Surfing- Counter Culture

Topics: Surfing, Surf culture, History of surfing Pages: 4 (1501 words) Published: December 13, 2010
In order to successfully understand the inexplicable surfer’s lifestyle as a counter-culture to main society, we must first have a greater knowledge of the ingredients that make this culture so different in the views of the social norm. A counter-culture as described by Professor Chad Smith in the second week of class is, “When subcultures specially stand in direct opposition to the dominant culture of the society in which they are located, rejecting it’s most important values and norms and endorsing their opposites.” As surfers began to express themselves more and more freely throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s, the surfing sub-culture that was portrayed by the media, with retrospect to Gidget and Beach Part, began to diminish in the eyes of society; as a new breed of antisocial surfers stood in opposition of the culture that was created around them. With America fighting a World War across seas, the youth of this era were fighting themselves in order to establish a “distinction” from the normality that society was classifying by, in the Post World War II era. With capitalism increasing and the ideology of the worry free leisure lifestyle that the surfing subculture was radiating, many of the current surfers of this time would have a great influence in this ever so fragile transformation from surfing as a subculture to it’s rejection as a counter-culture.

The emergence of the surfing lifestyle to the Southern Californian coastline was indeed a subculture that was not viewed heavily on gangs and deviants but on “clean-teens” that were having fun. This view along with the involvement of the US in World War II began to change as surfing became more popular, and with the uprising of a new crop of youth surfers. The image of the surfer also began to change as more and more newcomers to the sport felt it could be as an escape from school and ordinary social values. These newcomers “entered surfing and which they generated the behavior patterns which they displayed...
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