‘Change the World’ Meets ‘No Future’: The Politics of Youth Culture in Late Divided Germany, 1968-1989

2019-09-11T18:36:02Z (GMT) by Alissa Bellotti
My dissertation proposes viewing the last third of the twentieth century as an era of values change in Europe on both sides of the Iron Curtain. By analyzing the practices and politics surrounding youth cultures in East and West Germany, I argue that attitudes toward politics, religion, individual identities, work, and social responsibility evolved in similar ways in both German states over the course of the 1970s and 1980s. This was possible because of the growing influence that global-level cultural exchange and existential risks exerted on the experiences of everyday life. My work shows that the socialist states were becoming globalized, or integrated into international cultural and political movements,
before the collapse of state socialism in 1989. It also demonstrates the necessity of studying East and West German history of this period as entangled with one another.