Book

Subcultural Theory: Traditions and Concepts

Authors:
... Later studies expanded the research scope by exploring the lived experiences of punks (e.g. Furness, 2012;Leblanc, 1999;Williams, 2011), thereby addressing the problem of sparseness of empirical evidence that once existed in the CCCS approach to subcultural studies. Nevertheless, with punk being seen largely as representing a 'benchmark for rupture towards the existing social structure' in Western societies ( Guerra and Silva, 2015: 207) and as expressing a desire for social change ( Copes and Williams, 2007;Haenfler, 2004), little attention is paid to how this phenomenon has developed and challenged existing power relations in non-Western societies. ...
... Style is thus theorised to be a reaction. Nevertheless, this approach, which regards ideological conflict as a prerequisite for the formation of subcultural style, is problematic in its one-sidedness ( Williams, 2011). Moreover, while exploring the meaning of style is important for understanding cultural practices, a problem with Hebdige's work can be found in the absence of the lived experience of punks and their own interpretations of the meanings of their style. ...
... In fact, it is the form-the particular musical style that is characteristic of punk music performance rather than a concrete political opposition-that decreases the threatening power of this practice relative to the government. The mesolevel resistance, which particularly is expressed in the form of collective performances or organisations ( Williams, 2011), may reduce the distance between the punks and the dominant institution but is far from being effective power to influence the government. ...
Article
While the biographical approach is widely employed in applied and theoretical social research, it is less fully developed in the specific field of (post-) subcultural studies. The article demonstrates the utility of the biographical method for (post) subcultural studies by presenting research on the punk phenomenon in an authoritarian social context within China. The discussion draws upon a qualitative study based on interviews with 34 Chinese punk musicians. Although the article focuses on one of these musicians in particular, the arguments are informed by broader research findings. Specifically, emphasis is placed on examining how the punk musician experiences the gradual process of deepening commitment to the punk scene and, through this, the multiple levels of power relations in his life. It is argued that the biographical approach can highlight the subjectivity of individual participants in their everyday practices and the wider social context in which they are actors. This article forms part of ‘On the Move’, a special issue marking the twentieth anniversary of the European Journal of Cultural Studies.
... It is a consequence of cultural trends toward postmodernity (Featherstone, 1991;Jameson, 1991) and exploding technologies, mostly in communications, and a reaction to mainstream modern culture that institutionalizes the market and commercialism (Fırat and Venkatesh, 1995;Harvey, 1990). One expression of this fragmentation is found in the exponential increase in the number of subcultures, groups that constitute their own cultures and alternative modes of living and being largely on the basis of personal and collective choices and preferences arising from specific worldviews, lifestyles, musical interests, and ideological orientations (Haenfler, 2006;Hebdige, 1979;Williams, 2011). Furthermore, fragmentation increasingly occurs within subcultures with each subculture giving birth to multiple others (Ulusoy and Fırat, 2011;Weinstein, 2000;Wood, 2006). ...
... The contribution of the CCCS approach is its insights into subcultures and the mass culture by largely highlighting not only the political significance of subcultures and their resistant and subversive qualities but also the cultural significance and creative potential of the youth segment. However, this approach methodologically seems to lack the empirical evidence from ethnographic studies wherein members do speak for themselves (Muggleton, 2000;Williams, 2011). Also, this approach theoretically confines the existence of the subcultural phenomenon to a mere class-based experience of subordinated working-class social groups whose agency potential is seen inferior to overcome the dominant social structure. ...
... I think that mentality is what's killing us. (Amy)Both the acceptance of a vision of capitalist society (Williams, 2011) and the ignorance of negative consequences associated with such vision (Shukaitis et al., 2007) are shunned. Subculture is seen as a relief from the perceived oppressive presence of consumer culture, a space where positive energy can be nurtured, not simply resistance: Well, the subcultures kind of break away from that[consumer culture].. . ...
Article
Full-text available
We present an integrated and more nuanced analysis of the observed tendency toward eclectic, fragmented, and paradoxical subcultures in contemporary society. Through a critical ethnographic approach, we investigate the factors contributing to the motives that impel people to seek subcultural membership, which leads to fragmentation. We interview people who are avid participants of music-based subcultures. Findings reveal that subcultural antagonism and identity politics are the two factors guiding fragmentation into subcultures in contemporary society. People seek solace in membership in multiple subcultures since each subculture provides a distinct escape from different oppressions perceived in the mainstream. This cultivates the impetus for fragmentation within subcultures. Subcultural fragmentation is voluntary, resistive, and subversive. The constant fragmentation and the multiplicity and fluidity of subcultural memberships give rise to what we call a radical subcultural mosaic referring to eclectic subcultural affiliation and composite subcultural memberships fermenting presentational discourses of resistance. Members of the radical subcultural mosaic seek agency and collectivity, creativity in heterogeneity, and propose novel alternative modes of living.
... Moreover, collective cultural identities emerge through communication with outsid- ers and through the consensus surrounding an individual member's self-identification. We use the term "cultural" to further highlight how the members seek and share a sense of belonging to the subcultural network built upon specific ideas and beliefs formed through interaction and sharing (Williams, 2011). To be specific, when one author posted a thread entitled "tell me (a researcher from the university) the reasons for not talking about punk," one reply simply stated, "No need to chat about punk between punks" (RockNro), which was agreed with by a number of other forum members. ...
... By using the concept of subculture (Williams, 2011), this article further characterizes the members from the two online forums as subcultural groups that are culturally bounded and shaped by shared interests and constant interactions. For these members, the Internet is the main source for their subcultural participation. ...
