|About the Book|
The youth culture has taken over in the Western world, and the United States is its champion. Has this cultural emphasis widened the generation gap, or is it just a natural by-product of the generational differences that exist in all societies? IsMoreThe youth culture has taken over in the Western world, and the United States is its champion. Has this cultural emphasis widened the generation gap, or is it just a natural by-product of the generational differences that exist in all societies? Is the generation gap such a problem as the media makes it out to be? Gerhard Falk discusses the dramatic ways that young people differentiate themselves from the parent generation as they seek to overcome the identity problem all adolescents face. He explores the development of a youth culture in the US, and its manifestations in daily life from recreation and music to dress codes, language, sex, and status games and cliques, gangs and reference groups. The book compares the competing influences of parents and peers, from homeless migrants and hippies, punks and rockers to the part-time workers earning money for family reasons or to revel in expensive amusements and status symbols. New media and entertainment forms confront younger and younger children with drugs, sex and other adult concerns in high school, middle school and even in the lower grades. This book reflects on changes in the concept of adolescence over the centuries and introduces the reader to aspects of the youth culture seldom known to those who do not live it. While a segment of our youth are the direct and indirect victims of divorce, poverty, homelessness and other forms of social instability, studies show that many young Americans maintain the values of their parents despite the much-touted generation gap. The authors contend that, in fact, most of todays youngsters have a great deal of sympathy for their parents and share their values. * Dr. Gerhard Falk is professor of sociology at State University College at Buffalo, NY. He is the author of fourteen books including most recently Football and American Identity and Grandparents, The Supporting Generation with Ursula Falk. He is a recipient of the SUCB Presidents Award for Excellence in Research and the Chancellors Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Ursula Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice. She has published eight books, and is a recipient of the National Association of Social Workers Lifetime Achievement Award.