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A youth subculture Essay

A youth subculture is a youth-based subculture with distinct styles, behaviors, and interests. Youth subcultures offer participants an identity outside of that ascribed by social institutions such as family, work, home and school. Youth subcultures that show a systematic hostility to the dominant culture are sometimes described as countercultures

The punk subculture, which centres on punk rock music, includes a diverse array of ideologies, fashions and forms of expression, including visual art, dance, literature and film. The subculture is largely characterized by anti-establishment views and the promotion of individual freedom. The punk subculture emerged in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States in the mid-1970s

A rave (from the verb: to rave) is a large party or festival featuring performances by disc jockeys (colloquially called DJs) and occasionally live performers playing electronic music, particularly electronic dance music (EDM). Music played at raves include house, trance, techno, drum and bass, hardcore and other forms of electronic dance music with the accompaniment of laser light shows, projected images, visual effects and smoke machines. The rave scene is know mostly worldwide for its use of club drugs, such as MDMA, LSD, and psychedelic mushrooms. Rave culture originated mostly from acid house music parties in the mid-to-late 1980s in the Chicago area in the United States.[1]

After Chicago house artists began experiencing overseas success, it quickly spread to the United Kingdom, Central Europe, Australia and the rest of the United States.[2][3] The goth subculture is a contemporary subculture found in many countries. It began in England during the early 1980s in the gothic rock scene, an offshoot of the post-punk genre. The goth subculture has survived much longer than others of the same era, and has continued to diversify. Its imagery and cultural proclivities indicate influences from the 19th century Gothic literature along with horror films.[1][2][

In sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, a subculture is a set of people with a distinct sets of behavior and beliefs that differentiate them from a larger culture of which they are a part. The subculture may be distinctive because of the age of its members, or by their race, ethnicity, class and/or gender, and the qualities that determine a subculture as distinct may be aesthetic, religious, occupational, political, sexual or a combination of these factors.

It may be difficult to identify subcultures because their style (particularly clothing and music) may often be adopted by mass culture for commercial purposes, as businesses will often seek to capitalise on the subversive allure of the subculture in search of cool, which remains valuable in selling any product. This process of cultural appropriation may often result in the death or evolution of the subculture, as its members adopt new styles which are alien to the mainstream.

A common example is the punk subculture of the United Kingdom, whose distinctive (and initially shocking) style of clothing was swiftly adopted by mass-market fashion companies once the subculture became a media interest. In this sense, many subcultures can be seen to be constantly evolving, as their members attempt to remain one step ahead of the dominant culture. In turn, this process provides a constant stream of styles which may be commercially adopted.

Many people would consider that the most visible examples of subcultures are youth groups which identify themselves through distinctive styles of dress, activity and music. However, there is a certain difficulty in supplying examples, in that the process by which subcultural style is incorporated by the dominant culture provokes a state of constant evolution in many subcultures. Musical subcultures are particularly vulnerable to this process, and so what may be considered a subculture at one stage in its history (jazz, punk, hip-hop, rave culture) may represent mainstream taste within a short period of time.

However, many subcultures also reject or modify the importance of style, stressing membership through the adoption of an ideology which may be much more resistant to commercial exploitation. Indeed, the resistance to commercial exploitation may often represent a key part of this ideology.

Perhaps the best example would be the punk subculture, which has progressed through several cycles of revival and commercial appropriation in its history. Members of the punk subculture can often be identified by their distinctive clothing, hair, jewellery and tattoos. In contrast to its commercialised variant, many punks consider that the subculture also possesses a distinctive punk ideology which rejects commercialism and conformity. A similar philosophy may be found in underground hip hop culture, which has also faced mass-market commercialisation and dilution of its ideals.


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