Subcultures: Popular Culture and Cultural Capital

Topics: Culture, Popular culture, Subculture Pages: 6 (2243 words) Published: December 8, 2005
To What extent are subcultures such as Goth, Dance or Hip Hop, types of consumption of media popular culture, rather than styles of resistance?

One problem in analysing a type of youth culture is measuring the extent to witch it is a response to a culture deliberately manufactured for marketing and consumption of cultural products. I would say to some extent all subcultures consume part of popular culture, but it does vary from which culture a person is apart of, E.G you can look at the Goth type of culture and think it not to be very commercialised at all. But I would argue differently, because Goth is one of the most commercialised types of culture in the world. The Director Tim Burton makes huge blockbuster films that have been filmed in a gothic style. So why is Goth not popular culture? The Hip Hop culture was discovered in 1970's America, It involved a very unique form of dancing called break dancing, and was based on the genre of music called Hip Hop. Most people would argue that Hip Hop became commercial when the Sugar Hill Gang released a single called Rappers Delight, but I would argue that the Hip Hop style of clothing consisted of high street clothing, which in a way made the subculture commercial even when it was deemed not to be. My argument is that all of the subcultures we have are commercial but within the subcultures there is a sense of resistance towards commercialisation. The types of subcultures in Britain today are vast in quantity. You can look around on a busy weekend shopping and see lots of different styles of clothing, and lots of different tastes of music and attitudes towards life in one city. Subculture can be dated back to the 1950's, where people were first frightened of the Teddy boy look. The public then became swamped with what they thought were bizarre street styles. There came the Mods and Rockers in the 1960's, then in the 1970's came the skinheads and punks. These sub cultural groups were a product of a modern global zing world, In that the look of mods was based on an Italian look of suits and scooters. These "subcultures" were considered to be resistance of the norm, where youths would try to look different to be different. Within these subcultures there are differences between them. For example Mods and rockers were separated by their tastes in music, as a result of this there are sometimes ritual fights that have outraged ‘straight' society like shopkeepers, the police, teachers and most importantly the media.

Today though society is more accepting of these subcultures in and around where they live. It has in a way become part of culture. This maybe because the old school Teds, Punks and Rockers have grown up, had children and they are now taking the same course but with a different subculture. But how have subcultures been labelled with distinct features, how have they generally been stereotyped by so many people as types of hooligan groups.

Today we have a mix of the new breed of sub culture and the old school types of subculture. To name a few that I have noticed are Mosher's, so called because of there love of rock music and the way they mosh to it, they also tend to wear baggy clothes and do sports like skateboarding. Indy boy's, so called because of there love of Indy music. Indy boys tend to wear the type of clothes that Noel Gallagher wears and they tend to like the main types of popular sport, like football and rugby. Mosher's and Indy boy's fight mainly because of their differences in clothing and music, they prefer not to mosh. And the chav, the chav is the most interesting of the new breed of subcultures and the most heavily commercialised, the clothes a chav wears and the music the chav listens to is extremely commercial, the clothing the chav is most commonly associated with is Burberry, which on the news recently has been linked with a clothing worn by football hooligans.

People have picked up on these subcultures in fashion, T.V and newspapers etc. and...

Bibliography: Brake, M. (1980), ‘The Sociology of Youth Culture and Youth Subcultures ' ‘The Concept of Culture ' London, Routledge pp7
Brake, M. (1980), ‘The Sociology of Youth Culture and Youth Subcultures ' ‘Subcultures, manufactured culture and the economy. Some considerations of the future ' London, Routledge pp158
Garnham, Nicholas and Williams, Raymond (1986) ‘Pierre Bourdieu and the Sociology of Culture ', in R. Collins et al. (eds) Media Culture and Society: A Critical Reader, London: Sage
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