Hip and Trivial: Youth Culture, Book Publishing, and the Greying of Canadian Nationalism

Robert A Wright

Published by Canadian Scholars Press
ISBN 10: 1551301881 / ISBN 13: 9781551301884
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Synopsis: In Hip and Trivial, historian Robert Wright challenges the pervasive stereotype of young Canadians as addicts of televisual media who are fundamentally alienated from print culture. Variously identified as "slackers," "whiners" and, of course, "Gen Xers" - a term that now signifies a dizzying array of intellectual, emotional and social defects - Canadians who came of age in the late 1980s and the 1990s live in a socio-cultural space circumscribed by two stereotypes. On the one hand, they are believed to be violent, apathetic, depoliticized, suicidal, deviant, criminal - in a word, alien. On the other, they are commonly thought to be the products of the hyper-commercialization of youth culture in the age of "cool hunting," Tommy Hilfiger and designer consumerism. Arguing that the stigmatization of youth as illiterate and culturally benighted is an element in a more generalized assault upon youth culture under neo-conservatism, Wright assesses what it means to be young, powerless and downwardly mobile in contemporary Canada, and to occupy such condescending cultural spaces. Examining the rise of "Canadian Lit" and "Kid Lit" since the 1970s, and the more recent emergence of a powerful consensus among Canadians that reading ought to be an essential component of family life, Hip and Trivial demonstrates that young people in Canada have been extremely well served by the nation's "culture of literacy" as it has taken shape over the last thirty years. Youth today do not read less, or less voraciously, than their elders, Wright argues, but the historic linkages between youth, reading and citizenship - so characteristic of the literary nationalism of the baby boomers - no longer obtains. However much they may mystify the keepers of the canon, for young Canadians living in a postmodern, globalized world of seemingly infinite cultural choice, reading has largely ceased to be a patriotic act.

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Title: Hip and Trivial: Youth Culture, Book ...
Publisher: Canadian Scholars Press
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: GOOD

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