BRITISH SUBCULTURESby G. Astapkovich & P. Novikov
Subcultur• e As understood in sociology, a subculture is a set of people with a distinct set of behavior and beliefs that differentiate them from a larger culture as a whole of which they are a part of. The subculture may be distinctive because of the age of its members, or by their race, ethnicity, class and/or gender, and the qualities that determine a subculture as distinct may be aesthetic, religious, political, and sexual or a combination of these factors. Subcultures are often defined via their opposition to the values of the larger culture to which they belong, although this definition is not universally agreed on by theorists. Members of a subculture will often signal their membership through a distinctive and symbolic use of style. Therefore, the study of subculture often consists of the study of the symbolism attached to clothing, music and other visible affectations by members of the subculture, and also the ways in which these same symbols are interpreted by members of the dominant culture. If the subculture is characterized by a systematic opposition to the dominant culture, then it may be described as a counterculture.• In brief, subcultures are groups of individuals who, through a variety of methods (conspicuous clothing and ostentatious behavior), present themselves in opposition to the mainstream trends of the mainstream culture that they are a part of. It may also be difficult to identify subcultures because their style (particularly clothing and music) may often be adopted by mass culture for commercial purposes, as businesses will often seek to capitalize on the subversive allure of the subculture in search of cool, which remains valuable in selling any product. This process of cultural appropriation may often result in the death or evolution of the subculture, as its members adopt new styles which are alien to the mainstream.• A common example is the punk subculture of the United Kingdom, whose distinctive (and initially shocking) style of clothing was swiftly adopted by mass-market fashion companies once the subculture became a media interest. In this sense, many subcultures can be seen to be constantly evolving, as their members attempt to remain one step ahead of the dominant culture. In turn, this cyclical process provides a constant stream of styles and ideas which can be commercially adopted by the mainstream culture.
Subcultures resisting commercialization• Sometimes styles (particularly clothing and music) of a particular subculture are adopted by mass culture for commercial purposes, Businesses will often seek to capitalise on the subversive allure of subcultures in search of cool. Music-based subcultures are particularly vulnerable to this process, and so what may be considered a subculture at one stage in its history — such as jazz, punk, hip hop and rave cultures — may represent mainstream taste within a short period of time.• This process of cultural appropriation may often result in the death or evolution of a subculture, as its members adopt new styles which are alien to the mainstream. Many subcultures can be seen to be constantly evolving, as their members attempt to remain one step ahead of the dominant culture. In turn, this process provides a constant stream of styles which may be commercially adopted. Some subcultures reject or modify the importance of style, stressing membership through the adoption of an ideology which may be much more resistant to commercial exploitation.
1958-1966 Mods1973-1980 • Causes of appearance: - musical likes; - a lot of kids from well-provided families had to work for reconstruction of Britain after The Second World war. This work bring some money and formed a free of parents lifestyle; - tendency to have everything the most modern and progressive. • Zone of appearance: West- and East End of London. • Musical likes: - Modern Jazz, R’n’B, Soul; - Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae; - Mod Rock, Rockabilly, Psychobilly. • Clothing: - Parka jacket, Sta-Prest trousers, shirts, moccasins; - 3-button suit, Brogues shoes; - Boots ‘n Braces style (hard-mods). • Lifestyle: Drive scooters, dance in Jazz & Soul parties, drink beer, smoke cigarettes, use
Effects A youth subculture known as rockers (associated with motorcycles and • leather biker jackets) sometimes clashed with the mods, leading to battles in seaside resorts such as Brighton, Margate, and Hastings in 1964. The mods and rockers conflict led to a moral panic about modern youth in Britain. • Mods were criticized in the movie Blowup as being epicureans and hedonistic youths without morality; in the film, despite having evidence of a murder and of the murderers identity, the main character cannot be roused out of his stupor to report the crime, or even care.
1969-1973 Skinhead Causes of s1982-1988 • appearance: - mix of Mods & Rude boys subcultures; - “working class pride”; - counterculture against Hippie-subculture. • Zone of appearance: West- and East End of London. • Musical likes: - Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae (the First Wave); - Punk, Street Punk (the Second Wave); - Hardcore punk (the Third Wave) • Clothing: - Levi’s jeans, worker boots, braces, shirts, Donkey jacket; - 3-button suit, Cherry Red boots; - Army boots, Flight jackets, army trousers. • Lifestyle: Work at docks, dance in Ska & Reggae parties, drink beer, make Paki-bashing, watch football at stadium.
Effect s• Skinheads had attracted a great deal of media attention after some of them in areas like London, England joined far right political groups and participated in racist violence. In the late 1960s, some skinheads had engaged in "Paki-bashing" (random violence against Pakistanis and other South Asian immigrants). However, there had also been anti-racist and leftist skinheads from the beginning, such as in Scotland and Northern England.• In the 1970s, the racist violence became more political, with the involvement of organizations like the National Front, which included some skinheads among their ranks. That partys position against blacks and Asians appealed to some working class skinheads who blamed immigrants for economic and social problems. This led to the publics misconception that all skinheads are neo-Nazis.• In an attempt to counter this negative stereotype, some skinheads formed anti-racist organizations. Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP) started in the USA in 1987, and Anti-Racist Action (ARA) began in 1988. SHARP spread to the UK and beyond, and other less-political skinheads also spoke out against neo-Nazis and in support of traditional skinhead culture. Two examples are the Glasgow Spy Kids in Scotland (who originally coined the phrase Spirit of 69), and the publishers of the Hard As Nails zine in England
1977-1980 Punk1982-1990 • s Causes of appearance: - economical crisis in Britain in 70’s-80’s; - new directions in music; - anarchist ideas in society. • Zone of appearance: England & Wales. • Musical likes: - Punk-77, Street Punk. - Hardcore punk. • Clothing: - “Look”-style, dressing-down; - worker style; • Lifestyle: Frighten society of one’s looking, go to Punk- concerts, drink beer, make “destroy”, promote ideas of freedom & anarchy.
Effect•sTypically, a punk enters the subculture during the first few years of high school. Many punks continue playing a role in the subculture for several years, and some even make their involvement a lifelong commitment. Although adolescents are the main age group in punk, there are also many adults who hold to the punk mentality, but do not necessarily dress the part. Some punks leave the subculture in favour of the mainstream. Those still in the subculture sometimes regard this apostasy as selling out.• Though punk decries overt sexism, the subculture is largely male- dominated, with the except of the riot grrrl movement. Since its inception, female punks have always played important roles in the punk subculture, but numerically speaking, they are vastly underrepresented. Compared to some alternative cultures, punk is much closer to being gender equalist, in terms of its ideology.• Although the punk subculture is overwhelmingly anti-racist, it is vastly white (especially in Europe and North America), and some fringe punk factions espouse views of white supremacy. These groups are usually treated with hostility by the rest of the subculture. Numerous ethnic minorities have contributed to the development of the subculture, such as Blacks, Latinos, and Asians
1990-our Lads times • Causes of appearance: - counterculture against glam-culture; - revival of traditional men’s values; - musical likes & casual culture. • Zone of appearance: Great Britain and other countries. • Musical likes: - Brit Pop, Garage. • Clothing: - Casual wear; • Lifestyle: Music, women, technology, drinking, football, smoking, fast automobiles and men’s magazines.
Effects culture has been identified as a source of disorientationLadand depression in british youth.A study of the architecture profession found that lad culturehad a negative impact on women completing theirprofessional education. Pundit Helen Wilkinson believes thatlad culture has affected politics and decreased the ability ofwomen to participate.