chapter  8
CONCLUSION: Rethinking youth and pop beyond subculture
Pages 12

This book has attempted to delve beyond subculture by addressing music and music scenes not only in terms of audiences or ordinary participants but also of the creative and commercial entrepreneurs who make the music. The journey through contemporary youth culture and pop music set out in the introduction is nearing its end as we embark on the concluding chapter. Here it remains for me to draw together some of the threads that have emerged from the cacophonous jumble of musical youth cultures encountered on the way and suggest what these might say about youth culture and pop music in multi-ethnic modernity and the reconfigured relationship between them. While a number of common themes have emerged from the preceding chapters, drawing them together in a single conclusion is not easy. Glib as it may sound, perhaps the only thing that can be stated with certainty is that youth culture and its relationship with pop music are essentially complicated. They are complicated by a number of social, cultural and economic factors, themselves forever changing in content and form. In our interdependent world pop consumers and producers have aged enough to see a dissolution of the traditional youth-pop association. Also there is much more music out there. As a result there is an unprecedented degree of cross-fertilisation between musical styles, with a far greater number of media for their reception than ever before. At the same time youth diversity in modernity cannot be ignored in our considerations of youth culture.Theory in these de-traditionalised times consequently needs a serious ‘rethinking’. Finally the institutionalisation of pop that we have witnessed reflects the place of youth culture in an ageing world. I will take these points one by one in the remainder of this chapter.