Radio and Youth Cultures in the 1950s

Radio and Youth Cultures in the 1950s

In the 1950s, young people in Europe and North America continually formed the subject of reports in the mass media. The widespread public interest in youthful (mis)behaviour reflected a fundamental transformation process. After the “Lean Postwar Years” the first stirrings of a youth culture with independent life and leisure styles began to form from the 1950s onwards and are particularly important for an understanding of the wider cultural and political development in the late 1960s.


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Project Description

This advances the project into a research area as yet widely neglected. Contents, formations of discourse and mechanisms of reporting on young people in the mass media were so far surveyed only unsystematically. One popular tendency seems to be problematic, as it mainly focuses on the phenomenon of the the “Halbstarken”-kids – and does not cater for the heterogeneity of contemporary young people and of the reporting. Sufficient integration into the international context was also often lacking in previous investigations. Very little is known about the relationship between radio and particular listener groups. Even the programme offerings of the so-called “youth radio”, broadcasting aimed specifically at young listeners, have not been sufficiently researched yet.


Project Information


Duration: 2007-2009

Involved persons

Dr. Christoph Hilgert

Third party

Cooperation Partner

Contact person

Christiane Matzen, M. A.
Head of Science Communication

Christiane Matzen, M. A.

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung │ Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17 41
Fax +49 (0)40 45 02 17 77




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