From Wayward Youth to Teenage Dreamer: Between the Bedroom and the Street

  • Jo Croft
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Subcultures and Popular Music book series (PSHSPM)


This chapter explores the teenage dreamer’s liminal terrain, focusing upon states of borderline consciousness rather than upon more familiar aspects of subcultural identity. Beginning with the premise that ‘youth’, ‘teenage’ and ‘adolescence’ have distinct but overlapping discursive resonances, Croft argues that teenage dreamers occupy a uniquely borderline position: caught between bedroom and street, they straddle the divide between (threatening) public space and (introspective) private space. The chapter traces continuities between different inscriptions of liminal subcultural identity, from August Aichhorn’s ‘wayward youths’ and ‘juvenile delinquents’, to Frederick Thrasher’s ‘susceptible gang-boys’ and Ian Hacking’s ‘fugueurs’. Highlighting the relationship between borderline spatiality and ambivalent mobility, Croft concludes with an intertextual reading of Graham Greene’s ‘The Destructors’ and Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko, foregrounding the teenage dreamer’s ambiguous creative potential.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jo Croft
    • 1
  1. 1.Liverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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