Subcultures Lecture

Subcultures Lecture - Subcultures Post-war Britain and the...

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Subcultures: Post-war Britain and the Birmingham School Nate Chapman
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What is a subculture? According to Clarke et al. a subculture must exhibit a distinctive enough shape and structure to make them identifiably different from their “parent” culture They are focused around certain activities, values, certain uses of material artifacts, territorial spaces which significantly differentiate them from the wider culture. They must also contain elements that bind them to the “parent” culture
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Definition cont’d Subcultures take shape around distinctive activities and “focal concerns” of groups Some are loosely structured, while others possess a world of their own Youth subcultures form on the terrain of social and cultural life and may only appear at certain historical moments (i.e. 1950s-1960s Post-War Britain)
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What makes Subcultures different from “parent” culture? Style, dress, and focal concerns set them apart as distinctive groups – yet they still exist within, and coexist with the more inclusive culture of the class they belong to Members may look different, but are still a part of normal cultural activities such as school and family life Subcultural members use dress, style of life, and behavior to project a different cultural response, or solution, to the
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Cont’d Members of subcultures still must face the same problems as others in society Their position in a subculture in relation to dominant culture is subordinate
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How/Why do people engage in subcultural activity? Situate youth in mainstream culture Hegemonic dominant culture – (Gramsci) hegemony is the moment when a ruling class is able not only to coerce a subordinate class to conform to its interests, but to exert a hegemony, or “total social authority” over subordinate classes
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Other factors Conflicts of interest arise from the difference in the structural position of the classes in the productive realm Basically, hegemony controls the definitions of reality for subordinate classes through social institutions They do so by inserting the subordinate class into the key institutions and structures which support power and the social authority of the dominant order
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Subcultures Lecture - Subcultures Post-war Britain and the...

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