The academic study of youth culture has changed markedly in the past two decades. The early 1990s saw a 'cultural turn' as the sociological focus moved from institutional and structural features of society to the study of culture'. Andy Bennett begins this article with a critical evaluation of the 'cultural turn' and its impact on the field of youth cultural studies. Importantly for youth cultural studies, this approach signalled a challenge to notions of culture as a direct product of class relations. Bennett then looks at specific ways in which the cultural turn has influenced recent theoretical, empirical and methodological developments in the study of youth culture.