Sociology and Subcultures

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Subcultures are a significant part of society. They certainly play an important role in any individual life and help to explain how each person develops a frame of reference. Subcultures are simply a world within the larger world of a dominant culture. They are any corner in life in which peoples’ experiences lead them to have their own unique perceptions on the world. Everybody has their own perceptions on society, values, and life in general. Values, attitudes, gestures, and sanctions tend to stem from the dominant culture in one’s life. Throughout the dominant culture that a person spends his or her time in learning and changing through different experiences many subcultures have developed. People have a variety of interests, careers, hobbies, values, and identities. Subcultures allow people who share similar interests to assimilate, socialize, gives them a sense of belonging and fellowship among peers.

Countercultures have their own unique role in society. Countercultures are simply subcultures whose values or activities and goals are opposed or run counter to that of the mainstream or dominant culture. Counterculture can also be described as a group whose behavior deviates from the societal norm. Countercultures can be both negative and positive. They can also become larger when more people are involved and assimilate into the mainstream just as subcultures in general have this potential.

Biker Gangs, drug users, career criminals, prisoners, and terrorists have in common that they all have negative perceptions from society and are countercultures. The March on Wall Street group of people can be considered a counterculture and can be viewed as both positive and negative. Members of the Underground Railroad who fought for freedom during times of slavery can be a counterculture viewed as positive today but at the time had a negative view by most of society. Today, society believes everybody is equal and has the same rights in America which is the...
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