Youth culture studies are becoming increasingly rare and the little theorizing that is done consists mostly of conceptual discussions. This article addresses these theoretical and empirical gaps by ethnographically investigating the relationship between context and content of youth culture. Answering the central research question ‘How do how specific, varying school contexts affect the routines and rituals that constitute everyday youth culture at school?’ this article provides a thick description of life in 8th form (groep 8). The study is based on prolonged ethnographic fieldwork at two Amsterdam primary schools: a ‘black’ (predominantly Muslim) and a ‘white’ school, encompassing 55 girls from diverse ethnic backgrounds aged 11-13. The results show how the specific structure of a context (manifested here in the school buildings, the rules etc) is a decisive factor in the content of everyday youth culture. These stable strategics create stable tactics, promoting historical and generational continuity rather than change.