Sonja Levsen: Youth in Western European History after 1945 – national historiographies and transnational perspectives

Abstract

In recent years many fruitful studies on German, British and French youth after 1945 have been published. Particularly German and British scholars have focused on the development of a new ‚youth culture‘ – based on consumption, music and the media –, that was instrumental in furthering processes of individualisation and liberalisation in Western Europe. In spite of the fact that this was a largely transnational phenomenon, it has usually been researched within national boundaries. This article first highlights trends and differences between French, British and German historiography on youth culture and shows where transnational or comparative studies could challenge conventional interpretations. Secondly it argues that youth in contemporary history should not be reduced to consumption and rebellion: we need more studies on aspects such as youth in the workplace, youth and sport, youth movements, and on young people’s everyday lives in schools and families.

The following titles were discussed i.a.:
Maase, K.: Bravo Amerika (422); Fowler, D.: Youth Culture in Modern Britain (423); Osgerby, B.: Youth in Britain since 1945 (423); Schildt, A./Siegfried, D. (Hrsg.): Between Marx and Coca-Cola (424); Siegfried, D.: Time is on my Side (426); Poiger, U.: Jazz, Rock, and Rebels (427); Mathien, M. (Hrsg.): Les jeunes dans les médias en Europe (428); Sohn, A.: Âge tendre et tête de bois (429); Bantigny, L.: Le plus bel âge? (432); Bantigny, L./Jablonka, I. (Hrsg.): Jeunesse oblige (433); Weiner, S.: Enfants Terribles (434); Fisher, J.: Disciplining Germany (435); Jobs, R.: Riding the New Wave (435); Gass-Bolm, T.: Das Gymnasium (437);  Caspard, P./Luc, J./Savoie, P. (Hrsg.): Lycées, lycéens, lycéennes (440); Ruff, M.: The Wayward Flock (443)

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