Is the youth essential for a counterculture? Furthermore, fashion and fad often help create an identity of subgroups such as goth, skaters, hip hop, biker, techno and so forth. There are many subgroups in America but do they qualify as a counterculture? What does qualify a group to be labeled counterculture?
You pose a very interesting question. When responding to your assignment, you may want to keep these things in mind.
1. Whether youth is 'essential' for a counterculture to develop is questionable, though youth certainly seems to correlate to its emergence. Usually, at adolescence and early adulthood (the age at which most participants begin to take part in counterculture), individuals are searching for and defining their own individual identity, as well as developing their own unique philosophy on life. In the case of counterculture, individuals take this journey in part by rejecting the tenets of previous generations, namely their parents' generation, and embracing a set of values which, in varying degrees, is in opposition to that with which they were raised. In participating in a society that is so different from the one they are familiar with, individuals were able to 'try on' different values and life philosophies, and thus really find their own 'voice,' so to speak. It is my opinion (and yours may differ) that this impetus to find identity provides great fuel to the emergence and continuance of a counterculture movement.
More information on developmental stages can be found here:http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/development/erickson.shtml
2. The groups you mention (goth, skaters, hip hop, biker, techno, 'nerd,' etc) can be seen as a ...
A definition of counterculture is posed.