BIRTH OF THE COOL: THE EMERGENCE OF THE TEENAGER IN MID-20TH-CENTURY EUROPE

</span>Puberty</strong> or </span><strong>adolescence<b> , commonly situated between 12 and 20 years of age, is the time in which children start their road to </span><strong>self-sufficiency<b> , gaining independence from the home in which they grew up. The appearance of public education options in the 20th century, providing a more </span><strong>affordable<b> and more accessible alternative to private and church schooling, was a </span><strong>vital<b> factor in this evolution.

While the earliest use of the word ‘teenager’ can be </span><strong>traced<b> to the 1900s, it wasn’t until the 1950s that the term was commonly used. This </span><strong>coincides<b> with the post-war economic boom in Western Europe: parents had fewer kids and more money to spend, as a result of which youth was increasingly </span><strong>targeted<b> as a consumer market.

At the same time, teenagers became the drivers of their own subcultures in music, clothing, film, games, television programmes, books and magazines. While the mid-century </span><strong>bobby socks<b> and </span><strong>poodle skirts<b> mainly </span><strong>exerted<b> influence on how youngsters dressed, later fashion trends came to rule the entire market. T-shirts, mini-skirts and bell-bottom trousers thus became </span><strong>ubiquitous<b> from the 1960s onward.

The </span><strong>thriving<b> economy of the 1980s and 1990s again allowed teens to </span><strong>indulge<b> in their own fashion preferences, this time </span><strong>gravitating<b> to clothing featuring names and logos that more clearly identified them as a separate, interconnected community.

As tomorrow’s adults, teenagers at the end of the century became trendsetters closely watched and serviced by all of society, giving rise to the notion of a ‘teenocracy’ as a replacement for the rule of the elders – the gerontocracy – that was in place previously.

The most surprising factor in the formation of </span><strong>distinct<b> teen culture is the importance of emerging technologies. When cars became more </span><strong>prevalent<b> in the post-war period, teens gained the independence to </span><strong>undertake<b> adventures, establish networks and develop relationships away from home – leaving their parents with fears about the experiments, </span><strong>deviance<b> or trouble they might get into.

From new population class, booming consumer market, and possible security </span><strong>threat<b> , the teenager by the end of the 20th century had become a driver of trends and a </span><strong>benchmark<b> for what’s cool or not.

Źródło artykułu: Europeana Foundation. Licencja CC BY-SA 4.0.
Definicje i przykłady zdań pochodzą ze słownika Cambridge Dictionary.

VOCABULARY

emergence /ɪˈmɜː.dʒəns/ – the fact of something becoming known or starting to exist;
pojawienie się

puberty /ˈpjuː.bə.ti/ – the stage in people’s lives when they develop from a child into an adult because of changes in their body that make them able to have children;
okres dojrzewania płciowego

adolescence /ˌæd.əˈles.əns/ – the period of time in a person’s life when they are developing into an adult;
okres dojrzewania

self-sufficiency /ˌself.səˈfɪʃ.ən.si/ – the quality of being able to take care of yourself, to be happy, or to deal with problems, without help from other people;
samowystarczalność

affordable /əˈfɔː.də.bəl/ – not expensive;
przystępny, w przystępnej cenie

vital /ˈvaɪ.təl/ – necessary for the success or continued existence of something; extremely important;
niezbędny, istotny

trace /treɪs/ – to discover the causes or origins of something by examining the way in which it has developed;
śledzić np. postęp, historię

coincide /ˌkəʊ.ɪnˈsaɪd/ – to happen at or near the same time;
zbiegać się (w czasie), zaistnieć jednocześnie

target /ˈtɑː.ɡɪt/ – to direct advertising, criticism, or a product at someone;
kierować (coś do kogoś)

bobby socks /ˈbɒbi sɒks/ – a style of women’s socks, white, ankle length or collected at the ankle, instead of at full extension up the leg (wikipedia.org);
wywijane skarpetki do kostek

poodle skirts /ˈpuːdəl skɜːts/ – wide swing felt skirts of a solid color displaying a design appliquéd or transferred to the fabric; the design was often a coiffed poodle (wikipedia.org);
spódnice z koła (luźne tłumaczenie)

exert /ɪɡˈzɜːt/ – to use something such as authority, power, influence, etc. in order to make something happen;
używać, wywierać

ubiquitous /juːˈbɪk.wɪ.təs/ – seeming to be everywhere;
wszechobecny, powszechny

thriving /ˈθraɪ.vɪŋ/ – growing, developing, or being successful;
prosperujący, kwitnący

indulge /ɪnˈdʌldʒ/ – to allow yourself or another person to have something enjoyable, especially more than is good for you;
pozwalać sobie / komuś na coś, dogadzać sobie / komuś

gravitate /ˈɡrævɪˌteɪt/ – to be attracted to or move toward something;
skłaniać się (ku czemuś)

distinct /dɪˈstɪŋkt/ – clearly noticeable; that certainly exists; clearly separate and different (from something else);
różny, odmienny, wyraźny

prevalent /ˈprev.əl.ənt/ – existing very commonly or happening often;
przeważający, powszechnie występujący

undertake /ˌʌn.dəˈteɪk/ – to do or begin to do something, especially something that will take a long time or be difficult;
podjąć się, przedsięwziąć

deviance /ˈdiː.vi.əns/ – the quality of not being usual, and of being generally considered to be unacceptable;
odchylenie od normy, dewiacja