The function of Subculture

reading notes:

The twin concepts of conjuncture and specificity (each subculture representing a ‘distinctive moment’- a particular response to a particular set of circumstances) are therefore indispensable to a study of subcultural style.

The experience encoded in subcultures is shaped in a variety of locales (school, work, home ect,) each of these locales imposes its own rules and meanings, its own hierarchy of values and unique structure.

the media play a crucial role in defining our experience for us. they provide us with the most available categories for classifying out the social world. therefore it should hardly surprise us that much of what finds itself encoded in subculture has already been subjected to a certain amount of prior handling in the media. “The media have progressively colonised the cultural and ideological sphere”


Mod (originally modernist, sometimes capitalised) is a subculture that originated in London, England in the late 1950s and peaked in the early to mid 1960s.[1][2][3]
Significant elements of the mod subculture include: fashion (often tailor-made suits); pop music, including African American soul, Jamaican ska, and British beat music and R&B; and Italian motor scooters. The original mod scene was also associated with amphetamine-fuelled all-night dancing at clubs.[4] From the mid to late 1960s onwards, the mass media often used the term mod in a wider sense to describe anything that was believed to be popular, fashionable or modern.
There was a mod revival in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s, which was followed by a mod revival in North America in the early 1980s, particularly in Southern California.[5][6]

The Teddy boys (1950s, and 1970s revival):

The British Teddy Boy subculture is typified by young men wearing clothes inspired by the styles of the Edwardian period, which Savile Row tailors had tried to re-introduce after World War II. The group got its name after a 1953 newspaper headline shortened Edward to Teddy and coined the term Teddy Boy (also known as Ted). The subculture started in London in the 1950s and rapidly spread across the UK, soon becoming strongly associated with American rock and roll music of the period. Although there had been youth groups with their own dress codes called “Scuttlers” in 19th century Manchester and Liverpool,[1] Teddy Boys were the first youth group in England to differentiate themselves as teenagers, helping create a youth market.

The punk subculture is a subculture based around punk rock. It includes music, ideologies, fashion, visual art, dance, literature and film. The punk scene is composed of an assortment of smaller factions that distinguish themselves from one another through unique variations. Several of these factions have developed out of punk to become subcultures in their own rightThe punk subculture emerged in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia in the mid-1970s. Exactly which region originated punk has long been a major controversy within the movement.



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