Young people of the sixties’ leisure choices much like those today

Jan 16, 2012

A study carried out by a University of Glasgow research team in the 1960s into young people’s leisure activities reveals that they are much like those today. Most of them watched television.

The research called Time of One’s Own by Pearl Jephcott, interviewed over 600 from Armadale in West Lothian and Dennistoun and Drumchapel all between the ages of 15-19. It found that most did not go out during the week and when they stayed in, they watched television. Pop music programmes were the most popular, followed by sport and then television serials.

Previously unpublished images from the archive were rediscovered earlier this year by the sociologists Dr John Goodwin and Dr Henrietta O’Connor of the University of Leicester and are available to view and comment on flickr.

The researchers are interested to hear from anyone who was involved in the study in the 1960s – maybe as interviewers or interviewees, youth leaders, health visitors, artists, photographers or colleagues of Pearl Jephcott.

One typical 15 year old girl said:

“In our district, there is no entertainment. There is only a couple of dance halls and they have a bad name. We have to travel for pictures or to go swimming. At night girls and boys just walk about the streets and hope for the best. We just go about with boys and have a carry on. Even then there is too much police about.”

In terms of interests outside the house, football for boys and visiting for girls were the most popular activities.

Cafes were also widely popular with young people who were aged between 15-19 and although many of them attended dances, they strongly associated them with trouble, even those held in local church or Scout halls. It was almost universally agreed that the cause of trouble was associated with drinking alcohol.

The study was published in 1967 by Pearl Jephcott, a pioneer of social research who worked at the University of Glasgow at the time. Pearl spent most of her life investigating the lives of teenagers. She followed Time of One’s Own with a study in 1971 into living in high rise flats.

Moira Rankin from Glasgow University Archives said: “Pearl Jephcott's archive collection has been in the University since her death in 1980. It was only when the team from Leicester brought the wonderful artwork to our attention that we began to look in more detail. Pearl was obviously a gifted social researcher who, unlike many others of her time, placed an emphasis on exploring the experiences of 'ordinary' young people. Her work is a fascinating insight into the lives of our teenage parents and grandparents.”

John Goodwin from the University of Leicester said:

“In approaching her research, Pearl Jephcott was also a genuine innovator, way ahead of her time, in that she used photographs, drawings and paintings in her studies well before such techniques became fashionable. Time of One’s Own (1967) stands out in this regard as she used a range of images, including photographs, artist illustrations and drawings by the young people themselves, to depict the lives of young people she encountered in the study. We were amazed by the wealth of additional images held by the University of Glasgow Archive not least because it is so unusual to have such complete records of these early social studies. Pearl’s writings and accompanying images offer a real insight into the lives 1960s teenagers.”

Explore further: Perthites wanted for study on the Aussie lingo

Provided by University of Glasgow

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Email link to boys' popularity

Oct 14, 2011

Surveyed boys who used email at home were brighter and more popular than boys who did not – according to a recent study by an educational psychologist from Curtin University.

Heavy metal music has negative impacts on youth

Oct 20, 2011

Young people at risk of depression are more likely to listen habitually and repetitively to heavy metal music. University of Melbourne researcher Dr Katrina McFerran has found.

Family relationships may protect early teens from alcohol use

Jun 07, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Close family relationships may protect teenagers from alcohol use, according to research by The University of Queensland’s Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research (CYSAR) and the Centre for Adolescent ...

The secret lives of boys

Apr 20, 2011

Harvard alumna Niobe Way sharpened the debate around the emotional capacities of boys and girls with an intimate look at teen relationships during a Harvard discussion on April 14.

Recommended for you

Election surprises tend to erode trust in government

30 minutes ago

When asked who is going to win an election, people tend to predict their own candidate will come out on top. When that doesn't happen, according to a new study from the University of Georgia, these "surprised losers" often ...

Awarded a Pell Grant? Better double-check

21 hours ago

(AP)—Potentially tens of thousands of students awarded a Pell Grant or other need-based federal aid for the coming school year could find it taken away because of a mistake in filling out the form.

Perthites wanted for study on the Aussie lingo

Jul 23, 2014

We all know that Australians speak English differently from the way it's spoken in the UK or the US, and many of us are aware that Perth people have a slightly different version of the language from, say, Melbournians - but ...

User comments : 0