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This book of interdisciplinary essays explores how youth has been represented in American culture. The book focuses on familiar literary, film and television texts set within a framework of ideas drawn from cultural and social theory, presenting innovative and challenging analyses of new and classic texts from the 1890s to the 1990s.
The collection contributes to the necessary and important debate over the meanings of youth representation within American culture, emphasising the ideological nature of youth and its centrality to a complex reading of popular culture.
In particular, the book examines issues of gender, race and sexuality as central to the construction of youth identity and to the other significant relationships between youth and authority. It deliberately asserts the contradictions in youth representations and denies any easy definitions that might serve to compound stereotypes or sustain vested interests.
Introduction - the radiant hour - on youth cultural studies
Neil Campbell Fresh contacts - global culture and the concept of generation
Charles R. Acland Children of the revolution - fiction takes to the streets
Elizabeth Young Disposable youth/disposable futures - the crisis of politics and public life
Henry A. Giroux How Katy lied -pictures of joy and pain - "What Katy Did" and other American girls' stories
Jenny Robinson Ideologies of youth and the Bildungsromane
"Something you can't unhear" - youth, history and the west in Larry Watson's "Montana 1948"
Neil Campbell Teensomething -American youth programming in the 1990s
The body's in the trunk - (re-)presenting generation X
Neil Campbell is Head of American Studies at the University of Derby. He is co-author of American Cultural Studies (1997) and author of Cultures of the New West (2000).