... By reflecting on the notion of subculture, this research has taken a different stance than that of previous researchers, such as Hebdige, (1979) who conceived of punk subculture as symbolic resistance through style, or Bennett (1999), who used neo-tribalism as a theoretical concept to emphasize individual choice of style. By looking at an Internet subcultural phenomenon, this article provides a collective understanding of the new forms of subcultural participation related to communication transmitted through a network where the members can share materials and ideas and interact with each other (Blackman, 2014;Williams, 2011). To further expand the research scope, exploring subcultures that develop in the virtual environment should be considered an important direction for future subcultural studies. ...
Article
This article analyzes how digital technology can shape cultural practice in Chinese online communities. By using the concepts of boundary and identity, it explores the formation of two online punk communities in China, created by those who are interested in punk music originating from Anglo-American countries. Drawing on data from participant observation and 10 in-depth interviews, this article first reviews literature on Internet culture in China, online communities, boundaries, and identity. It then focuses on the differing practices of the two online punk communities. A discussion is subsequently provided concerning how boundaries are constructed in online communities through the exclusion that is enabled by the technological platform. An analysis of how the members identify themselves with online communities and form punk subcultures encouraged by the boundaries of their respective communities is then presented towards the end of the article. It is through this process that the members empower themselves in their relationships with the surrounding society. © 2016 The Centre for Chinese Media and Comparative Communication Research, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
... Previous readings of literature on deviance, subcultures, and fan identities (e.g. Jenkins, 1992; Williams, 2011b) informed the analysis. , especially when the news media selectively represented events and individuals in stereotypical ways and then provided privileged means for morally right-thinking people to weigh in on matters. ...
... Previous readings of literature on deviance, subcultures, and fan identities (e.g. Jenkins, 1992;Williams, 2011b) informed the analysis. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper I bring together interaction, media, deviance, self, and identity to make sense of how young Singaporeans consume Korean popular (hereafter, K-pop) music and culture. My overarching goal is to highlight that being a music fan is not a straightforward or even easy experience. Rather, the self as music fan is continually developing within a complex variety of social processes, from the circulation of global, mass media representations to inter-and intra-personal interactions. I present data collected from a study on K-pop music consumption in Singapore, a small island-nation in Southeast Asia with an insatiable thirst for foreign culture. The data show how a group of Singaporean K-pop fans were regularly bombarded with largely negative messages about what it means to be K-pop music fans, and how these meanings affected their own negotiations as fans. K-pop fandom provided a sense of shared identity and status within popular youth culture, yet their experiences were often soured by negative media portrayals of deviant fans, whose behaviors risked stigmatizing the K-pop social identity. This paper thus deals with some of the problems for self that being a music fans entails.
... A notable characteristic of the strip club subculture in Israel is the alleged attainment of control and high status. The centrality of this aspect stems from the powerlessness and inferiority of many of the strippers in the larger society (Williams, 2011) and the fact that their status in the strip clubs enables them, at least temporarily, to attain power (Gelder, 2005;Roberts, 2015). ...
... Power in this world is communicated by, for example, sitting in certain areas of the dressing room, being able to leave one's personal belongings unattended, and adopting personal dance styles and songs to be played during performances. The potential of every stripper to attain high status in this subculture is usually in direct contradiction to her ability to do so in general society (Williams, 2011). It is this that turns their professional world into a desirable microcosm. ...
Article
Full-text available
This qualitative study analyzes the attitudes of 11 women who work as club strippers in an attempt to discern the characteristics of the subculture of Israeli strip clubs as viewed in real time. A thematic analysis of individual interviews indicated the existence of a women’s strip club subculture in Israel. This is typified by ongoing efforts to reduce mental and emotional stress, deceit, ambivalence, and power struggles, as articulated in the intense consumption of alcohol, relationships between strippers and their peers, and strippers’ sexual and non-sexual relations with club owners and clients. The study concludes that this subculture serves as a platform for generating and designing social systems and achieving various needs and desires unfulfilled in general society; however, it simultaneously weakens the woman stripper who lacks the necessary pragmatic instruments to preserve her fundamental human and occupational rights.
... To complement the theoretical inspirations of Deleuze and Guattari, and further pay homage to the political radicalism of their philosophical project (Munro & Thanem, 2017), we shall also draw selectively from a stream of research that offers a parallel set of conceptions with a non-compromising edge: the sociology of punk. This research tradition grew out of the sociological studies of subcultures of the Chicago School (Lohman, 2017;Williams, 2011), such as the work of Becker (1963) on outsiders. The sociology of punk focuses on a phenomenon that began as a radical departure from the mainstream music scene, but eventually extended to a rebellion against commercialism more generally. ...
... Punk always stood for something: a world yet to be imagined but experimented on, born out of a doit-yourself (DIY) attitude -a minor creating. The research tradition as a whole has also moved from shifting the study of subcultures away from firm insider-outsider categories towards how agencies are produced in discourse and practice (Lohman, 2017;Williams, 2011). Thus, punk too can be seen as a phenomenon of politically charged rebellion that achieves its agencies from experimental action and a desire for deterritorializing. ...
Article
How can a desire for rebellion drive institutional agency, and how is such desire produced? In this paper, we develop a theory of minor rebellion as a form of institutional agency. Drawing from the work of Deleuze and Guattari as well as from notions of social inquiry and the sociology of punk, we qualify and illustrate minor rebellion as a lived-in field of desire and engagement that involves deterritorializing of practice in the institutional field. Three sets of processes are involved: (i) minor world-making, through establishing the aesthetics and relations of an outsider social network within a major field, including the enactment of cultural frames of revolt and radicalism; (ii) minor creating, through constructing and experimenting with terms, concepts, and technology that somehow challenge hegemony from within; and (iii) minor inquiring, through problematizing social purposes and the related experiential surfacing of the desirable new. Minor rebellion suggests a new solution to the paradox of embedded agency by describing institutional agency as shuttling between political contest and open-ended social inquiry, involving anti-sentiments, but also being for something. The paper also contributes to recasting institutional agency as a process resulting from emergent collective action rather than preceding it. To illustrate our theorizing, we describe the emergence of Robin Hood Asset Management, a Finnish activist hedge fund. At the end of the paper we discuss how minor rebellion raises new questions about the multiplicities and eventness of desiring in institutional agency.
