Story: Teenagers and youth

Milk-bar cowboys

Milk-bar cowboys

Until the late 1940s young men and women dressed similarly to adults. This changed in the 1950s as youths began listening to rock 'n' roll music and modelling themselves on American musicians and film stars. In New Zealand, young men who parked their motorcycles outside milk bars were known as 'milk-bar cowboys'. The older generation disapproved of them, in much the same way that boy racers were disapproved of in the 21st century.

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Teenagers and youth - Control and rebellion', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 May 2022)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 Aug 2017