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Cause for concern or moral panic? The prospects of the Swedish mods in retrospect
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Criminology.
2011 (English)In: Journal of Youth Studies, ISSN 1367-6261, E-ISSN 1469-9680, Vol. 14, no 7, 777-793 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Swedish mods of the 1960s frightened the parental generation like few other youth cultures. Was the concern justified – was the mod culture a hotbed of social maladjustment? Or would the mods come to live conventional lives to the same extent as their peers? We present analyses from a large longitudinal study allowing for a follow-up of individuals identifying with the Swedish mod culture in the late 1960s. Overall, the results point in the least dramatic direction: In mid-life, the vast majority of the former mods lived ordinary lives with work and family. When considering identification with the mod culture only, we do find an over-risk for becoming a social dropout. However, an elaborated analysis identifies the foundations of these problems already in early childhood, i.e. prior to the identification with the mod culture. Social problems in the family may have encouraged these youngsters to turn to a youth culture, but this identification in itself did not contribute to vulnerability. Although the results should be generalised with caution, they could serve as argument against moral panic over teenage identification with youth cultures, and instead shift focus to structures that give some children a disadvantaged start in life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 14, no 7, 777-793 p.
Keyword [en]
youth culture, life course, social problems, employment, moral panic
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Criminology; Sociology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-62812DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2011.588944ISI: 000299431700003OAI: diva2:444937
Available from: 2011-09-30 Created: 2011-09-30 Last updated: 2012-02-28Bibliographically approved

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