Between early yuppies and folksong freaks — German youth cultures in the twenties
“Youth” is not mainly a biological phenomenon. In the twenties of the twentieth century the mise-en-scène of different youth cultures initiated by the famous German “Wandervogel” movement, but also elegant urban subcultures that were often inspired by American Charleston dance halls created “Youth” as a significant gap between ages and generations. Youth was therefore also the result of a popular “body politics.” Thomas Mann and his son Klaus presented that sociological phenomenon of Western culture included with typical ideological or esthetical aspects in novellas and novels, for example in Thomas’ Disorder and Early Sorrow (Unordnung und frühes Leid, 1925) and Klaus’ Der fromme Tanz (1926). The youth subcultures and their fashions which are described in literary texts of the twenties are predecessors of the youth rebellions in the second half of the twentieth century.