Subcultures

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  • Subculture
    • A group of people that share a set of norms and values that deviate from mainstream society
    • Spectacular subculture
      • Dramatic subcultures that attract the attention of the public and mass media through their distinctive dress and deviant behaviour
      • Too much focus on these types?
        • Paul Willis 1990 found only 13% of young people claim to belong to a 'spectacular subculture'
          • The other 87% are 'ordinary youth' meaning the generally follow the the mainstream norms and values of society
    • Marxists
      • Believe that subcultures are caused by class conflicts
        • Most subcultures involved young working class boys. They believe this is because they are the bottom in society and have nothing  to look forwards to
          • Being in a subculture gives them the independence and status they wont have in later life
      • Phil Cohen studied skinheads and he believed their style was a reaction to the loss of working class communities and a way to reinstate their masculinity
    • Stan Cohen
      • Believes the media over exaggerate spectacular subcultures by creating a moral panic.
        • A moral panic is when the public has a strong reaction to a particular group of people or a certain event
          • To create a moral panic it is almost essential to create a 'Folk Devil'. Which is an over simplified generaliza-tion of a particular social group.
            • The people with the power to create folk devils and moral panics are moral entrepreneurs
              • A person or organisation with the power to impose their morals and views and to create and enforce rules.
    • Functionalists
      • Believe that  subcultures are an essential part of society
        • Parsons believes they act as a bridge between childhood and adult life.
    • Postmodernists
      • Believe that subcultures are a thing of the past
        • Willis believes that there are many different styles and cultures in our society now and we can therefore create our own unique style
          • This means it is impossible to categorise a person into a single subculture

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