Up Close and Personal. Questioning the Orthodoxy of Objectivity in Qualitative Research

David Burrows
and
Jo Adams

YOUTH IDENTITY IN 1999

It has long been a truism among youthwatchers that young people want to differentiate themselves from their older and younger counterparts. The motivations for youth to seek to assert their difference from other ages are in important ways not substantively different now from those in the 1950s prototeen film The Wild Ones, where the Marlon Brando character, responding to the question 'What are you rebelling against?' retorts 'What have you got?'. It is fundamental to youth's selfidentity to feel they are not being shaped by those who have gone before, but are carving out their own path. However, the late 1990s is seeing youth's strategies for such selfdefinition progressively colonised by the marketing machine, and by youthaping older consumers.