Disturbing the Peace: Making Sense of mid-1950s Youth Culture
On 20 September 1956, the film Rock around the clock premiered at Sentrum cinema in Oslo. The movie about the discovery of rock 'n' roll, intertwined with a heterosexual romantic love story, was joyfully received by a youthful audience that accompanied the musical numbers with handclaps and feet stomping.[i] While this was an unusually enthusiastic reception for a movie, the scenes in the cinema contrasted with what the papers described happened after the screening.
Foto: Wikimedia Commons
When the nine o’clock evening show ended, a crowd consisting mostly of boys and girls between 14 and 17 years drew to Stortorvet, shouting “(v)i vil ha mer bråk!” , as Nationen, the Norwegian farmers’ newspaper, reported. Verdens Gang heard the “ungdommelige mengden” chant their “kamprop” for “(m)ere Rock, mere Rock” while demolishing cars and attacking innocent bystanders. According to the paper, a man who tried to help the police keeping order was nearly lynched by the agitated mob. Two photos illustrate the front-page article. One shows a police officer grabbing a man by the coat to underline the article’s point that the police had taken a hard stance. Officers had made twelve arrests and “lot seg ikke rokke”, as VG put it. The other photo depicts an older woman who had found herself in the middle of the melee in Møllergaten. When she almost fainted, she was rescued at the last moment, saved from being trampled underfoot by the crowd. The newspaper Demokraten chose to describe street fights between members of a crowd of some four to five hundred teenagers and police officers at Studenterlunden park. Pointing to the “amerikanske filmen” as the starting point for the commotion, the paper did not forget to mention that Rock around the clock had led to “pøbelopptøyer” in England and other countries. This aspect was picked up by several papers and had indeed been reported a week before the film’s first night in Oslo. News from abroad had also reached the police, who had closed roads around the cinema for traffic to prevent unrest. Just as Norwegian papers and authorities were aware of similar events elsewhere, the foreign press took note of the scenes in Oslo’s city centre and placed the goings-on in Norway into the context of “rock ‘n’ roll riots” around the world.
Spectacular displays of unruly behaviour like the one around Oslo’s Sentrum have been studied in several disciplines, including criminologists and psychologists, from the moment they occurred. Historians joined the enterprise of making sense of them in the 1980s, sometimes building on the work done by social scientists. The following article presents some of the more pertinent interpretations. It discusses different arguments and approaches to the phenomenon to point out aspects future studies might explore further.
Transnational flows of news and knowledge: the role of media coverage and scientific expertise in the making of the “youth problem”
Scenes such as the one on 20 September in Oslo took place in many cities where Rock around the clock was screened. Occurrences were reported from London to Sidney, from Tokyo to British Columbia, from the Dutch town of Apeldoorn to West-German Bielefeld. In all cases, teenagers formed the majority of the crowds that were said to have violated the public order. Media coverage was extensive; the police was prepared to respond with force; disturbances were readily associated with popular culture made in the USA.
As events unfolded around the globe, scientific experts from various disciplines were quick to offer their diagnosis of a new “social problem”. Some scientists saw aggressive behaviour rooted in the physiological state of teenagers who lacked the moral maturity to control their testosterone-fuelled bodies and minds. Pointing to the demographic trend in the wake of the post-1945 “baby boom” and turning the “natural” propensity of adolescents to misbehave into a large-scale problem, such experts claimed that an increase in the share of young people in the population would inevitably lead to an increase in crime. The mass culture of cinema and pop music was identified as another factor that exacerbated the “youth problem”. Scientific experts found that “worthless” films and “noisy” music offered teenagers no guidance. Worse still, mass culture aimed at youth turned bad “examples” into idols, misleading an audience that, according to psychologists, had not yet developed strong enough egos to keep their hormones in check.
Affluence was regarded as yet another factor contributing to the unruliness of youth. Young people, especially those in employment, were said to have too much money on their hands and wasted it on cheap amusements. Another explanation for “riots” pointed to the living conditions in post-war housing estates, where the inhabitants of densely populated and often insanitary inner-city areas had been decanted. Anticipating the dystopian fear of social housing complexes as dangerous places, studies like the one undertaken by Peter Wilmott and Michael Young for East London began to idealise the former “slums” as seedbeds for thriving working-class “communities”, while depicting the new social-housing estates as alienating “ghettoes”.
