Age and Generation (Society Now) by Mike O'Donnell

By Mike O'Donnell

Age and iteration introduces scholars to the most sociological and anthropological matters surrounding this subject, from youth to previous age, and focuses, specifically, on formative years tradition.

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A subculture exists when the way of life of a particular group is sufficiently distinctive to give its members a characteristic identity and to differentiate them from the majority or dominant culture. M. Gordon (1978) refers to ‘social conditions such as class status, ethnic background, regional and urban residence, and religious affiliation’ which can provide the basis for the formation of a subculture. No subculture exists entirely independently of the dominant culture, and subcultural analysis largely focuses on the interaction between the two.

In one of the most brilliant (because once stated, quite obvious) Marxistinspired semiological interpretations, Cohen decodes their ‘uniform’ – Doc Marten boots, braces, collarless shirts, and cropped hair – as a 46 dramatized, exaggerated version of traditional, male, working-class attire. In Subculture: The Meaning of Style, Dick Hebdige continues the history of subcultures through ‘glam and glitter rock’ to punk. Hebdige suggests that David Bowie appealed to a ‘mass youth’ audience with a message of fantasy and escape.

Hebdige sees punk as an attempt to expose the extravagance and remoteness of ‘glam rock’ while still using some of its stylistic techniques. Punk was in part a response to rising youth unemployment. Punks dramatized the plight of working-class youth by wearing cheap, patched-together clothes, repulsively ‘glammed up’. As Hebdige says, punk carried ‘the political bite, so obviously missing in most contemporary white music’. But it was a sharp explosion of anarchy, a violent ‘capitulation to alienation’ rather than rational politics that characterized punk.

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