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Age and Generation (Society Now) by Mike O'Donnell

By Mike O'Donnell

Age and new release introduces scholars to the most sociological and anthropological concerns surrounding this subject, from formative years to outdated age, and focuses, particularly, on early life tradition.

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First, Abrams was wholly uncritical of capitalism, either in its economic or cultural aspects. Perhaps he saw himself simply as a market researcher whose job was to report facts and trends. As a result major aspects of the mass society debate pass him by. This debate ranged over issues of quality and taste in consumption, and over the control and manipulation of the market and media. Radicals like C. Wright Mills and Herbert 35 Marcuse, liberals such as Vance Packard and David Riesman, agonized over the excessive conformity and artificial contentment that they associated with mass society.

In Britain and America there is always a chance that you will turn a corner and bump into someone carbon-copying your own ‘unique’ style. Only the very rich or the home-sewers can escape this. In a relatively affluent society differences in income, other than at the extreme, do not prevent mass trends in consumption developing. Despite this, the size and wealth of the teenage consumer market has recently encouraged manufacturers to cater for a variety of tastes. The wealthier the total teenage market, the more this tendency can be pursued.

Though apparently aware of the existence of these groups and of the socio-economic trends that formed their attitudes, Hall and Jefferson give them scant attention. Instead they concentrate on what may be the fading ‘resistance’ of a few. That is their privilege but, from their own Marxist point of view, it may also be ‘fiddling while Rome burns’. A fuller analysis of youth might have given them a clearer insight into broader changes in workingclass opinion. Activities 1 Select one youth subculture.

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