July 4, 2017

Youth Subcultures F. Tenbruck concept (part 1)


Youth Subcultures F. Tenbruck concept – one of the most widely recognized in the theoretical concepts of sociology of youth, launched in the early 1960s. German sociologist Friedrich Tenbruck (1919-1994). To the development of youth Tenbruck theory led acquaintance with the book G. Shelskogo “skeptical generation” (Criticism of bourgeois theories of Youth 1976: 86).

Youth subculture concept is described in the book Tenbruck “Youth and Society. Sociological Perspectives” (Tenbruck, 1962). In this book, the author criticized the vagueness of generic problems of young people, the lack of interdisciplinary in their study, the shift in the psychological and educational field of study of the phenomenon of the youth and weakness of understanding the social side of youth issues. Its main task – to give an answer, “that from a sociological point of view, is the youth in general and in particular young people today” and “what’s going on with the youth from a sociological point of view. What social and cultural forms it has developed …” in order to the end (namely – in the final chapter, bearing in mind the structure of the book) to get out of the problem of formation of a young person’s identity (Ibid .: 45).

The most important statement Tenbruck upon which the design of the concept, is as follows: “Youth is essentially an intermediate stage, transition, preparing for the implementation of adult roles, the introduction into the culture. This is a normal function of youth, which connects with her society” (Ibid .: 12). Young people, therefore, is interpreted as a kind of cultural filter that gives, on the one hand, the culture of the opportunity to continue their development, and on the other, influencing this development. Accordingly, the problem of youth sociology Tenbruck seen in the study of the phenomenon of cultural transformation and how to cope with this transformation of society and young people, as this “transportation of young people in culture and society,” guarantees the continuity of the social system, its preservation. At this point, as noted in the literature on Tenbruck position influenced posing similar questions Eisenstadt (Griese, 1987: 126).

According Tenbruck, “sociology of youth is a result of the analysis of the fundamental situation in which the young part of society on the basis of specific youth institutions is in the social structure and culture of the society, identifying effective in this situation forces that radically and constantly form young people, clarifying further adult education mechanisms and roles of the projection of the data on the continuity and the possibility of the existence of society »(Tenbruck, 1962: 14).

From this perspective of the sociology of youth, Tenbruck connects the theory of socialization, which is central to its concept. That means preferential interest in the study of the processes that brings culture to the next generation. Theoretically, it is associated with the interpretation of society as a “network of social positions and relations.” The situation in society determines the situation of the youth in the process of socialization. If the “simple societies’ socialization is concentrated in the immediate social environment – and that’s enough, that young could arrogate to itself the” internal and external way of life “, which is typical for this culture and society, the” complex societies “,” structural situation of youth “brand left the next world (Ibid .: 17): for such societies are characterized by a high level of social differentiation, a lot of intertwining roles and role systems, as well as an extension of the learning process. Therefore, young people can no longer be considered the group that defined his life as a child, as the final orientation of the group, if he wants to operate successfully in a highly differentiated society built on the role relationship. Former institutions of socialization, especially the family, transmit only part of the necessary knowledge and performing skills to function in society. “The greater the number of roles in society, the greater the number of roles have to teach outside the family – formally organized» (Ibid .: 21).

In this theoretical construction is the core of socio-role position, what affects the perception Tenbruck role theory in the period of stay in the United States. The parallels in the literature and are carried out with the concept of Margaret Mead, as well as the positions of Charles Cooley and Erik Erikson (Griese, 1987: 127, 128). Starting from the idea of the fundamental change in the “complex societies” social roles system Tenbruck concludes a basic problem of the socialization of youth in modern conditions: it consists in getting young people outside (Entgrenzung) traditional groups (family, kinship, community association). Such a person leaving the environment stable group is the result of the division of labor and progressive distancing and subsequent local and even contrasting representative groups on the one hand, and society as a whole, on the other (Tenbruck, 1962: 30). Youth becomes a participant in this process and openly opposes the effects of socialization, relatively early get a boost from the institutions of socialization outside the family and losing touch with the previously dominated in this process group. Against this background, there are by-products. The possibility of early and free socializing access to the youth of the various forces, the manipulation of the mass media with her behavioral insecurity, etc. There is “a lot of competing influences” on the younger generation and at the same time increasing the number of possible youth behavioral forms, Tenbruck that is referred to as “diffuse socialization situation,” in which young people on a range of different forces (Ibid .: 34) acts directly.

So, for Tenbruck, no firm described the role does not exist, the role of youth lost contour and uniqueness, far from the traditional role of youth activity area for young people are open with respect to its behavior no firm rules for today’s youth. Nevertheless, the uncertainty of standards and openness gives the youth the opportunity to choose. If the role of a young man is fixed, then it should be something specific, said Tenbruck in traditional society: “They know that it is – a young man, and they know it because they say it relatively clearly, than it should be. In addition, since the young man knows that he is – a young man, and it should be such in the eyes of society and, consequently in his own eyes, he knows what he is. Often discussed unreliability of the modern young man, like modern man in general, is essentially a consequence of the loss of the contour of his social roles. The man himself understands and feels himself as essentially identical roles fixed for him by his group »(Ibid .: 38).

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