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youth culturethe subcultural features which surround youth as a social category These include:
- distinctive fashions and tastes, especially in music and clothes;
- social relationships centred on friendship and peer groups, rather than families;
- a relative centrality of leisure rather than work;
- a challenge to adult values, and individual experimentation with lifestyles;
- a degree of classlessness in leisure tastes and behaviour.
Although divisions between adult and youth are evident, youth culture is far from being completely uniform, but is divided by gender and ethnicity, as well as by class and education, and by a myriad competing cultural styles.
The rise of distinctive youth cultures in modern societies is associated with the central role of MASS MEDIA OF COMMUNICATIONS and with increasing affluence. These have created new markets in cultural products aimed primarily at young people. See also ADOLESCENCE, LIFE COURSE, RESISTANCE THROUGH RITUAL, LEISURE, POPULAR CULTURE.