2000). As noted earlier, youth movements like punk from 1980s onwards led to the rise of the hip-hop culture, and the violent rap subculture styles called “gangsta”.
Past youth culture has influenced most of the activities that currently takes place in New York City in several ways. This influences range from the type of music, movies, dressing styles, TV shows and languages among many more.
For instance, most of the youths and adults in New York prefer certain music to others due to influence by culture. As such, rap and hip-hop music have taken the top like in most of the fan beyond the than other genres of music like country and R & B (The Youth Popular Culture Institute, 2004).
Movies that undermine religious values and the use of crude language on Television can also be associated with culture (Savage, 1988). Culture has also influenced the dressing style of most of the youths and adult due to the adoption of strange and unique designs.
London and Pop Culture
In the British society, Industrialization, urbanization and the development of an information-based society started in the late period of the 18th century.
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After its establishment in the region, it spread to the United States and Europe. When most of the world nations achieved almost the same status of power in the 1980s, the rise of centers such as European, United States and Japan occurred.
This is the same to the cultural values, political systems, and economic institutions that exist in different nations (Hebdige, 1979).
In London, the influence of youth culture is mild considering that the adult culture is firmly established. As a result of this influential factor, there has been an associated maturity in character of the London youth as compared to the same youth culture from Tokyo. In New York, the yuppies form new elite; therefore, they form part of a dominant class and a new setting.
Tokyo and Pop Culture
The youth culture in Tokyo naturally differs from that in London in various ways. The key difference, however, is that youth culture was established late in Tokyo as compared to the time it developed in London.
In addition, it is inevitable to note that the youth in Tokyo received far less support from their population when compared to the same from the Western regions.
A strong influence by Japan’s farming and military cultures existed and shaped the culture significantly (UCLA Center for East Asian Studies, 1994). Below are the generations of youth cultures that developed in the 1980s and helped to shape the existing cities.
Characteristics of Contemporary Youth Culture
The youth culture shall be analyzed using generational analysis starting with the comparison of Shinjirui and Yuppies – New Youth Culture in the 1980s. Shinjirui is defined as a new type of youth which had a vague social character (UCLA Center for East Asian Studies, 1994).
Unlike the baby-boomer generation, the media had much more interest directed to this youth category. The group was also targeted by the consumer market due to its shown potential. This category of the youth was identified by strong individualism, expressionism, and predilection toward consumer behavior.
The shinjirui were the first generation of the youth to be brought up in an affluent consumer society that was not crude but an advanced consumer culture (UCLA Center for East Asian Studies, 1994). On the other hand, the yuppie culture from the 1980s had high educational achievement, with high income and industrious.
The second youth culture is the Baby-Boomer Junior Generation – New Youth Culture in the 1990s. During the 1990s, the youth culture underwent another change to the junior generation of baby boomers who has a more adaptive social character as compared to the shinjirui culture.
The adaptability is considered in three situations as in fluid adaptability, flattering adaptability, and anticipatory and clear adaptability (UCLA Center for East Asian Studies, 1994). Flattering adaptability is where a one will try to adapt to the environment if there is a difference between the environment and the subject.
On the other hand, fluid adaptability is one in which another choice is made when the individual does not match with the environment.
Lastly, anticipatory and clear adaptability is where a different alternative is provided where an individual cannot select any of the above options. They are identified as a group which were natured in an in the information age world.
From the early 1980s, there has been an increased resemblance of the youth cultures in Japan and America. For instance, mutual understanding which includes tourism and direct exchange, and consumer life has increased significantly making the two tendencies much clearer.
Despite the similarities, there still exist many differences due to geographical conditions and historical differences. The class culture in New York has a similar function to the uniform culture – like it or not – in Tokyo.
Western European and U.S culture are usually considered as the ideal culture for the Japanese and these reflects to Tokyo City. In the recent future, there has been a great influence on television gaming in the Asian youth culture.
In all the three cities, youth culture has had a significant influence in various dimensions. The most influence is on the music, movies, television programs, dressing styles among many others. Since the youth culture is targeted by consumer corporations, it has formed the basis for increased economic growth, industrialization and general development in these cities.
Technological advancements and the internet has increasingly expanded due to the youth culture in social networking, online purchasing and gaming by the youth. In summary, youth culture can be taken as a vehicle that has stirred up positive success in development in all the three cities.
List of References
Cooper, D. (2000) Period. New York: Grove Press.
Faqs.org (2008). Youth Culture. [online] Faqs.org.
Hebdige, D. (1979) Subculture. The Meaning of Style. London and New York: Metheun.
Helping youth conference (2005). Helping our youth. [online] Helping youth conference.
Kett, J. (1977) Rites of Passage: Adolescence in America 1790 to the Present. New York: Basic Books.
Klein, Naomi (2000): No Logo, London: Flamingo.
McRobbie, A. (1999) In the Culture Society: Art, Fashion and Popular Music. London: Routeledge.
Savage, J. (1988) ‘The Enemy Within: Sex, Rock, and Identity’, in Facing the Music: Essays on Pop, Rock and Culture. London: Mandarin.
The Youth Popular Culture Institute (2004). Understanding Youth Popular Culture (YPC) and the Hip-Hop Influence. [online] The Youth Popular Culture Institute.
UCLA Center for East Asian Studies (1994). Japanese Youth and Popular Culture. [online] UCLA Center for East Asian Studies.