Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Departies: conceptualizing extended youth parties

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Eivind Grip Fjær, Oslo University, Norway
  • Sébastien Tutenges
Every year, millions of young people travel away from home to party
for days or weeks on end in permissive environments, such as music
festivals, dance parties, and nightlife resorts. The studies that have
been conducted on these extended youth parties have focused
primarily on specific risk-taking behaviors, such as drug use and
violence. Here, we scrutinize the research on extended youth
parties to identify general changes that young people undergo at
these events. We call these celebrations departies, because they
center on the organization and facilitation of momentary
departures from the participants’ everyday life. Participants depart
(1) spatially, by traveling to locations that are constructed as sites
of opportunity and excess; (2) temporally, by partying for several
days in a row and focusing on immediate gratifications; (3)
morally, by engaging in activities that are widely deemed
immoral; (4) stylistically, by altering their stylistic expressions
through dress, demeanor, and consumption; and (5) experientially,
because the parties generate mood and mind alterations. These
are overlapping and intertwined elements, the combination of
which amounts to a distinct type of youth party. Departies
constitute exceptional events in the lives of many young people,
and ought to be studied from a comparative perspective.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Pages (from-to)200-215
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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