According to experts as well as journalists, who contributed to popularising the various scientific diagnoses, the kids were definitely not all right. Apparently, young people were troubled, which caused them to make trouble. This observation was framed as a particularly pressing social problem, since it concerned the generation that was expected to rebuild societies after the devastations and the crimes of the Second World War.
In hindsight, much of the contemporary research on youth appears exaggerated or plain inaccurate. Put in historical perspective, it becomes clear that posturing and vandalism among youth and confrontations with the police were neither new, nor was the level of violence particularly high. For instance, a recent study of “youth riots” in Sweden highlights the continuities between such events from 1946 to 1965, putting the “rock ‘n’ roll riots” into a longer history of marauding crowds of young people. Nor was the association of unruly youth with popular culture new in 1956. Interwar gangs, for example, had chosen amusement venues like dance halls as their meeting places and developed dress styles and derived names borrowing from music hall entertainment. The concern that young people were corrupted by a commercial culture which stimulated base instincts instead of cultivating the mind, can be traced back at least as far as to the pulp fiction of “penny dreadfuls” of the mid-nineteenth century.
All this suggests that much of the contemporary media coverage and scientific expertise should not be taken as a satisfactory explanation of the so-called “youth riots”. Instead, they need to be studied as a key element of the historical phenomenon in question. Historians have to take into account the framing of the occurrences as “riots” and the effects this perception had on both the way youth was governed and how young people identified themselves. Media and science played a big part in the making of mid-1950s “youth riots”. Acknowledging it opens the phenomenon to media history and the history of knowledge.
The remarkable success of the perception of “youth as trouble” begs explanation, since young people’s provocative presence in public spaces and their preparedness for violent encounters with the police were not entirely unfamiliar. The great prominence of the “youth riot” diagnosis may be best explained with the contemporary role of media and the social science in Western societies. Newspapers picked up on local events in other countries, reported on them swiftly, and covered them often in similar terms. In this way, they created a transnational media event whose study throws up practical questions about the technological infrastructure, the routes of news reporting, and the dispersal of journalistic conventions. The fact that the so-called “riots” coincided with screenings of an American film suggests that news coverage followed the release schedule of global movie distribution. That, in turn, makes Hollywood partly “responsible” for “youth riots” around the world, though not in the sense that its content moved audiences to commit crimes, but by creating local events that could be anticipated, reported, and reviewed in the next localities as part of an ongoing sequence. The staggered temporality of the unfolding transnational event may have shaped the perception that youth around the world, regardless of local specificities, had fallen for the same global craze.
Scientific experts latched on to the transnational media event, hoping that the authorities were interested in hearing their explanations and would fund research on the new “problem”. The arrangement between policy makers who asked for scientific data to legitimise decisions and scientific experts who offered their services to get grants is a topic worth researching, since it would lead us to the scientific underpinnings of much of contemporary social politics. A possible question to pursue would be to see how much institutional leverage experts gained out of their “discovery” of the “youth problem”.
Knowledge about social groups was not only taken up by politicians, but also by marketers who needed information about who would be likely to buy what kind of products to plan production and advertise goods. Since the late nineteenth century and throughout the first half of the twentieth, advertisers and producers had been – generally speaking – addressing a mass market. In the second half of the twentieth century, the targeting of particular consumer groups and even niche markets became increasingly common. In the USA, rock ‘n’ roll coincided with the beginning of this major trend, as the paradigm shifted from the study of the “average American” to the analysis of a public segmented into increasingly smaller subcultures and consumer groups. As part of this paradigm shift, teenagers came to be defined as a potential consumer group with its very own needs and desires. The framing of teenagers as consumers rendered their behaviour as positive enthusiasm and thus offered a means of reconciliation. “Youth as trouble” made way for “youth as fun”. Social scientific experts played an important role in the definition of both these versions of the teenager.
