Subcultures and Countercultures

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21 Apr 2012
Department
Course
PCUL1F92: Thursday February 2, 2012
Subculture and Counterculture: Style, Meaning and Substance
** Video clip of Grundie Punk Interview **
Subculture or Counterculture
“for both we want to consider how they express their [anti-society]
ideals through aspects such as fashion, behaviour, language, image and
other aspects of pop culture representation”.
The fact that both of these do this is perhaps why it is difficult to define
differences and that there is overlap and confusion.
O’Brien and Szeman suggest that the differences are in some ways
artificial.
They can feed into each other
But [Scott Henderson] would suggest some difference in terms of goals
and level of engagement/commitment.
Subcultures
** Image of man with spiky hair and a leather jacket stating “Punk is a
commodity
Resistant to mass culture.
About wanting to carve out a distinct place in society.
Yet, there is a willingness to engage with the practices and processes of
popular culture.
Music-based subcultures still engage in commerce.
Selling music, concert tickets, imagery, making videos, selling t-shirts,
etc.
But the styles and modes associated with that may reflect underlying
ideoloigers.
Context: High youth unemployment in London combined with vast
spending about the Queen’s jubilee led to the rise of punk as a
subculture.
Countercultures
** Image of a bunch of hippies on a colourful bus **
More critical of the system as a whole.
Have a desire to create an alternate system.
A ‘counter’ to culture as opposed to a ‘sub’set of existing culture.
One way of looking at it, a counterculture is a lifestyle. – affects social
organizations.
Subculture seems to be more about style, maintaining an image.
Yet, both are read by their cultural representations as revealing their
values.
Continued on next page
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