Urban tribes are made up by groups of people – usually young, with a distinct common identity: the same aesthetic codes, the same identity symbols, the same rules, the same language, the same music… A whole ideology!
These tribes have many different ideologies: right-wing, left-wing, non-political or against globalization. Some of them are nearly extinct, and others in full expansion. But all of them are ruled by it own ideology. They usually meet in central, commercial or nightlife areas. Sometimes people associate urban tribes with violence. In fact, there are some of them which are linked to incidents, brutal attacks and social problems; but many of them are inoffensive.
Urban tribes born in the UK.
Skin Heads: they were born in England in the 60s to combat nationalism. Soon they diverged into two groups: the extreme right-wing and the extreme left-wing, and which became strong enemies. They are a violent, xenophobic and homophobic group. They share the same aesthetics, which the most representative point is their shaved hair. They wear nylon jackets, Nazi emblems and military boots.
Gothics: they were born in England between the 70s and the 80s. They share the same style, musical and cultural dark tastes. Their aesthetic focuses on the colour black: Both their clothes and their makeup are black. Their favourite music styles are the Gothic rock and death rock among others. They love death and everything associated with obscurantism, but they are not a violent group. On the contrary, this tribe pleads for the tolerance and the diversity.
Punks: they are known as anti globalization groups. The Punk was born in the late 70s in the UK. The punks are an anarchistic group: they are against capitalism, neoliberalism and consumerism. As with other tribes, they share some specific music and fashion styles. They wear used clothes, mostly black (combined with other explosive colours). It is usually broken, patched and adorned with logos of punk bands and anti-repression slogans. Normally they have their hair shaved with a mohawk or coloured crest. Their favourite musical bands are The Ramones, The Clash or the Sex Pistols. They are constantly fighting against the police.
Urban tribes in The UK nowadays
Nowadays, urban tribes in the UK, are divided into 25 different groups but we are going to explain the ten most important and known ones. -Indie scenesters: They still like to be ahead of the game when it comes about discovering new music. Indie scenesters still cannot shake off the skinny jeans though. They occupy the space previously inhabited by the trendies –another urban tribe-, they exist because of the fashionable status of guitar music mixed with electronic sounds.
There is significant role reversal in the indie scenester tribe, with both boys and girls dressing in tight fitting clothes. Scenesters are festivals goers and adrenalized clubs. -DIYers: Do it yourself (DIY) is the method of building, modifying, or repairing something without the aid of experts or professionals, alter or reconstruct the property. The term “do-it-yourself” has been associated with consumers, at least since 1912, mainly in the field of home improvement and maintenance activities.
The DIY movement is a representation of the old pattern of involvement and use of skills in upkeep of a house or an apartment, personal clothing, maintenance of cars, computers, websites, or any material aspect of life. -Hipsters: Hipster is a term frequently used to refer to a subculture of young adults, recently established in the urban middle class. They are considered as being different and not following trends. This subculture is associated with independent music and it is close to alternative lifestyles. In youth culture, hipster usually refers to young people with a taste for alternative music, skateboarding or other urban sports with an ironic sense of fashion or style or another “bohemian”.
One important characteristic that identifies them most is that they wear the most expensive glasses. They are usually associated with alternative culture, particularly alternative music and independent films. -Get paid crew: They have their eyes firmly set on world domination. They are determined to be their own boss and forge their way in the world. They are motivated, resourceful and determined to emerge successful on their own term and receive the respect and income they deserve. Get paid crew, are inspired by the likes of self-mode entrepreneur.
-Real gamers: It is about playing important games that everybody plays. It is not just computer games; instead, they are masters of the digital world, its languages and codes of conduct. Real gamers spend a lot of time playing in front of the computer, and sometimes they continue playing for long hours without sleeping. -Nerds: A nerd is a person, typically described as being overly intellectual, obsessive and socially impaired. They may spend inordinate amounts of time on unpopular, obscure or non-mainstream activities, which are generally either highly technical or related to topics of fiction or fantasy, to the exclusion of more mainstream activities.
Additionally, many nerds are described as being shy, quirky and unattractive. -Emos: It is a subculture that was born in the 1980s, as a musical style derived from the American punk hardcore. The “emo” word stands for emotional hardcore music. Nowadays, the majority of the emos are teenagers, between 14 and 20 years old. They have a negative vision of the life and normally they are pessimistic and they think that they are victims from a capitalist society. Generally, “My Chemical Romance” is one of the bands that represent this subculture.
The emos are characterized by having dyed hair, dark (black, red, or multicoloured), covering one eye (or the entire face) is their hairstyle, piercings are common, dark makeup (eye line most notably black) is present in both boys and girls. They wear clothes of dark colours, preferably black. The shirts are usually smaller than the size that should be worn and stamped, often with images of punk culture. Vans shoes in pink and black gridded and the Converse All Star shoes are more widespread among emos. They look very androgynous.
They are usually depressed and they hate life in general, which is worthless and meaningless for them. Their music style has added sentimental, sad and suicidal messages. They are not dangerous to other people, but maybe they are to themselves because of their suicide tendency. -Skaters: is the subculture of many skateboarders. Skaters often are similar to punk and skater punks are common. Skaters are opposed to police, and police action; however this is usually kept in the scope of keeping skaters from being hurt by police. They can be very creative in opposing police oppression, and unneeded skateboard bans. Skaters skate in streets, or concrete skate parks, as opposed to ramps.
Skateboarding can be a recreational activity, an art form, a job, or a method of transportation. Skateboarding has been shaped and influenced by many skateboarders throughout the years. An interesting note is the fact that skaters often carry cameras. They film what goes on while skating in order to shoot some decent footy for a nice video part or just for fun to watch themselves progress, but also often record police action incidents, so a camera is a defence mechanism of sorts. Skaters often are opposed to business’s co-opting of skateboarding, which is one of the things that differentiate them from other skateboarders.
They often oppose, or do not support pro-skateboarding. Not all skateboarders are skaters; even many skateboarders strongly oppose skaters. -Trendies: The look of these people is more important than life itself. They buy Vogue and Glamour, mainly just to carry around and remind the plebs of their social standing. They aspire to be fusionists. -Hardcore: This urban tribe has its origin in North America and the UK in the late 70s, a period marked by revolutions in the world.
The hard-core scene as a youth movement differs from punk to leave behind the destructive schemes and ideologies and opt for a positive movement. People who have this kind of culture express their discomfort with society, because they think society is responsible of all the tragedies around the world. They are convinced that language is the most important thing when you want to communicate with others and when you want to be understood. In addition, hardcore is not considered a fashion, a style, or a specific kind of clothes, but a way of life which shows their vision of the world from a perspective of social criticism. Bibliography
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