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The First Teenagers : The Lifestyle of Young Wage-Earners in Interwar Britain (Paperback)

Author: Fowler, David

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Product Overview

The first generation of British teenagers - young people eager to spend a significant proportion of their wages on consumer goods and services such as cosmetics, clothes, magazines, records, motor cycles, cinemas and dance halls - is generally regarded as that of the 1950s and 1960s. The same group, sociologists and economic and social historians have claimed, was the first to enjoy autonomy in the labour market and to experience low unemployment. This study argues convincingly that in fact a teenage culture in the modern sense already existed in the period between the two world wars.
The first systematic analysis of the lives of young workers of the period, the book provides a revisionist interpretation of an era still widely regarded as one of exploitation of young people in dead-end jobs, of high youth unemployment, low disposable incomes and restricted leisure activities tailored to suit adult interests. The era remembered for the Depression, the means test, the hunger marches and widespread poverty in fact witnessed the empowerment of teenage wage-earners in the four spheres central to their lives: the labour market, the workplace, the family and the marketplace.
The book is grounded in extensive original research; on hitherto unexploited sources such as the records of the interwar Juvenile Employment Bureaux; on the records of youth movements ranging from Boy Scouts to inner-city lads' and girls' clubs; on magazines aimed at youth, from millgirl magazines to specialist film, music and hobbies publications; and on contemporary social surveys, newspapers and oral history. Such sources vividly convey a world of buoyant economic opportunities for boy and girl wage-earners; of an increasingly assertive juvenile labour force, including apprentices involved in large-scale strikes for wage rises and holidays with pay; of a newly affluent teenage group with high disposable incomes and time to spend on goods and services aimed increasingly at them; and of youth movements having either to adapt their programmes to accommodate the changing lifestyle of their members or to accept a permanent drift of young wage-earners from their ranks.


Publisher Routledge
Mfg Part# 9780713040180
SKU 204874784
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0713040181
Release Date 7/14/2009
Product Attributes
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0224
Publisher Routledge
$87.66 + $2.75 shipping
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