Finally, social-scientific knowledge as well as media reports also flowed into the lifeworld of youth themselves. Young people found this information both an imposition and a resource to perform an identity in front of relevant others, whom they needed to assume knew what a teenager is from the media. Through shaping general expectations about youth, the “scientisation of the social” defined the adolescent as a social figure which individual teenagers found difficult not to relate to. I will come back to this point in the last part of this article.
Symbolic class resistance and political-cultural liberalisation? Youth culture as a “way of life”
In 1957, British literary scholar Richard Hoggart published a book that describes the decline of a traditional, resilient working-class culture and its replacement with the vacuous “candy floss” mass culture of titillating novels and commercial popular songs. The Uses Literacy contains a by now infamous description of “juke-box boys” Hoggart observed in milk bars which calls them “directionless and tamed helots of a machine-minding class” and “hedonistic but passive barbarian[s]”. In tune with much contemporary scholarship, he saw young people sedated by an alienating mass culture, unable to keep genuine working-class culture alive. Only a few years later, in 1964, Hoggart initiated the Centre for Contemporary Studies (CCCS) at the University of Birmingham, which became synonymous with research that redressed its founder’s damning characterisation. Scholars around Hoggart’s successor Stuart Hall turned those “tamed helots” and “passive barbarians” into very active heroes of a tragic story of popular resistance. They argued that working-class groups of young men and male adolescents like the Teddy Boys, Mods, Skinheads, and Punks plundered the repertoire of commercial popular culture to express class resistance at a moment when the social ties that had bound their parents together in a self-conscious class were dissolving. As workplace solidarity, neighbourhood sociability, family obligations, and the do-it-yourself culture of singalongs and brass bands eroded, a young generation of wage-earners appropriated music and fashion and behaved menacingly on streets and football terraces to wage symbolic class war.
The argument that rock ‘n’ roll and other youth “riots” were “resistance through rituals” is based on a concept that defines culture as a “way of life”, a symbolic practice that gives shape to the experiences and feelings shared by a distinct group of people. This anthropological culture concept has, in similar formulations, had a remarkable career in historiography since the 1970s more generally and informed other studies on 1950s youth more specifically. For West Germany, Kaspar Maase argued that the young fans of American pop music, films, and fashion pioneered new values and norms that broke with older notions of German culture and were more in line with liberal democracy. Maase regards youthful anti-authoritarianism – which manifested itself in the preference for rock ‘n’ roll and shoelace ties, but may also be seen in pictures of excited youth running away from the police with big smiles on their faces – as an advance in civility. “Secondary virtues” like maintaining order, punctuality, and obedience towards authority made way for informal styles and codes of conduct that eroded hierarchies, thus contributing to greater egalitarianism and democracy. “Coolness”, relaxed bodily comportment, unconventional hairstyles, worn-out clothes, trousers for girls as well as make-up and the new vernacular of American pop culture initially met with a mixture of adversity and ridicule, but advanced values that were eventually shared by the majority of West Germans.
This gradual acceptance of a culture initially aimed at teenagers and regarded as either dangerous or worthless is in the centre of other German studies which take the mid-1950s as the beginning of a process that ends with the victory of pop culture. As in Maase’s work, youth culture is framed as the active appropriation of commercial entertainment content by young consumers, who ultimately win over the scepticism of their parents and other older figures of authority. Challenging old values and establishing new ones in this way renders consumption a political act. In turn, the interpretation of consumption as politics alleviated the acceptance of popular culture as a “serious” research topic in a discipline that was – and some would say still very much is – preoccupied with the political.
A point that deserves to be drawn out for reflection from this British and German research is the boundedness of historiographical perspectives to particular national scholarly interests. While British scholars regarded “class” as the key issue in the study of youth culture, (West) German historians were primarily interested in political-cultural change in view to the democratisation of the Federal Republic after 1945. The study of post-war youth culture exemplifies how historiography is often guided by national concerns, a fact that is corroborated by the great interest in race among American historians of youth and pop culture during the era. What primary interest may have informed Norwegian research on the topic?
