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  2. 2. ONE DEFINITION (BUT BY NO MEANS THE ONLY ONE) <ul><li>A group of individuals who are united through a common value system and tastes (clothes, music, politics etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>A group who are also positioned outside of the mainstream, and who unify as a response to the mainstream </li></ul>
  3. 3. Task: what are the values of a subculture? <ul><li>Choose a subculture you are familiar with </li></ul><ul><li>Try to identify its values and beliefs…you may want to think about how they respond to these topics: </li></ul><ul><li>‘fitting in with group/being individual’ </li></ul><ul><li>brand names and fashion </li></ul><ul><li>other subcultures/ genres/ styles </li></ul><ul><li>previous versions of their style/genre </li></ul>
  4. 4. What are the values of a subculture? <ul><li>Links to values… how the subculture view: </li></ul><ul><li>Conformity and rebellion </li></ul><ul><li>Attitude to capitalism and consumerism </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Tribal’ rivalry </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional or ‘neophile’ </li></ul>
  5. 5. Targetting Values <ul><li>Task: imagine you are targetting your chosen subculture with a new product. </li></ul><ul><li>What would you include in a 15 second TV advert (think about plot, main characters, mis-en-scene, music) </li></ul><ul><li>Which TV shows would you schedule it to run with? </li></ul><ul><li>Choose from: </li></ul><ul><li>Running shoes </li></ul><ul><li>A diving watch </li></ul><ul><li>A washing powder </li></ul>
  6. 6. SUBCULTURE THEORY THE BIRMINGHAM SCHOOL (Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies) –CCCS for short!
  8. 8. And this one….
  9. 9. The Postmodern View - Plenitude <ul><li>Grant McCracken took a different attitude... </li></ul><ul><li>The postmodern world is full of diversity, dynamism and creativity </li></ul><ul><li>CCCS’s view ignores this – assumes basically that all subcultures have similar origins (reaction to mainstream) </li></ul><ul><li>McCracken says that if we look at the array of values, and ideologies then we can’t make such generalisations. </li></ul><ul><li>By only looking at superficial style, Hebdige came to the conclusion subcultures’ difference was only superficial. Look deeper and there is enough richness to warrant renaming ‘subcultures’ as ‘little cultures’. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Plenitude cont’d.. <ul><li>True, many groups are involved in protest and resistance against the mainstream… but the form of this is diverse and internally coherent . </li></ul><ul><li>CCCS ‘generalises when it should be particularising’ </li></ul><ul><li>Also doesn’t take account of the fact teens will often move between subcultures, and older youths mix and match styles/values from a mix of subcultures </li></ul><ul><li>Or that adults can appear to conform for most of the working week, but re-enter the subculture at specific time (weekend, festivals etc.) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Postmodernity and Subculture <ul><li>Ultimately, the CCCS approach is out of date because in the 21 st century the ‘dominant meaning systems’ (that define the mainstream) are crumbling. </li></ul><ul><li>“ There is no mainstream. There are many streams.” Mainstream is in perpetual flux, rapaciously absorbing alternative culture at such a fast rate that the notion of a mainstream becomes obsolete. </li></ul><ul><li>So if there is no mainstream then there is nothing for the teens to react against – instead they are driven by other motives; and these must be understood on their own terms, individual terms </li></ul>
  12. 12. Example: Japanese ‘Para-para’ <ul><li>In the Harajuku district of Tokyo we find the ‘kosupure’ (‘costume play’) – youths with a hugely diverse range of visible ‘styles’. </li></ul><ul><li>The main musical genre is ‘para-para’ </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>‘ Para-para’ involves dressing in the most absurd, shocking outfit you can (or to make yourself look as perversely conformist!) and wearing extremely high heels! </li></ul><ul><li>The music is sped up euro-pop, released on limited edition vinyl… </li></ul>
  14. 14. … .with the top-secret dance moves to this particular song printed on the sleeve: <ul><li>Whoever has the newest, most elaborate moves is the envy of the rest of the dancefloor – but due to ridiculously high-heels, these are confined to mainly arm and hand movements. </li></ul>
