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This work examines the changing nature of young people's lives at the start of a new century. Arguing that the "sociology of youth" has struggled to bridge the gap between "structural" and "cultural" conceptions of youth, this book emphasizes the notion of lifestyle as an enlightening means of addressing young people's relationship with social change. Against a social and cultural backdrop characterized by postmodern fragmentation, risk and globalization, young people are apparently finding individualized "transitions" into adulthood increasingly difficult, and this book shows how lifestyles play an important role. It considers key aspects of young people's lifestyles such as their relationship to rave, the media, and consumption in general, as a means of constructing identities. In this introduction to a complex filed, the author outlines the dilemmas faced by sociology, and examines the role played by consumer lifestyles in constructing who and what young people are in a rapidly changing world.
Steven Miles is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Plymouth. He has written Consumerism as a Way of Life and has published in several journals including: Journal of Youth Studies; Youth Policy; Consumption; Markets and Culture; and Urban Studies for which he guest edited a review issue on 'Urban Consumption' in May 1998. His research interests include youth, consumption, identity and social theory and is currently co-convenor of the BSA Study Group on Youth. He is currently completing his third book, Social Theory in the Real World.