Why boys played it “cool” and girls acted “hysterically”: “Knowingness” and the performance of youth
Research informed by the anthropological culture concept lumps young people together into rather large social groups, while paying far less attention to the tensions within youth (sub)cultures. This is true for research that depicts youth as a generational cohort pitted in opposition to their parents, but applies also to studies that try to align youth culture with socio-economic class. This neglect of relations between people of the same age and thus the often highly fragmented nature of “youth culture” is problematic though. Neither the view of youth as generation nor the assumption that youth was determined by class is borne out by empirical research on what sociologists critical of the subculture concept prefer to label lifestyle scenes or neo-tribes.
As research proceeded towards the late twentieth century, it became increasingly obvious that the engagement with commercial popular culture is far more flexible than the concept of culture as a “way of life” allowed for. Teenagers would identify with one style this week and with another the next week. What is more, they do this first and foremost in view to their peers rather than their parents. These had, as more recent studies suggest, a far more tolerant relationship to their kids’ enthusiasm for rock ‘n’ roll as the story of a generational clash allows for. The idea that young consumers of pop created their own versions of what was offered to them not only says that they were not “duped” by mass culture, as CCCS scholars were keen to highlight. It also implies that those young active consumers may have been judged by others who were engaging in the same practice and with the same symbolic repertoires.
Defining culture as a “way of life” reduces, in the words of sociologist Sarah Thornton, youth culture to a “curiously flat folk culture”. In her study of 1980s electronic dance music (EDM) clubs she uses the concept of “subcultural capital” – derived from Pierre Bourdieu’s work on “distinctions” – to show that those who regarded themselves firmly on the inside of the dance music scene excluded outsiders because of their looks, tastes, and behaviour. In the case of the EDM scene, it was often young men who ridiculed the proverbial “Traceys and Sharons” who “dance around their handbags”. Such positioning in opposition to a gendered and, as Thornton argues, fictitious “mainstream” was part of identifying with a scene and generating (sub)cultural capital from this affiliation.
Thornton’s and other post-subcultural studies make clear that there is no categorical difference between the engagement with so-called “high" and "popular” culture when it comes to drawing social boundaries. Be it opera or rock music, familiarity with repertoires and the authority and ease with which consumers draw from them decide whether they find themselves on the inside or the outside of a taste community.
As said, the anthropological concept of culture as a set of fundamental values shared by a social group makes these mechanisms invisible rather than help to analyse them. Thornton’s concept of “subcultural capital” offers an alternative, though it seems most applicable to genres of commercial popular culture that had undergone a process of elevation. Like “art” music in the nineteenth century and rock music in the mid-1960s, electronic dance music of the 1980s established its own set of value criteria, had meritorious stars (DJs), and was evaluated by critics. In contrast, rock ‘n’ roll in the mid-1950s lacked this critical discourse. Instead, it was associated with speechless enthusiasm that could fuel spectacular displays of fun as well as trouble. Unlike the cases of Beethoven and the Beatles, no one who had cultural capital to bestow would have called Elvis Presley a genius, certainly not in 1955.
Inclusion and exclusion in mid-1950s youth culture functioned somewhat differently to the drawing of social boundaries based on art genres. To get these processes into view, we may want to operationalise the term “knowingness”, which does not refer to a cultural hierarchy but to the different degree relevant people are informed about cultural trends. Thus cultural capital is not distributed in accordance to how the culture in question is valued objectively, but whether people are “in on it” or not.
To illustrate this point, we may take Peter Bailey’s study of British music hall audiences at the turn of the twentieth century as an example. Bailey was interested in what music hall meant for its primarily working-class audience. Looking at existing research on this topic, he saw that the answer was not to be found in song lyrics, but in performances that gave innocent tunes a different, often sexual meaning. When Mary Lloyd sang What did she know about the railways? (1897), a ditty about a “regular farmer’s daughter” who travels to the big city and tells various men that she “never had her ticket punched before” (wink, wink!), audience members who got what the song was really about would display their “knowingness” in front of relevant others in a setting that encouraged audience participation through singing along, laughter or interjections.
