Skinhead subculture is originated among working class youths in United Kingdom in the 1960s. The first skinheads were greatly influenced by Jamaican rude boys and British mods. Originally, the skinhead subculture was primarily based on elements of fashion, music and lifestyle, not politics or race. However, with the revival of skinhead in 1970s, the emergence of white power skinheads made them largely related to race and politics. Today, I will explain the skinhead identity by showing two clips from Romper Stomper and my partner Silvia will introduce different factions and politics of skinheads as well as their condition nowadays.
This clip presents the conversation between Hando and the woman in his room, illustrating his main purpose of becoming skinhead. Hando’s life as a skinhead is largely related to Nazi. As showed in the film, his room is decorated with a great number of Nazi objects including the Nazi helmet, posters, flag, book and tattoos on his body. The neo-Nazi culture commodities are used as subcultural capital, which is expected to raise their status and help differentiate themselves from others. However, audience of mainstream will interpret these subculture capitals as strange, deviant things and hence regard skinheads as a subculture which cannot be accepted by the mainstream culture.
Although not clearly indicted in the film, the activities of these skinheads seem to be depicted as deviance that violates social norms. The first clip we intensively represents the deviant image of skinheads through scenes such as using violence to the Asians, and close-up of their unusual living place. Deviant acts can be a way to predicate identity, thus against norms of the dominant culture and in favor of a subculture.
The identity of skinheads can be also maintained through fashion and music. Fashion is an essential element to distinguish skinheads’ identity not only from that of mainstreams, but also from different factions....
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