Hanging Out in the Past: Looking for Trouble or Romance? An Exploration of the Practice and Meaning of Hanging Out for Young Dutch People in 1930–60

Anne F. Kievitsbosch*, Margaretha C. Timmerman, Pauline R. Schreuder, Diana D. van Bergen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Young people’s ‘hanging out’ has had different meanings in the recent and distant past in various countries and cultures, including delinquency or a common social phenomenon. Although there is evidence for hanging out as social behaviour in various countries, Dutch research on hanging out as a common social phenomenon is scarce. This article retrospectively explores the practice and meaning of hanging out for young people in the Netherlands between 1930 and 1960. Semi-structured qualitative interviews (n = 60) were analysed using the Constant Comparative Method, resulting in three key themes: familiarity, features and the meanings assigned to hanging out. Results indicate that hanging out was practised and known by most respondents, and included particular features (time, location, gender and routines). Meet, flirt with and date other young people was the most frequently mentioned meaning associated with hanging out. Accordingly, hanging out can indeed be considered to have been a common social phenomenon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-139
Number of pages17
JournalYOUNG: Nordic Journal of Youth Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Youth
  • hanging out
  • qualitative research
  • history of youth
  • the Netherlands

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