... This growing research literature is notably different from the, 20th-century literature on Southeast Asian youth, which carried with it sets of either implicit or explicit concerns. Since the mid-20th century, youth culture and later youth subcultures have been seen globally as transitional and problematic cultural formations in their own right, or else as implicit representations of larger cultural struggles in society ( Williams, 2011). Much 20th-century theory and research was built upon assumptions that young people often do things in ways that are either naïve, problematic, or downright wrong. ...
Article
Full-text available
While research on youth cultures in Southeast Asia has traditionally focused on crime, class, and delinquency among adolescent and young-adult males, the 21st century has seen an increase in research on the intersections between youth, religion, popular culture, media, identity, and consumption. As part of this trend, we report on an exploration of the terms hijabista and hijabster, which refer to female Muslim cultural identities centered on the nontraditional use of the hijab or Muslim headscarf. After situating the phenomena within the larger context of conservative regional politics and religion, we consider their cultural meanings in terms of mass and social media, suggesting that hijabista and hijabster cultures and identities are simultaneously hybrid and negotiated as young Muslim women, culture industries, and political and religious agents all employ a variety of strategies to shape emerging definitions. Finally, we reflexively discuss the implications of our own theoretical interests on interpretations of what it means to be a hijabista or hijabster.
... For instance, in Dick Hebdige's Subculture: The Meaning of Style (1979), the cultural meanings of the punk phenomenon have famously been discussed, and that discussion then contributed to the subcultural studies carried out at the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS). Later studies expanded the research scope by exploring the lived experiences of punks (e.g., Furness 2012;Leblanc 1999;Williams 2011), thereby addressing the problem of sparseness of empirical evidence that once existed in the CCCS approach to subcultural studies. ...
Chapter
This book explores punk lives in contemporary China. Discussion about punk is currently thriving in academia, and focusing on Chinese punk can be regarded as in line with this trend. That said, the general lack of discussion about punk phenomena in Asian contexts demands attention since local distinctiveness could provide a possible avenue for new interpretation. With this book, we seek to address this gap somewhat, primarily by presenting biographies of Chinese punk musicians, the specific society in which they are situated, and how the use of technology contributes to the development of the punk phenomenon in China. The scope of the research also extends further, to examination of the Chinese punk phenomenon in a global context and comparison with other non-Anglo-American societies where the phenomena are mostly neglected.
... 43 For J. Patrick Williams, 'the boundaries created and maintained om inside operate as a form of resistance and that is intentional' . 44 One of the main criticisms made by post-subcultural scholars towards the CCCS is that youth cultural style is constantly changing; it cannot be xed in relation to a particular group. Indeed, stylistic elements in German punk and skinhead subcultures are in constant uctuation. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
... Despite the relevance of the discussion about the distinctiveness of the concepts, we can note that all concepts feature a specific attitude towards the world and tourism, often consubstantiating a concrete reaction/disposition against mass tourism, which can be regarded as an alternative cultural mode or subculture (Williams, 2011) or an innovative minority (Joaquim, 2015: 2). ...
Article
With roots in the slow movement, slow travel is an emerging trend. In slow travel, the use of clean transportation is identified by some authors as a distinguishing characteristic of the concept; however, diversity of choices and profiles seems to contradict this assessment. To date, typologies of slow travellers are still scarce and any connections with mobility and time remain to be investigated, particularly concerning slow travel literature. In this article, using a qualitative approach, we analysed the discourse of a set of slow travellers who author a travel blog to understand their experiences, the interconnection between (slow) travel and blogging and how they represent time and mobility. The results indicate that slow travel blogs are not only a robust source of information concerning the emergence of this travel mode but also a product and producer of it, in a dialectic process. The subjective perceptions and representations of slowness are a central element of the discourse framing the travel experience. Contradictions between the slowness of the travel mode and the instantaneity of the blog emerged, and an interpretation is proposed, based on the voices of the travellers/bloggers.
... It is hard to pinpoint an exact content, and it is often used to distinguish those that are different from ''us,'' the deviant different from the normal (Cullen & Pretes, 2000 ). At the same time, marginality expresses a cultural dynamic rooted in social inequalities that results in antagonistic and sometimes even secret collective expressions (Gelder, 2005; Järvinen, 2009; Williams, 2011). Many researchers conduct research with great success by guessing the contextual framework guiding the lives of informants living within secret worlds. ...
Article
Full-text available
How do we do good guesswork at meaning if our informant lives in a secret world? Doing research often includes awkward moments, unforeseen events, and incidents. Here we name some of these “happenstances.” We suggest that happenstances may offer a solution to the problem of meaning discrepancies: The happenstance is one of those moments that allow the researcher to temporarily bridge into the meanings of his or her informant. We have carried out research on marginal youth. In both of our studies, happenstances have turned interview situations upside down. Here we identify how these unforeseen events provided us with valuable insights into our informants’ contexts. We conclude by addressing how these happenstances, though they appear to be a product of pure accident, may become part of a systematic approach in discovering contextual knowledge.
... This point relates to, and is substantiated by, the findings of other researchers of similar "masculine subcultures," such as the police (cf. Newburn and Stanko 1994, Gutmann 1997, Williams 2011. What these studies have shown is that various forms of mean yet meaningless talk are a recurrent part of these subcultures' everyday interactions. ...
