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Transitions and Youth Cultures: Forms and Performances

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In a changing society, the transitions made by young people to adult life are characterised as movement (in biographical trajectories) and as a process (of social reproduction). Whilst in the traditional pattern for these transitions young people submitted to rigidly regulated prescriptive forms, the passage to adulthood today is guided by performative cultures which derive from the islands of dissidence where young people now lead their everyday lives. Leisure emerges as the most striking feature of youth cultures, and this leads us to posit the hypothesis of a ,neo-baroque aestheticisation of youth lifestyles and a leisure ethic that regards life as an adventure. However, we may be led astray by ambivalence (a concept based, significantly, on homonymy) if we take the more general manifestations of these styles (leisure, the emphasis on the visual and persuasiveness) as a uniform phenomenon (youth), when what actually exists is variety (different youth cultures).
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Lisbon

Publication date: June 1, 2000

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