Youth Subculture
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  • 1. Youth Subculture Azimi Hamzah
  • 2. Subculture -- Concept
    • A social-cultural formation that exists as a sort of island within the larger society
    • Meaning systems, modes of expression, lifestyles
    • Developed by groups in subordinate structural positions in response to dominant or larger systems
    • Reflect the group’s attempt to solve contradictions rising from the wider society
  • 3. Significance of subculture to youth
    • Extension to larger culture
    • Opposition to larger culture
    • Solution to structural dislocations
    • Offering symbolic elements to construct identity
    • Majority of youth pass through life without significant involvement in deviant subcultures
  • 4. Elements of Subculture
    • Relatively unique values and norms
    • A special slang not shared with society
    • Separate channels of communication
    • Unique styles and fads
    • Hierarchy of social patterns
    • Receptivity to charisma of leaders
  • 5. Formation of youth subcultures
    • When larger culture fails to meet the needs
    • Industralization & modern societies contribute to:
      • Institutional structure of specialization
      • Lead to extended education
      • Advance nutrition widen age period
      • Mother not mom, father not dad
  • 6. Theories related to formation of youth subcultures
    • Journey from childhood to adulthood – survival in otherwise hostile world
    • Class struggle expressed through use of style – striving against dominant class, older generation and those who conform
    • Rebellion through use of shock tactics – through clothes and wear like punk and hip-hop
    • Construction of new identity based on individualism – alienation, loneliness, meaningless
  • 7. The increase of youth subcultures
    • Size of society
    • Rate of change in society
    • Globalization in society
    • Position of youth in society
    • Generational size in society
  • 8. Features of youth subculture
    • Features include style/fashion, language, music, rebellious symbols, identity
    • Class/family and youth subcultures
      • Working class -- more of gang activity, more emphasis on fashion
      • Middle to upper class – more of special interest such as sports, computers, smart cars, sound system
    • Music and youth subcultures
      • Groups can be identified with specific music genre: hip hop, hippies, black metal
  • 9. Types of youth subcultures
    • Stable subcultures – functional, hierarchical, and age based
    • Developing subcultures – those roles that become more or less important to the lives of the young people
    • Counter cultures – those that contradict or confront the larger/mainstream culture; also referred to as oppositional subcultures
  • 10. Variety of youth subcultures
    • Achievers, intellectuals, image conscious, heavy metal, hippies, average teenager, religious, punk, trendy, rappers, satanist, nerds, skinhead, traditionalist, sporty
    • I really hate an adult to understand me. That is our strength. We need to mystify and worry them
  • 11. Subculture as Meaning-Making
    • The study of subcultures, therefore, is in large part the study of conflict and the struggle for meaning in Western capitalist societies. (Abowitz, ?)
  • 12. What Can You Tell from These?
  • 13. Hip Hop Subculture
    • What can you tell about hip hop style by looking at these images of hip hop artists?
    • While these artists only represent a small sampling of hip hop styles, what can you tell about the costume, accessories, jewelry, and artifacts of hip hop subcultural members?
    • What about the demeanor of these groups: what attitude do they communicate with their expressions and postures?
  • 14. What Does Subculture Provide?
    • As Brake summarizes, youth subcultures provide particular functions for the young:
    • They offer a solution, often at a 'magical' or illusionary level, to certain structural problems created by the internal contradictions of a socio-economic structure, which are collectively experienced. The problems are often class problems experienced generationally.
  • 15. What Does Subculture Provide?
    • They offer a culture, from which can be selected certain cultural elements such as style, values, ideologies and life style. These can be used to develop an achieved identity outside the ascribed identity offered by work, home or school.
  • 16. What Does Subculture Provide?
    • As such, an alternative form of social reality is experienced, rooted in class culture (often), but mediated by neighborhood, or else a symbolic community transmitted through the mass media.
    • Subcultures offer, through their expressive elements, a meaningful way of life during leisure, which has been removed from the instrumental world of work.
    • Subcultures offer to the individual solutions to certain existential dilemmas. This involves style to construct an identity outside work or school (from Brake,1985, p. 24).
  • 17. The Variety of Youth Subcultures
    • In Britain in the 1980s the following groups of youth were identified: Casuals, Rastas, Sloans, Goths, Punks and Straights.
    • In South Africa in the 1990s the following youth subculture groups were identified: Socialite, Striver, Traditionalist, Independent, Uninvolved, Careful and Acceptor.
    • In 1995 a market research project discovered that within the Black youth culture there are three main subcultures: the Rappers, Pantsulas and the Italians. While within the White youth subculture only thirty percent of youth identify with a subculture and the subcultures are far more numerous: alternatives, Punks, Goths, Technoids, Metalheads, Homeboys, Yuppies, Hippies and Grunge.
  • 18. The Variety of Youth Subcultures
    • The following subculture groups were identified by students studying at the Baptist Theological College in South Africa: Achievers; Intellectuals; Belongers; Image-Conscious; Very Poor; Models; Heavy Metal Dudes; Rugby Boys; Metalheads; Hippies; Mainstream; Average Teenager; Fashion Fanatic; Intellectuals; Physical; Clubers; Family Centered; Workaholics; Pleasure Seekers; Hobby Fanatics; Religious Freaks; Head Banger; Punk; Home Boys; Skater; Gothics; Yuppies; Trendys; Rappers; Club-Hoppers; Metal Heads; Socialites; Independents; Uninvolved; Carefuls; Socialites - Pantsulas; Mapanga (Punks); Mapantsula; Strivers; Comrades; Preppy; Outrageous; Sexy; Sporty; Gothic/Satanists; Nerds; Intellectual Strivers; Socialites; Jokers; Gangsters; Independents; Traditionalists; Teenyboppers; Trendy Group; Arty Type; Alternative Group; Drug Culture; Gay Culture; Squatters/Vagrants Culture.
  • 19. Subcultures in Malaysia
    • Can you name some?