The topic that I have chosen for my research project is the Teddy Boys Youth Subcultural in Britain following the conclusion of World War II. I am studying the British Teddy Boys because I want to find out more about who they were as a collective, in order to understand what their influence was on youth culture in Britain after World War II. The Teddy Boys and Girls were heavily connected to a variety of postwar London’s societal aspects including fashion and music, and more negatively a spread of gang activity that ranged from petty damages to racist rioting. The Teds were often generically framed as the ‘bad guys’ in a time period that was still reeling from the economic hardships of global war, leading me to search for truths and comparisons among the variety of narratives that surround the ethereal movement that the Teddy Boys became. My working thesis so far is as follows: The Teddy Boys and Girls had a profound impact on London and wider Britain following World War II as the first true youth subculture in the nations history, heavily influencing British music and fashion during the 1950’s and 60’s and beyond while also being linked, often in overtly general terms, to gang activity and violent hooliganism.
I have decided to split my research up in to three distinct chains of thought: The Edwardian style that the Teds famous adopted, the Teddy Boys’ connection to music and dancing, and investigating the crime and gang activity that they were linked to. I may also consider adding a fourth section that briefly discusses the continuation of the Teddy Boys even after their prime years in the 50’s and 60’s, including revivals in the 70’s and 90’s and even a continued legacy in the 21st century.