Unit 2 – 2/19/2014
Subcultures are groups that share in some parts of the dominant culture but have their
own distinctive values, norms, beliefs, symbols language, or material culture.
Oftentimes we identify subcultures by physical traits, ethnicity, religion, age, etc. but it
goes beyond these simple identifiers.
One central characteristic of subcultures is that the members in some way are separated
or cut off from mainstream society.
Ex: Sororities and Fraternities, Military Groups and Organizations
Countercultures are subcultures in which the norms, values, beliefs, symbols, and
language the members share emphasize conflict or opposition to the larger culture.
Members consciously reject some or most of the dominant norms, values, and approved
forms of selfexpression.
Ex: Hippies, Gangs, KKK, Cults
Deviance, Social Marking, and Stigma
Deviance refers to the violation of a social norm by an individual or group.
When someone violated a norm (folkway, more, or law), they are labeled in society as
ABC’s of Deviance:
Attitude or belief system is alternative (Wiccans, Aliens, Scientologists)
Behavior that violates society’s norms (Bestiality, Cannibalism)
Condition that hinders one from being seen as normal (Socioeconomic
Condition, Tattoos, Physical Characteristics)
Those who are viewed as deviant by society are seen as socially marked or having
socially marked (deviant) characteristics.
According to Brekhus, we socially mark behaviors, attitudes, identities, social spaces,
and environments that are considered socially extreme.
Ex: Brekhus explains that our lives are like a coloring