Teenagers: The Rise of Youth Culture in New Zealand By Chris Brickell
The Keynote Address at SHCY's 2019 Conference, "Encounters and Exchanges" hosted at Australian Catholic University in Sydney, Australia.
Young people led deeply contradictory lives in New Zealand at and after the turn of the century. This presentation maps out aspects of this complexity in relation to bodies, sociability and freedom. It begins with James Belich’s concept of the ‘tight society’ before considering how written and visual records reveal a youth culture that was simultaneously controlled, coalescing and liberalising in the decades before the Second World War. This is both a short prehistory of the idea of the New Zealand teenager and an exploration of the ways new norms and technologies – including the camera – helped to shape and reflect a sophisticated set of social changes.
To learn more about Chris's book, Teenagers: The Rise of Youth Culture in New Zealand, or to purchase it, please visit here.
About Chris Brickell
Professor Chris Brickell is Head of the Sociology, Gender Studies and Criminology Programme at Otago University, New Zealand. He has written extensively on the history of sexuality in New Zealand, including the award-winning Mates and Lovers: A History of Gay New Zealand (Random House, 2008). More recently he published Teenagers: The Rise of Youth History in New Zealand (Auckland University Press, 2017). Chris has a particular interest in visual history and in documents that tell of the construction of identities in everyday life.
This feature is part of the SHCY Commentary series, in which SHCY members provide written contributions on various academic topics pertaining to the history of childhood and youth.