Article
Full-text available
The police say brutal things. Research has documented how officers, when amongst themselves, talk about people in derogatory ways or openly fantasize about the use of excessive violence. In the literature, such backstage talk is in general analyzed in two ways: It is understood as proof of how the police really think – as evidencing police (im)morality or misconduct. Alternatively, scholars argue that police officers’ transgressive talk is a warped yet nevertheless meaning-generating way for them to deal with their, at times, harsh profession. Certainly, perspectives resonate with the empirical material of this article – an empirical material stemming from an ethnographic study of two Danish detective units. Yet, as this article argues, simply applying this analytical twofold would risk misrepresenting or, perhaps rather, overinterpreting the indeed brutal things the Danish detectives said. While some of the detectives’ language could/should be understood as representing police immorality or reflecting their troublesome profession, this article proposes a counterintuitive reading, namely that their vicious words were, paradoxically, often analytically ordinary. They were examples of “bullshitting” (Frankfurt 2009) – a genre of offensive talk yet, nevertheless, a genre with no specific internal nor intended meaning to it. Therefore, although (police and others’) bullshit is extremely evocative, and thus includes the risk of drawing the ethnographer in, one should be cautious about taking it too seriously. At least when it came to these Danish detectives, their vicious words habitually had little purchase on their general perceptions or practices. Their words were certainly distasteful but, really, just bullshit.
... Who avoids whom, on what grounds, and for which reasons? However, avoidance is also an important process in the emergence of subcultures (Williams, 2011) and resistance movements (Rose, 2002; Bonnevier, 2007), and thereby, arguably, in the 12 Hanson (1998) ongoing processes signifying democratic societal negotiations and practices of freedom. ...
Article
Full-text available
Various forms of material, empirical, or observation-based research has grown in importance over the last decade in both architec- ture and urban design research, in parallel to an increasingly data-driven research utilising an increasing amount and availability of GIS data, tracking technologies, GPS records, and ICT tools. Assemblage theory and Actor-Network Theory have grown strong in several elds, sometimes linked to ‘ at ontology’, as have empirically based elds such as space syntax and geoinformatics. While it is somewhat dubious to bundle these theories together, there are tendencies in contemporary research in which they can be linked, with more or less explicit intents to cut past perceptions and conventions to look at the world ‘as it is’ and generate understanding from observed behaviours, actions, and the myriads of interactions going on. This has produced a rich body of research and signi cant advances in knowledge. However, there is also need for pause and re ection, to avoid risks of repeating the mistakes aimed to oust. This article offers a set of such re ections that will come about through a set of examples, leading onwards into a discussion of the role of memory, projection and imagination, as well as the need to consider how to integrate norms and structures into research that often intentionally leaves such concepts out. Journal website: http://contour.epfl.ch/en/
... Similarly, 'doing' or 'showing' is contextually dependent: certain forms of 'doing' depends on seclusion or even isolation whereas others depend on audiences in various ways, and 'showing' holds a complex relation to what it is that is being shown and under which conditions it works to be shown. Arguably, a productive coexistence and development of subcultures depend on a varied and distributed set of affordances (Williams, 2011), and whether they become isolated or integrated in the sense of sometimes meeting in public is in large part affected by architectural configurations of space. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper addresses how 'culture' is or can be present in a city, where culture is understood in a wide sense as cultural activities and output of creative activity as well as partaking in or making use of the same. The main line of argument is that this requires consideration of how to work with configurational analysis, which has implications for a wider set of issues but made apparent in the specific focus. While this is anchored in empirical analysis, the main point is a theoretical-methodological discussion. In short, the paper proposes a model where culture needs to be understood from four perspectives—to witness, to engage with, to show, and to do—since these are differently related to the built environment in the conditions for how they appear, what effects they might have, and in what ways they are affected by and affect urban environments. Specifically, the empirical analyses point to how inequalities between areas can be understood. The conditions for making sculptures and how this affects and is affected by its surrounding, simply put, is different from the effects and conditions for the placing of public sculptures, as are their effects on public and private life. By use of specific and particular examples of activities or outputs, the article will also highlight qualitative aspects that need to be considered in relation to more precisely what kind of 'culture' that is intended to be supported, and how this relates to questions of democratic development and social equality.
... While dealing with things that have purchase on these situations, I will instead focus on avoidance as a commonplace part of everyday behaviour that has both positive and negative intents and effects, and how it participates in social structuring. To do this, avoidance must be studied as a complex social, spatial, and strategic-tactical phenomenon, that can also be seen as empowering tactics and strategies of resistance or freedom [11, 12], which at times is that which allows for vastly different (sub)cultures to inhabit dense spatial structures such as cities [13, 14], or to, for example, create situations " wherein young people learn to think outside the box, or at least learn to think inside a different box " [15] (p. 91). 3 While I will be 2 I use 'we' and 'I' here deliberately while recognizing it can be problematic. ...
Article
Full-text available
This essay is a reflection on how the ‘social’ comes into being, and how it relates to questions of architecture and urban environments. Taking its departure from a statement in The Social Logic of Space, where it is said spatial configuration affects social relations in how it structures patterns of movement, encounter and avoidance, it develops on the notion of avoidance as a socially and spatially structuring behaviour. One reason for such a focus is a contemporary focus in urban and architectural discourse of encounters and co-presence, whereas patterns and actions of avoidance are less often present. On the one hand, it argues that studying of how space generates, allows, or prevents patterns of avoidance is a missing key question that may also further develop discourses of patterns of encounter. On the other hand, it is suggested that a focus on avoidance demands a series of questions to be answered that is beneficial for understanding socio-spatial behaviour and structures in general. These questions concern the temporal, cultural, personal, and spatial embeddedness of actions that includes memory and myth as well as projection and imagination. Avoidance, furthermore, is argued to be as social an action as encounters, with considerable direct and indirect structuring effects, and thereby to constitute an important piece in socio-spatial structuring processes.
