Despite the plethora of information on the topic, youth culture is an immensely difficult thing to interpret or understand. I remember a few years ago showing young people some of the opinions of “Youth Culture” experts and they rolled their eyes. I was told by a teen this past week that I analyze youth too much. I took that to heart this week as I looked over the youth issues from around the net. My desire is to understand the trends and needs that are arising on a local and global scale, but to try and paint those over-top of the young people that I see on a weekly basis isn’t what should be done. That was why I really liked this quote from a review of a book called “Sells Like Teen Spirit” by Ryan Moore, “youth cultures are easily misunderstood and the nexus of their organization and notions of identity vary so much that a generalized approach to such youth cultures would be lacking.” Instead of looking at statistics and analyzing data Moore take a more artistic approach and looks at the feelings portrayed through the musical choices of the generations. This goes well with one of my favorite youth worker tools: asking a young person to let you scroll through their iPod’s playlist. It can start a conversation that show how much two generations have in common as opposed to what we adults can do to “fix” modern teenagers.
(If you are interested in reading the review of this book by Michael Pereria you can do so here)