What Comes after ‘Post-Subcultures’? Generation, Biography and Finding the ‘Collective’ Time for Culture and Leisure
The paper draws on ten years of qualitative data (2007-2017) from an Australian mixed-methods study of transitions. Drawing on longitudinal data from 50 participants, I argue that the individualizing social structures shaping the lives of this generation mean that investments and demands in one sphere, such as employment, often do not articulate easily with those in other spheres, such as leisure. The timetables and rhythms of the participant’s lives have not clearly become more stable as they have transitioned from university into full-time employment, ‘non-standard’ hours of employment are common even at age 28. Contemporary life demands new activity (often drawing on digital technology) to synchronize schedules to engage in leisure and collectively create and consume culture. A paradox of contemporary life for these participants is that periods of collective creativity and ‘tribal’ abandon require active synchronization, and even routinization. This work is gendered (more likely to be done by women) and classed, the resources to do so are unequally distributed.