Chapter
Over the past 40 years, Australian comic book production has been comprised of individuals who form social networks of production and consumption, with an emphasis on creating product as authentic artistic expression. Economically, Australian comics production could be considered a small creative industry, and culturally, it could be considered a scene. In order to understand more about the creative identity and the thought processes behind comics production, I interviewed creators from scenes across Australia. Using primary data from artists in order to understand their ethos is a method frequently utilized within creative identity studies (Hackley and Kover 2007; Wang and Cheng 2010; Taylor and Littleton 2008).
Article
The article considers if the concept of subculture can still be used in sociology. This paper shows that subcultural perspective constitutes a recent point of view for the analysis of the phenomenon of jihadist terrorism involving native Europeans. A history of the concept will be considered along with theoretical perspectives with reference to explanatory factors of subcultural membership. Socioeconomic condition, cultural identity, housing placement and social control are explanatory factors of classical studies on subcultures. Issues of post‐modernity and the evolution of ICT will also be considered. The aim is to consider the complex social framework and to define the sometimes dangerous contemporary role of subcultural membership.
Article
The article considers if the concept of subculture can still be used in sociology. This paper shows that subcultural perspective constitutes a recent point of view for the analysis of the phenomenon of jihadist terrorism involving native Europeans. A history of the concept will be considered along with theoretical perspectives with reference to explanatory factors of subcultural membership. Socioeconomic condition, cultural identity, housing placement and social control are explanatory factors of classical studies on subcultures. Issues of post‐modernity and the evolution of ICT will also be considered. The aim is to consider the complex social framework and to define the sometimes dangerous contemporary role of subcultural membership.
Article
Full-text available
The reappearance of VHS skateboarding movies produced during the 1990s on YouTube presents a timely opportunity to examine how the subcultural identities of former skateboarders are reassessed in later life. Drawing on subcultural studies and theories of mediated memory, this article analyses comments made by viewers of YouTube re-postings of 411 Video Magazine, an era-defining skateboard movie series of the 1990s. The analysis suggests that re-viewing content of once cherished VHS tapes affords former skaters a nostalgic moment of reconnection with their youth involving a combination of three forms of nostalgia: subcultural nostalgia, biographical nostalgia, and format nostalgia. For many viewers, re-viewing skate videos retrospectively recognizes the formative role skateboarding played in shaping their identity and also allows an appraisal of both the past subcultural formation and the media format through which its values were expressed and communicated.
Article
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung Warum schließen sich junge Europäer dem „heiligen Krieg“ der Muslime gegen den Westen an? Aufbauend auf einer Sichtung der interdisziplinären Forschungsliteratur zum Thema religiöse Radikalisierung diskutiert dieser Beitrag Bedingungen und Einflussfaktoren für die Übernahme eines islamisch-fundamentalistischen Weltbildes und entsprechender Praktiken, die mitunter die aktive Beteiligung an Gewaltakten gegen die sogenannten Ungläubigen beinhalten. In Auseinandersetzung mit dem Begriff der Jugendkultur wird dabei insbesondere der Frage nach der Relevanz dieses Phänomens für die Verfasstheit moderner westlicher Gesellschaft nachgegangen.
Article
This paper examines the significance of experiences and understandings of targeted harassment to the identities of youth subcultural participants, through case study research on goths. It does so against a context of considerable recent public discussion about the victimization of alternative subcultures and a surprizing scarcity of academic research on the subject. The analysis presented indicates that, although individual direct experiences are diverse, the spectre of harassment can form an ever-present accompaniment to subcultural life, even for those who have never been seriously targeted. As such, it forms part of what it is to be a subcultural participant and comprizes significant common ground with other members. Drawing upon classic and more recent understandings of how subcultural groups respond to broader forms of outside hostility, we show how the shared experience of feeling targeted for harassment tied in with a broader subcultural discourse of being stigmatized by a perceived 'normal' society. The role of harassment as part of this, we argue, contributed to the strength with which subcultural identities were felt and to a positive embrace of otherness.
Article
Full-text available
As a consequence of their size and fragility, small groups depend on cohesion. Central to group continuation are occasions of collective hedonic satisfaction that encourage attachment. These times are popularly labeled fun. While groupness can be the cause of fun, we emphasize the effects of fun, as understood by participants. Shared enjoyment, located in temporal and spatial affordances, creates conditions for communal identification. Such moments serve as commitment devices, building affiliation, modeling positive relations, and moderating interpersonal tension. Further, they encourage retrospective narration, providing an appealing past, an assumed future, and a sense of groupness. The rhetoric of fun supports interactional smoothness in the face of potential ruptures. Building on the authors’ field observations and other ethnographies, we argue that both the experience and recall of fun bolster group stability. We conclude by suggesting that additional research must address the role of power and boundary building in the fun moment.
