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Where next for the global young adult- conformity or individuality?

November 14, 2004

How a young adult perceives individuality and rebellion depends on where they come from.

The developing world’s first ever youth culture is only just emerging, while the developed world’s youth culture has become so pervasive, it no longer belongs to youth alone, it’s just become culture, as everyone’s become a “youth”.

The developing world is coming to terms with the idea of having a youth culture. While, in the developed world, knowledge spread through accessible technology and a media fixation with youth, has reduced generational rebellion and made the idea of being non-conformist, conformist.

In China, this latest youth generation is the first to experiment with individuality. One group, labeled the “Linglei” are emerging as China’s first alternative generation. They’re experimenting with fashion and music and looking at the West and Japan for ideas, but the West might be the wrong place to look.

guardian article on “linglei”

shanghai tattoos

Canadian author, Hal Niedzviecki, wonders if, in the West, individuality has now become the new conformity.

hal’s book

hal’s radio monologue(click on relaunch and go to the story, “different like you”)

And finally, recent research showing advertising that uses explicit sexual imagery, classic non-conformist territory, is starting to lack impact among the youth audience.

sexy ads lack potency

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