Teenagers in the 1950s • The term ‘teenagers’ was not used until 1950 • Often people would get married an move out of their parents home by the time they were 21 • Teenagers of this period changed this – they began to reject the seemingly dull, timid, old-fashioned and uninspired British culture around them • They sought new pleasures and activities that were often totally at odds to what their parents thought was acceptable!
Teenagers in the 1960s - Influences 1. Cultural influences • Film, television, magazines, rock music. • In particular American influences on European teenagers – Rock and Roll (Elvis), Film stars (James Dean) • Impacted fashion, language and activities
Teenagers in the 1960s - Influences 2. Consumer goods • Provided teenagers with the tools to cultivate their own styles in clothes, haircuts, and even travel. • This spearheaded a generation gap between parents and their children
Teenagers in the 1960s - Influences 3. Financial power • They had cash to spend on self-indulgent purchases e.g. they soon had their own fashions, music, cafes and by the end of the decade their own transport – scooters!
Changing behaviour 1. They worshipped their idols • Bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones came to be leaders of youth culture and were worshipped almost as gods by teenagers
Changing behaviour 2. They became more daring when it came to expressing themselves • Teenagers adopted trend setting behaviour whereas before trends had been set for them • The mini skirt – a controversial fashion trend of the 1960s
Changing behaviour 3. Emergence of youth subculture • Youth based subcultures became more visible e.g. Mods and Rockers • Mods – viewed as sophisticated with their scooters • Rockers – a more macho image on their motorcycles • 1964 – several well publicised battles between the two groups at seaside resorts • Later subcultures included hippies, skinheads and punk rockers
Changing behaviour 4. More violent and criminal behaviour • Teddy boys – played a role in attacking black people during Notting Hill riots. • Teenage drug use – cannabis in particular
Changing behaviour 5. Public Protest • 1858 the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was formed and organised well publicised protest marches • 1960s political demonstrations which sometimes led to violence – the Vietnam War
14. How far did the lives of all teenagers change in the 1960s and early 1970s?
Education • Free to all up to the age of 14 • Managed under the Tripartite System • Grammar schools – entry exam, academic focus • Secondary technical schools – very few of these were built, focused on mechanical, scientific and engineering skills to serve industry and science • Secondary Moderns - designed for the majority of pupils - those who did not achieve the grade needed for grammar schools
Secondary Moderns • Criticised from the late 1940s for their perceived low standards • Replaced with comprehensive schools in the 1960s • Comprehensives provided free education from 11 to 16 years • Prevented children who failed the 11-plus exam feeling like second class citizens
Expansion of university education • Post WW2 many new universities were founded (Warwick, Norwich, Kent, York) • 30 new Polytechnics also set up • 1960s and early 1970s witnessed an enormous expansion in the number of full-time university students. • Grants and fees were also paid by Local Education Authorities – gave those from poorer backgrounds the opportunity to go to university.