  15. 15. How would you classify ‘kosupure’ and ‘para-para’? <ul><li>What are these teens reacting against? Conservative Japanese mainstream? But what about the ‘lolita’ look? Or the fact there is hardly any drug use or violence – most just want to look different and dance? </li></ul><ul><li>Are they avant-fashion pioneers, where individuality is everything? Then why the rigid adherence to strict dance moves, and the heirarchy based on this? </li></ul><ul><li>CCCS ideas may work when applied to 60s Glasgow barrow-boys, but not to 21 st century Tokyo! </li></ul>
  17. 17. How does the pop music industry target youth cultures? <ul><ul><li>There are two rival views of the relationship between pop music and youth… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pop stars are constructed to appeal to specific market with specific values </li></ul><ul><li>The audience are so unpredictable in their likes and dislikes that record companies can never truly know how to target them </li></ul><ul><li>…and both are true! </li></ul>
  18. 18. Dyer’s ‘star theory’ <ul><li>Stars represent shared cultural values and attitudes, and will promote a certain ideology. </li></ul><ul><li>Fans who agree with that set of values will support the star </li></ul><ul><li>Fans will imitate stars in an aspirational effort to get ‘closer’ to the glamorous, fantasy lifestyle they appear to have – this may take the form of ‘dressing up’, imitating performances, adopting behaviour etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Though Dyer was applying this theory to movie stars, it can also be applied to pop stars, who often have a far faster rise to stardom by promoting values. </li></ul>
  19. 19. What values does Kylie promote here? What kind of audience would be attracted to her?
  20. 20. And here?
  21. 21. And here?
  22. 22. And here? How has Kylie’s image changed over time? Why do you think she (or her manager) has done this?
  23. 23. Student Research
  24. 24. Example of student hypothesis: <ul><li>“ The pop music industry does not create long-lasting subcultures – it struggles to keep up with youth values and groups” </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on three subcultures: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sub-culture that has been created by pop music – ‘rude boyz’/white gangsta rap fans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sub-culture that has other, non-pop origins – Essex boys/casuals (more class-based) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sub-culture that has resisted pop music industry – ‘ravers’ (scorning commercial dance music, DJs create music purely for the events, not even issued unless it becomes an anthem. No singer/performer to focus on) </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Research process <ul><li>Step One: first questionnaire (sample doesn’t need to be large) </li></ul><ul><li>Step Two: results – what have you proved so far? </li></ul><ul><li>Step Three: second questionnaire – develop results, wider age/taste range in subjects </li></ul><ul><li>Step Four: compare results with other researchers (either ‘official’ research or other students’) </li></ul><ul><li>Extrapolate: using Topic Questions, comment generally on three areas concerning the relationship between youth culture and pop music </li></ul>
  26. 26. Practical Projects <ul><li>Most students choose a youth group as their target audience, so – regardless of the ‘product’ – they can use their knowledge of youth cultures/values to: </li></ul><ul><li>match content to values for a more accurate and realistic product </li></ul><ul><li>discuss how they used critical theory in their evaluation </li></ul>
  27. 27. Example: Bhangra Crossover <ul><li>Brief: promo video for a new single, aimed at both a mainstream pop/ urban audience, and an Anglo-Asian audience. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Values/beliefs <ul><li>Mainstream/ Urban audience: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>White, black and Asian inclusive – ‘ghetto’ style is class based </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Material wealth – jewellery , cars etc as sign of status </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ street’ origins seen as being ‘real’ and genuine, not a ‘faker’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Asian, traditional bhangra audience: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asian culture highly valued – keeping in touch with ‘roots’ very important </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Celebration of culture more important than ‘bling’ </li></ul></ul>