The display of “knowingness” made fun of those who wanted to stamp out this form of lewd entertainment, but found out that judges could not censor it on the basis of winks. In this way, “knowingness” mocked middle-class reformers who were outsiders of the working-class audience attending the music hall. However, “knowingness” was not only or not even primarily a tactic of class resistance, Bailey stresses. Its display was also a means to gain status among working-class peers, i.e. the relevant others who attended the same show and formed the audience for performances both on the stage and in the auditorium.
In a different article, I have tried to utilise the concept of “knowingness” to analyse 1950s youth culture, focusing on the performance of “coolness” by boys in dance halls and the enthusiastic screaming of girls at concerts of American singers Johnny Ray and Frankie Laine. Teenagers found themselves in settings where older behavioural conventions proved unreliable and developed new scripts from the movies and reports of screaming fans in other places, so the argument. As a transnational media event, the “cinema riots” provided young people with ample information on how to behave and offered opportunities to perform “knowingness”. In this way, local events like the movie screening at Oslo Sentrum and the subsequent commotion at Studenterlunden park may make sense as part of a transnational youth culture.
In lieu of a conclusion
This article has revisited pertinent approaches to make sense of mid-1950s youth culture and argued for studies that contextualise local events in a transnational framework. The idea was not to settle for a definitive account, but to identify issues and suggest perspectives that can open up this topic for research. Hence this article has no conclusion to offer. Instead, if ends with expressing the hope that readers in search of a fruitful topic feel intrigued to revisit the sites where young people engaged with pop culture, met with police violence, and identified themselves as “youth”.
[i] «Barsk» Oslo-ungdom i Rock ’n roll-opptøyer, in: Nordlys, 22.9.1956, 4.
 Ondartede pøbelopptøyeri Studenterlunden i natt, in: Nationen, 21.9.1956, 1.
 Neste gang vil politiet slå hardt til, in: Verdens Gang, 21.9.1956, 1.
 Alvorlig bråk etter Rock ’n Roll-filmen, in: Demokraten, 21.9.1956, 1.
 See, for instance: Ungdom fullstendig sinnssykk av rock’n’roll galskapen, in: Halden Arbeiderblad, 13.9.1956, 2; Rock ‘n roll – vogg og rugg, in: Stavanger Aftenblad, 12.9.1956, 1.
 Rioters Rock’n’Roll in Oslo, in: New York Times, 24.9.1956, 3.
 Bodo Mrozek, Jugend, Pop, Kultur: Eine transnationale Geschichte, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp 2019, 260-265.
 For examples of contemporary expertise see ibid., 283-311.
 Jon Lawrence, Inventing the “Traditional Working Class”: A Re-Analysis of Interview Notes from Young and Willmott’s Family and Kinship in East London, in: Historical Journal 59, 2 (2016), 567-593.
 Andrés Brink Pinto, Martin Ericsson, “Youth Riots” and the Concept of Contentious Politics in Historical Research, in: Scandinavian Journal of History 44, 1 (2019), 1-26.
 Andrew Davies, Youth Gangs, Masculinity and Violence in Late Victorian Manchester and Salford, in: Journal of Social History 32, 2 (1998), 349-369. See also Idem, City of Gangs: Glasgow and the Rise of the British Gangster, London: Hodder & Stoughton 2013.
 Jon Savage, Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875-1945, London: Pimlico 2007; John Springhall, Youth, Popular Culture and Moral Panics: Penny Gaffs to Gangster Rap, 1830-1996, Houndmills: Macmillan 1998.
 Marie Cronqvist, Christoph Hilgert, Entangled Media Histories: The Value of Transnational and Transmedial Approaches in Media Historiography, in: Media History 23, 1 (2017), 130-141.
 Sarah Igo, The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public, Cambridge: Harvard University Press 2007.
 Lizabeth Cohen, A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America, New York: Vintage 2003, 319; Christian Bugge, “Selling Youth in the Age of Affluence”: Marketing to Youth in Britain since 1959, in: Lawrence Black, Hugh Pemberton, eds., An Affluent Society? Britain’s Post-War “Golden Age” Revisited, Aldershot: Routledge 2004, 185-202.