Article
Full-text available
Sub-budaya punk berakar dari muzik alternatif dan fesyen tetapi ia mempunyai tradisi kuat dengan politik anti-establishment dan penentangan terhadap sistem kapitalis yang dominan. Justeru, kebanyakan negara khususnya Malaysia memandang budaya punk sebagai negatif kerana ia disifatkan sebagai satu bentuk penyimpangan moral. Artikel ini bertujuan untuk mengimbangi pandangan-pandangan itu dengan menghubungkan punk dengan tindakan politik yang positif. Artikel ini memfokuskan kepada Rumah Api iaitu tempat perkumpulan utama bagi komuniti punk di Kuala Lumpur, dan juga dikenali dengan baik oleh sebahagian besar komuniti punk di Malaysia dan di negara-negara lain. Sebagai simbolik sub-budaya, ketidakakuran budaya dan budaya penentangan, Rumah Api boleh difahami sebagai ekspresi terhadap autoriti dan kapitalisme. Peranannya sebagai simbol budaya penentangan juga berfungsi sebagai kaedah untuk membina identiti individu dan kolektif. Dalam hal ini, penelitian tentang Rumah Api dapat memberikan pemahaman lanjut tidak hanya kepada bagaimana sub-budaya punk memperkasakan seseorang secara peribadi, bahkan bagaimana ia memiliki kaitan dengan konteks politik, ekonomi dan sosial yang mendasari masyarakat. Tindakan atau aksi politik Rumah Api dilihat dipengaruhi oleh prinsip "do-it-yourself" (DIY), anarkisme dan kebebasan. Namun komuniti Rumah Api menghalakan kegiatan mereka kepada kempen sosiopolitik yang positif dan bukannya aktiviti yang subversif dari sudut moral. Hal ini boleh dilihat menerusi aktiviti-aktiviti Really, Really Free Market, Food Not Bombs, Kempen Penentangan Terhadap Projek Lebuh Raya Bertingkat Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang (SUKE), "Lepak Anarki" dan Federasi ANTARA, bengkel, pameran dan diskusi. Malah, konsert kecil-kecilan atau gig diadakan untuk mendokong isu-isu semasa. Mutakhir ini, mereka juga semakin aktif mengikuti protes dan demonstrasi jalanan tertentu sehingga mendapat perhatian khusus dari pihak berkuasa. Justeru, artikel ini mengesyorkan bahawa Rumah
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, I outline a genealogy of the concept of subculture. My interest is in the degree of assumed connections between subculture and deviance, as well as with other related social scientific concepts such as marginalization, resistance and lifestyle. What I argue in short is that there has been a diverse set of uses for the term subculture that do not necessarily fit well with one another. Early work by Chicago School sociologists predates the term’s entry into sociology’s standard vocabulary but was nevertheless crucial in developing a cultural understanding of group meanings. Later, Birmingham School cultural studies cemented a Marxist, structuralist view of subcultures that has had perhaps the most influence on scholars researching subcultural studies. At the millennium, a concerted effort was made among some cultural scholars to move on to the study of the so-called post-subcultures. This effort had mixed success, with subculture remaining an oft-used term and with some scholars explicitly maintaining the validity of the subculture concept (see, e.g., Muggleton and Weinzierl, 2003).
Article
South Africa in the 1950s not only witnessed the rise of apartheid, but the spread of black and white youth gang subcultures (tsotsis and Ducktails). This article is limited to white youths. It focuses on subcultural style and heterogeneity in collective identity. There has been a tendency in subcultural studies to homogenise members of subcultures in the search for a unique subcultural style. Although the Ducktail subculture was comprised of multifarious identities (gendered, racial and ethnic), it is contended here that the Ducktails’ subcultural template is displayed through a heterogeneous collective identity which is visible in their stylistic tastes, language preferences and ritualistic socialising. It suggests that subcultural identities exist in an individual and collective form and urges scholars to allow for diversity and heterogeneity in subcultural accounts by drawing on the personal testimonies of ‘subculturalists’.
Article
Full-text available
For the last twenty years children with disabilities have been routinely integrated into mainstream educational settings. My childhood, spanning the 1980s and early 1990s, was by contrast spent in a special school. I felt isolated and as a result of this was left with a profound sense of having missed out on something. I have spent many years advocating integration and was firmly of the belief that this was the way forward however, I am increasingly aware when talking to other young people with disabilities that providing a stimulating, challenging and inclusive educational setting (that in theory allows these learners to access the same opportunities as their non-disabled contemporaries) can mean that they miss out on other equally valuable social experiences that can come from being around people with a similar diagnosis and who are facing some of the same life challenges. What is the way forward?
Article
Full-text available
Sammendrag Med afsæt i teoretiske begreber om tilhør, social læring, sted, heterotopia og modstand viser artiklen, hvordan en lille gruppe unge mænd fortæller om deres liv henholdsvis inden for og uden for en skolekontekst. Formålet med artiklen er at vise, hvordan unges aktiviteter og erfaringer uden for skolen (relateret til biler) kan være med til at understøtte faglige, maskuline, voksenidentitetsudviklinger, der bygger bro mellem hverdagsliv og uddannelse. De unge mænd er alle placeret i uddannelsesforløb som smed eller automekaniker i et praktikcenter på en erhvervsskole. Det metodiske greb, artiklen bygger på, har etableret en kollektiv ramme, hvor de unge mænd forholder sig til og bearbejder fælles sociale vilkår og muligheder i relation til uddannelse og ungdomsliv.
Article
This article explores some of the methodological and ethical issues intrinsic to the processes of carrying out ethnographic research in a very small country, when most participating individuals can be readily identified. The inherent conflicts will be applicable to research in any community where individual participants may be recognised. Internal confidentiality has the potential to place limits on ethical assurances. However, these limitations were more of a concern for outputs generated for an academic audience, than when the primary research output for a commercial book. We examine this paradox. The book we co-wrote is about a modest, familiar feature of everyday life in New Zealand: roadside pie carts, which have been selling cheap street food since the 1930s. While their menus have changed – most no longer sell pies, even though they are still called pie carts – the surviving food vendors are still important night-time food providers in many cities and small towns. We investigated their persistence in the face of social change and competition from the global fast-food giants. In collecting their stories, and addressing the place of nostalgia, narratives and memories in restating local vernacular culture, various methodological and ethics issues arose.
