2/25/13 2:18 PM
What is this class about? • Empowerment and ability to define yourself, don’t let others do it for you • Despite time period, all groups discussed drew on traditional methods to shape their world • Passion • Learning how to live What is culture? • Characteristics of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts What is subculture and what is its connection to culture? • Subculture is the group who is either viewed, or views itself, as disenfranchised and often in opposition to the larger culture in which they exist • Connected to culture because the subculture exists solely as a result the mainstream is in some way inadequate and must be changed How does culture work? (5 stages) Why is this relevant to this class? • Cyclical o Starts with contact o Identify/discern who you are contacting o Development of feeling o Intention – pick and choose components of others culture o Acting on aforementioned feelings What are the key components of culture? • Comprehensive because all parts fit together in a logical fashion • Learned rather than something we are born with • Manifested within boundaries of acceptable behavior • Conscious awareness of cultural standards agreed upon by consensus • Falls somewhere between static and dynamic (depending on how quickly changes are accepted) but tend toward conservative What is the difference between history and historicity and why is that relevant to this class? • History – the story of the political elite
Historicity - coined by Richard Mercer Dorson – the story of everyone else not covered by history • Relevance – we will be looking at historicity – the subcultures discussed in this class were in general left out or misrepresented by those who write and record history simply because history is controlled by the mainstream, which has a distaste for all things against the norm What is the relationship between ‘style’ and ‘substance’? Are they in opposition to one another? • Style - form of cultural ethnocentrism, the outward manifestation of substance • Substance – how much, and what kind of meaning, is essential in the things we do • Style and substance are in a constant state of negotiation What is ethnocentrism? • Your own culture does things the right way and anything that differs from your way is wrong and needs to be corrected What does “cultural relativity” mean? • Not the concept that all cultures are equal to one another • Implies that every culture must be evaluated in its own context, not in comparison to our own (or other) culture •
Theorizing About Subcultures - 1
2/25/13 2:18 PM
How does mainstream culture respond to subcultures? • Often times mainstream view subcultures with a sense of fear and wonderment at the same time • Mainstream may look to commodify the ‘cool’ aspects of a subculture as a means to make money, this often ends up destroying the subculture or results in the subculture making drastic changes in order to differentiate itself from mainstream culture Why are subcultures considered such a threat? • Breach the expectations of mainstream • Disrupt the basis of mainstream (based on consensus) • Disrupts the sense of order that mainstream requires • Deviate from the socially accepted code that safeguard the mainstream’s unbreakable status In what ways does a subculture operate as “noise?” • Interfere with orderly sequence of mainstream society • Challenge the mores, norms, traditional beliefs • Temporarily block the normal order of things o Do this by diverting the attention of mainstream culture to the actions of the subculture o Mainstream culture spends substantial time criticizing subcultural movements – distracts mainstream from starting wars and making money What are the seven characteristics of subcultural behavior? • Relationships approach communism • Sexual relationships deviate from the nuclear family (& monogamy) • Believe they are...
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