 Lutz Raphael, Die Verwissenschaftlichung des Sozialen als methodische und konzeptionelle Herausforderung für eine Sozialgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts, in: Geschichte und Gesellschaft 22, 2 (1996), 165-193.
 Richard Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy: Aspects of Working-Class Life, with Special References to Publications and Entertainments, London: Chattoo & Windus 1957, 250.
 Stuart Hall, Tony Jefferson, eds., Resistance through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain, Abingdon: Routledge 2006 (first 1975), 9-73; Paul Willis, Profane Culture, London: Routledge 1978; Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style, London: Routledge 1979. A group of British historians has more recently taken up the work begun by CCCS scholars in the 1970s to form the Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Subcultures, Popular Music and Change. For an example of the work of this group see Keith Gildart, Images of England Through Popular Music: Class, Youth and Rock ‘n’ Roll, 1955-1976, Houndmills: Palgrave 2013.
 John Clark et al., Subcultures, Cultures and Class, in: Hall/Jefferson, Resistance through Rituals, 10.
 William H. Sewell Jr., The Concept(s) of Culture, in: Victoria E. Bonnell, Lynn Hunt, eds., Beyond the Cultural Turn: New Directions in the Study of Culture and Society, Berkeley: University of California Press 1999, 35-61.
 Kaspar Maase, BRAVO Amerika: Erkundungen zur Jugendkultur der Bundesrepublik in den fünfziger Jahren, Hamburg: Junius 1992.
 Detlef Siegfried, Time is on my Side: Konsum und Politik in der westdeutschen Jugendkultur der 60er Jahre, Göttingen: Wallstein 2006; Mrozek, Jugend. See also Uta G. Poiger, Jazz, Rock, and Rebels: Cold War Politics and American Culture in a Divided Germany, Berkeley: University of California Press 2000.
 See, for instance, Matthew F. Delmont, The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and the Struggle for Civil Rights, Berkeley: University of California Press 2016.
 Andy Bennett, Subcultures or Neo-Tribes? Rethinking the Relationship Youth, Style and Musical Taste, in: Sociology 33, no. 3 (1999), 599-617.
 Gillian A. M. Mitchell, Adult Responses to Popular Music and Intergenerational Relations in Britain, c. 1955-1975, London: Anthem Press 2019; Selina Todd, Hilary Young, Baby-Boomers to ‘Beanstalkers’: Making the Modern Teenager in Post-War Britain, in: Cultural and Social History 8 (2012), 451-467.
 Sarah Thornton, Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital, Hanover: Wesleyan University Press 1996, 8.
 Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, London: Routledge 2010 (first in French 1979).
 Celia Applegate, How German Is It? Nationalism and the Idea of Serious Music in the Early Nineteenth Century, in: 19th-Century Music 21, 3 (1998), 274-296; Motti Regev, Producing Artistic Value: The Case of Rock Music, in: Sociological Quarterly 35 (1994), 85-102.
 Peter Bailey, Conspiracies of Meaning: Music-Hall and the Knowingness of Popular Culture, in: Past and Present no. 144 (1994), 138-170.
 Klaus Nathaus, «All dressed up and nowhere to go”? Spaces and conventions of youth in 1950s Britain, in: Geschichte und Gesellschaft 41, 1 (2015), 40-70.
Celia Applegate, How German Is It? Nationalism and the Idea of Serious Music in the Early Nineteenth Century, in: 19th-Century Music 21, 3 (1998), 274-296.
Peter Bailey, Conspiracies of Meaning: Music-Hall and the Knowingness of Popular Culture, in: Past and Present no. 144 (1994), 138-170.
Andy Bennett, Subcultures or Neo-Tribes? Rethinking the Relationship Youth, Style and Musical Taste, in: Sociology 33, no. 3 (1999), 599-617.
Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, London: Routledge 2010 (first in French 1979).Andrés Brink Pinto, Martin Ericsson, “Youth Riots” and the Concept of Contentious Politics in Historical Research, in: Scandinavian Journal of History 44, 1 (2019), 1-26.