Chapter
This chapter focuses on discussing the collective practices of punk musicians, particularly in two forms—performance and hangouts. The core practice of punk performance is a form of entertainment for both musicians and audience members, but it can also be read as an exercise of collective power, intervening in the established power relationships of government-sponsored events. Punks use these practices, along with hangouts, to construct spaces for alternative expressions and norms that are challenging to the mainstream, and accordingly lead to conflicts, especially when they take place in settings outside the punk-only environment.
Chapter
This chapter describes the cognitive orientation of travelling football supporters, and in doing so, provides the spadework for the more elaborate theoretical discussion which follows later in the book. The chapter begins by discussing the specific character of cognitive spacing, which seeks to control social space through the demarcation of identity boundaries. From here, and drawing on the ideas of Agnes Heller, the discussion focuses on travelling football supporters’ quest for ‘home’, their operations at the borders of Hegel’s ‘absolute spirit’, and the cognitive competence upon which ‘belonging’ depends. Having described these supporters’ hermeneutic character and their associated nostalgic tendencies, the chapter argues that these supporters’ rewards for taking the trip down memory lane are cognitive. The common stocks of knowledge which help these supporters to interpret and decode their communities also provide a source of discussion, as does the modernisation of English football which has decreased the functionality of their tacit understandings. The chapter concludes by discussing these supporters’ hostility towards a liquid modern lifestyle and their embrace of more durable forms of identity.
Chapter
This chapter presents an overview of the struggles for cultural space and territory (Hall in Football hooliganism: The wider context. Inter-Action Inprint, p. 31, 1979), which have accompanied football (soccer) since its inception. The chapter begins by chronicling the historical trajectory of the game before focusing more exclusively on the internal and external changes which have undermined the role of the ‘traditional’ football supporter. From here, the focus of the discussion switches to the book’s underpinning theoretical framework, which is taken from Bauman’s (Postmodern ethics. Blackwell Publishing, 1993) model of social spacing. Attention is then directed towards the city of Sheffield, and more specifically, the supporters of Sheffield Wednesday football club, who provided the primary data for this book. The chapter concludes by outlining the overall structure of the book and its contents.
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the moral perspectives of travelling football supporters. Having outlined the historical backdrop to these supporters’ acts, principally, the abandonment of a search for a universal ethics, and a breakdown in traditional practices, the chapter recounts Bauman’s (Postmodern Ethics. Blackwell, 1993) belief that individuals must now forge their own moral path in today’s world. From here, attention is directed towards Bauman’s specific conceptualisation of morality, the challenges presented by an ambiguous moral climate, and the seductive character of ‘native’ community directives. Against this theoretical backdrop, the chapter proceeds by discussing supporters’ attitudes towards, women, swearing, children, violence, family, and racism. In keeping with the notion of moral autonomy, the chapter concludes that supporters commonly adopt a situationist outlook, to negotiate competing moral, aesthetic, and cognitive demands.
Article
Investigates the approaches to conceptualising youth cultural studies within the post­subcultural theory. The author argues that the core idea of post­subcultural paradigm is the doubt in the metanarrative of “subculture.” In this situation, the heuristic potential of the new categorical apparatus designed to replace the traditional concept of “subculture” becomes a research subject.
Article
Full-text available
Despite drawing on a large body of different paradigms, subcultural studies have been conceptualizing subcultures rather uniformly as a world in itself, a reaction to dominant society or a combination of both. In our paper, we argue for more encompassing theoretical view, we call the relational perspective. Inspired by symbolic interactionism and studies on identity and alterity, while building on concepts devised in post-subcultural studies, we claim that particular subcultures are delineated in respect to many different actors. These can be roughly classified into categories of mainstream, other subcultures and enactments of one’s own subculture. Grounded in empirical research of punk and emo subcultures and employing the concepts of in/authenticity (based on subcultural capital formed by subcultural style, ideology and practice), we will show the possibility of application of this perspective in studying contemporary subcultural formations both diachronically and synchronically. © 2019 The Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, v.v.i. All rights reserved.
Chapter
This chapter offers a comparison between quite different socio-historical realities, of Portugal and China. Through analysis of facets such as style, performances, and professional careers, the similarities and differences between them will be explored.
Chapter
With this book, we set out to provide an understanding of punk culture in China. With the aid of the biographical approach, a collective portrait of Chinese punks has been painted, with discussion of their life experiences within and outside the punk scene, relationships (with peers, neighbours, and authority figures in day-to-day life), political aspirations, and hopes and beliefs. This conclusion presents a summary and overall assessment of the ethnographic findings detailed in the previous chapters. It also provides a general response to the research questions raised in Chap. 1.
Chapter
This chapter provides a discussion of individual-level punk practices in China through examination of the biography of punk musician Mr. Li, an important figure as well as my key informant in the Chinese punk scene. It highlights his gradual process of deepening commitment to the punk scene. Through analysis of the intertwining of this punk musician’s individual biography and his surrounding society, I attempt to achieve an understanding of how individual punk practices can be regarded as different forms of resistance in China.
