Has Youth Culture Really Changed Much Since the 80’s?

Posted: March 23, 2012 in Youth Culture & Trends
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Whenever teens and adults talk about culture, you’ll undoubtedly hear the phrase “back in the day” or “when I was a teenager.”  Today’s youth can sometimes think they’re in a foreign world that no one knows anything about, and our ‘retro’ teens often feel they’re the only ones that lived through truly coming-of-age times.  Both generations grew up around some cool innovations and advancements, as well as endured some of the darker days of their generations.  Neither seems all too aware that there’s many more dots to connect between their respective teen years than they would think, and both often think the other doesn’t have a clue!

They may be right, at times, but is today’s Millennials and generation Z really so far unplugged from the teen Gen X‘ers of the 80’s?  Is there really such a deep chasm between the pressures, anxieties and conflicts teens faced in the 80’s, and the ones facing their current ‘counterparts’ of today’s youth?  I don’t have all those answers for you…today…but I would say that although the styles, innovations, media entertainment, and pace of culture has changed, the core issues haven’t.  Teens then, and now still face the pressures of fitting in, choosing and maintaining friends, family dynamics, post-secondary decisions, time management, peer & social pressures (drugs, alcohol, purity, dating, etc…), finding a job…and  just trying to figure out who they are and what on earth is their purpose!

Anyhow, I could go much deeper into exploring the complexities of youth culture (both then and now), but that’s for another day!  If you want to see a fantastic portrait of the sub cultures that exist within the broader spectrum of youth culture, and the pressures and values represented, then watch the classic 80’s The Breakfast Club (content/parental warning, there is some strong language…use caution).  The same social groups that existed then, still exist today (jocks, beauty queens, nerds/geeks, misfits/Goths, druggies, posers)…they just look a little different from each other.  Although the 80’s had some of the best music, they also had some of the worst fashion ever!

In the meantime, here’s a slick infograph from the folks @ besteducationdegrees.com to shed some light on the youth from now, and then…

  1. JennX says:

    Reblogged this on Gen X Says and commented:
    love this infographic about pop culture changes. fascinating differences between kids those days and kids these days!

    • Thanks for stopping by jennifer…I know ‘they’ say “the more things change the more they stay the same”…but things have definitely changed since the 80’s for sure!

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