The Youth Culture and the Universities

The Youth Culture and the Universities

The Youth Culture and the Universities

The Youth Culture and the Universities

Excerpt

The 1960s have been a decade of violence and disturbance, beginning among the young people milling about the streets of big cities, and passing finally to the universities. What has occurred has not merely been a diffusion of styles of deviance from the least educated to those enjoying expensive education -- although it has certainly been that. It has been a development in which the dissidence of the mass youth culture has become a generational response to the point where it has absorbed even elements of the élite of the younger generation. From being a mood of disaffection bursting out into civic disturbance under the influence of the mass-media of the pop culture, it has been transformed, with the help of an ideology evolved largely by refugee sociologists, into a movement that justifies itself in grandiose and idealistic terms. Even this development is by no means self-explanatory, however, and it is the sustained emphasis of the essays collected in this volume that to understand the spread of youthful unrest in our times, and what I frankly call the war of the generations, it is necessary to examine some of the processes of social change that are found in the basic areas of social structure, in the work order, the family and in the response of these institutions to changing technological development.

There are, of course, other, perhaps autonomous, factors influencing the course of this development, in particular the changing ways in which children are brought up (in these pages only the secondary socialization -- the way in which the individual is taught in school and university, and is prepared for his job -- are examined, not the primary process of socialization of the baby). And there are unintended consequences that have followed from deliberate innovation in economic policy and social legislation, particularly from the redistribution of income.

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