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[<<] 1990s [>>]

By medium: music in the 1990s - film in the 1990s

Developments: information age - internet

1990 - 1991 - 1992 - 1993 - 1994 - 1995 - 1996 - 1997 - 1998 - 1999

Subculture in 1990s

The 1990s saw mostly a continuation of existing subcultures from the 80s. The music and clothes changed more than the sense of identity associated with the cultures. Dance music continued. Raves continued. Pop continued. Hip hop continued. Rock continued. Goth continued. Punks and Hippies were back. Sixties styles like Mod bands and psychedelia were revived and recycled. There were, within rock and dance music, some variations like grunge within rock or drum and bass within dance styles but these and others were just musical styles, not radically different mindsets representing actual subcultures. Even the term Generation X or Gen X refers to a condition experienced equally by previous generations and presented in a published form by journalists and novelists as if it were a new phenomenon.

The main new development of the 90s was on the internet. As the 1980s ended and the 90s began Tim Berners Lee created HTML which made possible the World Wide Web. The web allowed internet subcultures to grow from tiny numbers of geeks, to big global online communities. These communities are as diverse in their preoccupations as any other subcultures. There are online gaming communities, online forums, online projects of all kinds, serious or frivolous.

As always, coffeehouses are a gathering place for subcultures. In the 90s some new ones sprang up offering internet access with the coffee: Internet cafes.

In the 90s there was an increase in anti-globalisation protests. These had been taking place since the 1970s but the World Wide Web made it possible for isolated groups of the anti-global movement to get into close and regular contact with each other. They became more of a single community of protest and developed an international alternative media. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_subcultures_in_the_20th_century [Dec 2004]


  • 1991 American Psycho (1991) - Bret Easton Ellis
  • 1992 C'est Arrivé Pres de Chez Vous/Man Bites Dog (1992) - André Bonzel, Benoît Poelvoorde
  • 1993 Wired magazine launched
  • 1994 Riget aka The Kingdom (1994) - Morten Arnfred, Lars von Trier
  • 1995 The Origin of the World (1866) - Gustave Courbet, first time publicly displayed
  • 1996 A Brief History of Everything (1996) - Ken Wilber
  • 1997 Funny Games (1997) - Michael Haneke
  • 1998 Fucking Åmål, Show Me Love (1998) - Lukas Moodysson
  • 1999 Romance (1999) - Catherine Breillat

    Camille Paglia [...]

    Her significance in the intellectual world was two-fold:
    1. The seventies had seen the rise of a particularly rigid, doctrinaire "feminism" that many were finding stifling but only a few were challenging (e.g., the "sex positive" S&M lesbians, perhaps typified by Susie Bright).
    2. The left was pushing for a change in the traditional focus of western universities on western culture (sometimes derided as the study of "dead white males"). For example, Stanford University was dropping its well-regarded undergraduate requirement of a year-long course in "Western Culture" in favor of a more broadly-focused study of "Cultures Ideas and Values" or CIV. --wikipedia.org

    New media in the 1990s to 2000s

    In the late 1990s, new media referred to the rise of the Internet and the use of interactive digital technology for news and entertainment content, signifying a major shift from highly concentrated, television-oriented media organizations to more grass-roots, personalized and customized content. This has seen ebbs and flows, with different trends taking hold along the way:
    • 1996 - Advent of Internet, e-mail, Web content
    • 1998 - Large media organizations embrace Internet (ESPN/Disney, TimeWarner, Viacom/MTV), streaming audio and video, e-commerce
    • 2000 - Personal communications - rise of instant messaging, broadband, digital photography, DVD
    • 2002 - Personal interaction, web logs, peer-to-peer file sharing
    --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Media, Feb 2004


    The first rumblings of a resurgence in British fashion began in early 1996, when John Galliano was the suprise appointment as chief designer at Givenchy. Commentators were schocked that the post had not gone to a fellow Frenchman, such as Jean-Paul Gaultier.

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