History KS3 / GCSE: Teenagers and Mod Culture in the 1960s

Teenager Mitchell talks to his grandmother Jacki about the Mod culture she was a part of in the 1960s.

We hear how Modernism was a break away from austerity, and how the music and fashion were funded by the plentiful supply of cheap jobs available to young people without qualifications.

Jacki takes Mitchell to a dancehall she used to frequent, and describes her drastic bob-style hair and how her parents reacted to it.

Mitchell looks in archive newspapers, and sees the huge array of jobs on offer at this time of 1% unemployment.

He talks to warehouseman Dave about the scooter he bought with his earnings in 1966, the freedom it gave him and the trips he took to London to update his wardrobe on Carnaby Street.

We hear how the later commercialisation of Mod culture made some young people turn away from it.

Professor Keith Gildart University of Wolverhampton gives some academic theories about Modernism in the UK – that capitalism made youth rebellion less likely as they had more money, and could also have provided an alternative education to those who left school at 15.

Teacher Notes

This could be used to start a discussion about changing youth culture since this time._

Curriculum Notes

This short film is relevant for teaching history at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 / GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 3, 4 and 5 in Scotland.

Some of the social issues highlighted could also be relevant for teacher Citizenship, PSHE or Modern Studies.