Christian Bugge, “Selling Youth in the Age of Affluence”: Marketing to Youth in Britain since 1959, in: Lawrence Black, Hugh Pemberton, eds., An Affluent Society? Britain’s Post-War “Golden Age” Revisited, Aldershot: Routledge 2004, 185-202.
John Clark et al., Subcultures, Cultures and Class, in: Hall/Jefferson, Resistance through Rituals.
Lizabeth Cohen, A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America, New York: Vintage 2003, 319
Marie Cronqvist, Christoph Hilgert, Entangled Media Histories: The Value of Transnational and Transmedial Approaches in Media Historiography, in: Media History 23, 1 (2017), 130-141.
Andrew Davies, City of Gangs: Glasgow and the Rise of the British Gangster, London: Hodder & Stoughton 2013.
Idem, Youth Gangs, Masculinity and Violence in Late Victorian Manchester and Salford, in: Journal of Social History 32, 2 (1998), 349-369.
Matthew F. Delmont, The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and the Struggle for Civil Rights, Berkeley: University of California Press 2016.
Keith Gildart, Images of England Through Popular Music: Class, Youth and Rock ‘n’ Roll, 1955-1976, Houndmills: Palgrave 2013.
Stuart Hall, Tony Jefferson, eds., Resistance through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain, Abingdon: Routledge 2006 (first 1975), 9-73.
Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style, London: Routledge 1979.
Richard Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy: Aspects of Working-Class Life, with Special References to Publications and Entertainments, London: Chattoo & Windus 1957, 250.
Sarah Igo, The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public, Cambridge: Harvard University Press 2007.
Jon Lawrence, Inventing the “Traditional Working Class”: A Re-Analysis of Interview Notes from Young and Willmott’s Family and Kinship in East London, in: Historical Journal 59, 2 (2016), 567-593.
Kaspar Maase, BRAVO Amerika: Erkundungen zur Jugendkultur der Bundesrepublik in den fünfziger Jahren, Hamburg: Junius 1992.
Gillian A. M. Mitchell, Adult Responses to Popular Music and Intergenerational Relations in Britain, c. 1955-1975, London: Anthem Press 2019.
Bodo Mrozek, Jugend, Pop, Kultur: Eine transnationale Geschichte, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp 2019, 260-265.
Klaus Nathaus, «All dressed up and nowhere to go”? Spaces and conventions of youth in 1950s Britain, in: Geschichte und Gesellschaft 41, 1 (2015), 40-70.
Uta G. Poiger, Jazz, Rock, and Rebels: Cold War Politics and American Culture in a Divided Germany, Berkeley: University of California Press 2000.
Lutz Raphael, Die Verwissenschaftlichung des Sozialen als methodische und konzeptionelle Herausforderung für eine Sozialgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts, in: Geschichte und Gesellschaft 22, 2 (1996), 165-193.
Motti Regev, Producing Artistic Value: The Case of Rock Music, in: Sociological Quarterly 35 (1994), 85-102.
Jon Savage, Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875-1945, London: Pimlico 2007.
William H. Sewell Jr., The Concept(s) of Culture, in: Victoria E. Bonnell, Lynn Hunt, eds., Beyond the Cultural Turn: New Directions in the Study of Culture and Society, Berkeley: University of California Press 1999, 35-61.
Detlef Siegfried, Time is on my Side: Konsum und Politik in der westdeutschen Jugendkultur der 60er Jahre, Göttingen: Wallstein 2006.
John Springhall, Youth, Popular Culture and Moral Panics: Penny Gaffs to Gangster Rap, 1830-1996, Houndmills: Macmillan 1998.
Sarah Thornton, Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital, Hanover: Wesleyan University Press 1996.
Selina Todd, Hilary Young, Baby-Boomers to ‘Beanstalkers’: Making the Modern Teenager in Post-War Britain, in: Cultural and Social History 8 (2012), 451-467.
Paul Willis, Profane Culture, London: Routledge 1978;