This volume seeks to address what its contributors take to be an important lacuna in youth cultural research: a lack of interest in the phenomenon of collectivity and collective aspects of youth culture.
It gathers scholars from diverse research backgrounds – ranging from contemporary subculture studies, fan culture studies, musicology, youth transitions studies, criminology, technology and work-life studies – who all address collective phenomena in young lives. Ranging thematically from music experience and festival participation, via soccer fan culture, leisure, street art, youth climate activism, to the design of EU youth policies and Australian government ‘project’ work with young migrants, the chapters develop a variety of approaches to collective aspects to young cultural practices and material cultures. To establish these new approaches, the contributors combine new theories and fresh empirical work; they critically engage with the tradition and they complement or even reconfigure traditional approaches in and around the field.
The book will be of interest to researchers in a broad range of areas in and around the field of youth culture studies including post-subculture studies, cultural studies, musicology, fan-culture and youth transition research, but it is also of acute interest for theoretically interested sociologists. The volume offers a new afterword by French sociologist Michel Maffesoli.
Introduction: Collectivity and youth cultural research
Bjørn Schiermer, Ben Gook and Valentina Cuzzocrea
1. ‘I just wanted to be a part of it’: Musical experiences of youth and belonging
2. Making time for the tribes: The work of synchronization in the making of youth collectivities in the age of digital media
3. Top-down collectivity? European youth policy and the need for social cohesion
4. Enacting the music: Collectivity and material culture in festival experience
5. Making a brotherhood: Young ultras beyond the match
6. Learning from Willis’ Lads: Collectivity and object-oriented practice
7. Spaces of collective individualism: Practices of collectivity for young street artists in Yogyakarta
8. School strikes for climate: Young people, dissent and collective identities in/for the Anthropocene
Peter Kelly, James Goring and Meave Noonan
9. Scoring the refrain: Young African men in a diasporic context
John Fitzgerald and Adam Simmons
Collective narcissism: Some basics of neo-tribal sociality
"Youth Collectivities sets a bold new agenda for youth cultural researchers: the challenge of bringing the collective back in. A timely work of deep scholarship, it offers new insights into the project of understanding the nature of youth cultures, including the legacy of the Birmingham School, a consideration of the undeveloped nature of Maffesoli’s concepts of collectivity and new work that recognises collective, reciprocal relations and assemblages of the material and human worlds in youth cultures. These central questions are explored in depth by leading youth researchers from around the world, to give new life to theories of collectivity and collective material culture in young people’s lives."
Johanna Wyn, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, The University of Melbourne
"This is an important and illuminating collection. In their concern with the collective aspects of youth and subculture, which are rightly argued to have been neglected, the contributors help to refocus our attention on issues of practice, experience and affect - the doing of youth and subculture, rather than just their symbolic effects. In so doing, they also highlight the range of actors involved, including the objects with which youth and subculturalists engage, and, in drawing on Durkheimian and actor network approaches amongst others, help to advance relevant theoretical debates, moving us beyond important but over rehearsed debates about subculture and post-subculture and into increasingly interesting and innovative terrain."
Dr Paul Sweetman, Senior Lecturer in Cultural & Creative Industries, King's College London
"The scapegoating of youth as individualistic and selfish is commonplace in media representations, but this distortive figure is sometimes imbued in research on young people. As this lively collection demonstrates, the reality is much different: young people find being part of collectivities inspiring and valuable, expressing a desire to be part of something much bigger than themselves. Whether it is the creative practices of various youth cultures, art movements and fandom, or participating in political activities such as climate activism, youth are struggling to transform the world to create a livable future. Presenting cutting edge research from Europe and Australia and bringing together a wide range of theoretical perspectives, Youth Collectivities: Cultures and Objects will appeal youth studies researchers committed to bridging the gap between cultures and transitions and to all those interested in how collective practices make the world."
Steven Threadgold, University of Newcastle, Australia