From juke box boys to bobby sox brigade: Female youth, moral panics and subcultural style in wartime Times Square

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Through its analysis of the complex discursive struggle over Times Square's – and later America's – ‘bobby sox brigade’, this article reintroduces young women into historical and theoretical accounts of youth culture. In doing so it challenges subculture and moral panic theories for their over-emphasis on working-class masculinity and their inability to account for the complexity and localized specificity – both historical and geographic – that such case studies command. The bobby soxer and the conflicting debates she engendered must be understood as a product of wartime contingency and in relation to the contested discourses within and between different localized contexts and media forms; the bobby soxer was simultaneously positioned as the key problem of wartime and promise of the post-war prosperity ahead. This article ultimately proposes a theoretical framework focusing on localized and contested terrains of discourse, appropriate to (sub)cultural activity in times of war and other disruptions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)872-894
Number of pages23
JournalCultural Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2012

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