Article
This article investigates contemporary representations of androgyny and the strategic possibilities of punk-androgyny within a postfeminist imaginary. In looking at the characters Lisbeth in the Swedish film trilogy The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo and Kino in the Japanese anime series Kino's Journey, I am interested in connecting the metonymy of punk dress to representations of transgressions of gender norms. My investigation looks at the concept that gender is “unread” through androgyny which manifests as visual signifiers that make up the punk metonymy. The subjects (characters Lisbeth and Kino) erase the signifier of gender, through punk-androgyny, in order to reclaim power and identity within a (masculinized) subculture and mainstream society. Androgyny is not the desire to be the opposite sex as in a transgender subjectivity. Instead, androgyny is a strategy of aesthetics that transgresses the normative structure of language and signifiers that refer girls and women as less than or as Other through the normative codes of feminizing. In addition to arguing that punk metonymy erases explicit or readable/normative gender signs, I analyze how the motorcycle is situated as an extension of the body. The use of motorcycling propels the literal and figurative androgynous bodies through space in overt transgressive actions against the establishment; it provides agency, motility and ultimately new subject positions for the female protagonists. Through a critical analysis drawing from cultural and post-feminist theory and through the examination of specific scenes, this article aims to investigate punk aesthetic as a post-feminist strategy.
Article
Graffiti artists must establish a second, anonymous identity that is managed alongside each writer’s “real” self. This study explores the negotiation of these dual identities—one actual, the other virtual—by investigating the management of these identities through retirement. Results reveal that identity making is a collective practice, even for anonymous artists. Participants described a hierarchical graffiti world where invisible social relations are used to establish understanding of the self as a writer. Stealth graffiti artists breach one set of rules but strictly adhere to another set. Even anonymous identities are socially embedded and reflect a politics of belonging. Writer identities can be retired by either integrating them into a public self or transcended through complete role exit.
Article
This article underlines the importance of terrorist jihadist online communication. The visual expressions of sociocultural identity are a trademark of jihadist terrorist groups. This paper also shows that subcultural perspective constitutes a privileged point of view for the analysis of the phenomenon of Western-born jihadist terrorism. In scientific literature there is a lack of empirical research on the visual dimension of jihadist terrorism in a subcultural perspective. In this perspective, the article analyses the subcultural identity of a Western-born jihadist terrorist, the former rapper Deso Dogg, also known as Abu-Maleeq. This paper proposes an original analysis of terrorist group membership, analysing through visual sociology the YouTube videos of Deso Dogg – Abu-Maleeq. The visual jihadist representation is based on the repetition of semantic elements. This result confirms the importance of the semantic coherence of communication, namely the Hebdigian homology. Furthermore, terrorist communication assigns new meanings to traditional cultural elements. This result confirms the relevance of the subcultural practice of bricolage. In conclusion, the article allows an original perspective for the study of terrorist communication and underlines the importance of Hebdigian perspective for the understanding of what processes turned troubled Western youth into terrorists.
Chapter
This introductory chapter establishes the aims of the book, to map the Dutch punk scene historically and geographically, to develop understandings of ‘punk’ and ‘subculture’, and to develop theoretical work in (sub)cultural flow in the context of globalisation, and in politics in the context of individualisation. It provides a brief introduction ,to the Dutch punk scene as well as an overview of the research project from which the book is drawn, including an outline of its methodology. This introduction also contains a guide to the other chapters in the book.
Chapter
This chapter unpicks the complexities faced by both academics and participants in attempting to define punk. It destabilises fixed definitions of punk by drawing upon multiple, sometimes conflicting definitions of punk discussed by research participants. Punk is discussed variously as an artistic form, an ideology, an identity and as a set of practices that could be social or individual. This chapter argues that there is space for all of these definitions to coexist, and that recognising this is crucial to developing an academic understanding of ‘punk’. Punk is necessarily a contested label.
Chapter
This chapter sets out the theoretical framework for the book. It traces the emergence of the fields of subcultural studies and its evolution over the last few decades. It focuses in particular on the related developments in academic understandings of punk. It places these two debates within wider sociological developments. It goes on to argue for a need to ‘reground’ theory by recognising the embedded, connected, whole lives of those engaging in ‘subcultural’ activities and the intersubjective creation of meaning in their practices.
Chapter
This chapter further develops the theme of contextualising punk as part of individuals’ lives as first explored in the context of ageing in Chap. 3. It focuses on punks’ further political engagement beyond standard subcultural punk practices. It argues that the influences of punk ideology can be felt through the activities of punks themselves, beyond punk music, events and subcultural practices. It proposes a broad conceptualisation of political activism: beyond traditional notions of, for example, trade union agitation or party political activity, to the political importance of ‘educative practices’. Punks who write zines, who educate themselves and who set up anarchist reading groups or distros, are placed within historical practices of education as a means of spreading influence and potential mobilisation.
Article
Full-text available
This paper demonstrates that subcultural theory continues to provide a relevant and useful analysis of youth leisure practices and their political significance in contemporary society. It achieves this by analysing the theoretical antecedents to both subcultural theory and the post-subcultural theory that followed it. It is argued that the post-subcultural turn to studying affects and everyday lives resonates deeply with the Gramscian perspective informing subcultural theory. It is thus possible to interpret post-subculturalism as augmenting rather than negating its predecessor. Deploying an analysis that combines these perspectives allows for an account of contemporary youth leisure practices that demonstrates a number of different forms of politics explicated within the paper: a politics of identity and becoming; a politics of defiance; a politics of affective solidarity and a politics of different experience. Whilst not articulated or necessarily conscious, there is a proto-politics to youth leisure that precludes it from being dismissed as entirely empty, hedonistic and consumerist. This paper demonstrates how the lens of post-subculturalism focuses on the affective spaces where this politics is most apparent and provides a means of updating subcultural theory to understand contemporary youth practices.
Chapter
Socialization is a fundamental concept in the social sciences, but the different disciplines have only to a limited degree sought to provide a coherent understanding of the processes of socialization, which has to encompass the interplay of social, psychological and genetic factors. This introduction outlines the organisation of the book, the basic dimensions of socialization, and underlines an important an important perspective in the book: the child as a subject.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.