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Unspectacular Youth? Evening Leisure Space and Youth Culture in Sheffield, c.1960-c.1989

Kenny, Sarah (2017) Unspectacular Youth? Evening Leisure Space and Youth Culture in Sheffield, c.1960-c.1989. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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This thesis is a sustained look at ordinary young people’s leisure patterns and changing lifestyles in Sheffield between 1960 and 1989. It argues that the post-war period witnessed dramatic and significant changes in the types of leisure opportunities available to young people and, correspondingly, to their lifestyles and patterns of consumption in the leisure; this is particularly the case for young women. This thesis examines the intricacies of young people’s engagement with youth culture, where they socialised, and how they socialised, with a level of detail not afforded by national studies of youth culture. It argues that understanding the development and impact of regulatory practices with regards to evening leisure space is essential to understanding the leisure choices of young people. By charting and examining the impact of Sheffield’s licensing magistrates and other local authorities, this thesis demonstrates how heavily young people’s access to evening leisure space was mediated and controlled by authoritative bodies, and how it was influenced by wider societal concerns about young people’s drinking, sexuality, and morality. Ultimately, it argues that the development of evening leisure space forms a central, and often overlooked, part of young people’s engagement with youth culture. Centring on young people’s use of evening leisure space, this thesis argues that there were many ways of engaging with youth culture, influenced by factors including access to disposable income, social groupings, and parental tolerance. It posits that personal cultural interests such as music and fashion tastes, while an important part of identity curation and presentation of the self, were only one set of a wider series of factors shaping how young people engaged with consumption in the leisure sphere. As such, this thesis argues that a close-focus study such as this offers important insights into the lived experience of ordinary young people in post-war Britain.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > History (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Sarah Kenny
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2018 11:14
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2018 11:14
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/19439

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