Young people's resilience and post-financial crisis television: allegories of economic and social survival

Luke Howie, Perri Campbell, Peter Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2007–2008 added significant stress and anxieties to the already precarious lives of many young people. Despite this, there is emerging evidence that young people are able to demonstrate remarkable resilience in the midst of economic uncertainties that render the trajectories of their futures uncertain. The pressure to be resilient, to find effective ways to manage the uncertainties inherent to the liberal democracies of the twenty-first century, can be significant. The consequences of failure include deteriorating health and well-being, losses in motivation and hope, economic marginalisation, and ambivalence about the markers of what is means to be an adult. In this paper we spotlight moments in post-GFC television that have drawn on these social narratives, depicting young people's experiences of resilience and uncertainties. We view these moments as more than just television or popular culture. The stories we tell are allegorical, but they are not mere fictions. We focus on the popular television comedy Broad City (2014-) that focusses on the marginalised lifeworlds of trendy, college-educated, young hipsters Ilana and Abbi who are barely getting by in New York City.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-204
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • financial crisis
  • marginalisation
  • popular television
  • precariat
  • Resilience

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