Work theorizing youth subcultures, especially of the spectacular kind, has provided an influential approach for understanding the lives of young people for the past 40 years in anthropology and sociology. In this review, we frame current literature through a lens we call “breached initiations.” We motivate our organization of the literature into processes we term “delaying,” “hopscotching,” and “opting out,” referring to ways in which youth engage sociopolitical resources and chronotopes to alter the sequencing and clustering of their expected progress through milestones of adulthood. In many cases, youth delay or refuse entry into a world that is considered “normal” and demand a reconsideration of its very premises. We highlight symbolic, material, and networked resources; by considering the commonalities in the structural situations of different youth groups, we do not view them as islands, but instead assert their embeddedness in common change.


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