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Related: sociology - subculture
In thinking through [Pierre] Bourdieu’s theories in relation to the terrain of youth culture, I’ve come to conceive of "hipness" as a form of subcultural capital. Although subcultural capital is a term that I’ve coined in relation to my own research, it is one that accords reasonably well with Bourdieu’s system of thought…Subcultural capital confers status on its owner in the eyes of the relevant beholder…subcultural capital is objectified in the form of fashionable haircuts and well-assembled record collections (full of well-chosen, limited edition "white label" twelve-inches and the like)…subcultural capital is embodied in the form of being "in the know"… (Thornton, 1995: 11).
BiographySarah Thornton is Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Sussex and coeditor of The Subcultures Reader (1996).
Subcultural CapitalIt is relatively easy to assign cultural value to rock and other counter-cultural musics-hip-hop, techno, reggae, grunge, dance-hall, and so on-because their value derives directly from the degree of their opposition to high culture. A resistant cultural practice has a certain cachet, what Sarah Thornton has termed "subcultural capital." Subcultural capital is insider knowledge, a kind of proof of membership in a counter-culture. For example, when I talk about counter-culture music practices in my classes, I display my subcultural capital and get that cachet transferred onto me. That is, my students think I'm "cool." And this subcultural capital operates over time as well. At the age of thirty-eight, I not only derive my subcultural capital from knowing about techno and hardcore, but also from owning all of Pink Floyd and much of the Velvet Underground in first edition, on vinyl. I can also speak with some authority about, for instance, how South Asians in the UK took hip-hop and mixed it up with classical Indian and Hindi-pop vocal practices to make bhangra. I can introduce students to Lillian Allen's uses of reggae musical materials in her politically fierce dub poetry. By displaying all this subcultural capital, I accrue cool points. --Anahid Kassabian, http://www.drake.edu/swiss/popularandbusiness.html
Subcultural CapitalIn thinking through [Pierre] Bourdieu’s theories in relation to the terrain of youth culture, I’ve come to conceive of "hipness" as a form of subcultural capital. Although subcultural capital is a term that I’ve coined in relation to my own research, it is one that accords reasonably well with Bourdieu’s system of thought…Subcultural capital confers status on its owner in the eyes of the relevant beholder…subcultural capital is objectified in the form of fashionable haircuts and well-assembled record collections (full of well-chosen, limited edition "white label" twelve-inches and the like)…subcultural capital is embodied in the form of being "in the know"… (Thornton, 1995: 11).
- Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital - Sarah Thornton [Amazon US]
Focusing on youth cultures that revolve around dance clubs and raves in Great Britain and the U.S., Sarah Thornton highlights the values of authenticity and hipness and explores the complex hierarchies that emerge within the domain of popular culture. She portrays club cultures as "taste cultures" brought together by micro-media like flyers and listings, transformed into self-conscious "subcultures" by such niche media as the music and style press, and sometimes recast as "movements" with the aid of such mass media as tabloid newspaper front pages. She also traces changes in the recording medium from a marginal entertainment in the 50s to the clubs and raves of the 90s.
Drawing on the work of Pierre Bourdieu, Thornton coins the term "subcultural capital" to make sense of distinctions made by "cool" youth, noting particularly their disparagement of the "mainstream" against which they measure their alternative cultural worth. Well supported with case studies, readable, and innovative, Club Cultures will become a key text in cultural and media studies and in the sociology of culture.
"Skipping from discos to acid houses to raves, the world within the scene is dissected by theoretical insight and first hand experience . . . Thornton never falls short on hipster jargon." -- Bikini
"A wonderful book, a delight to read, and a real contribution to the literature on popular music and youth culture and to the broader literature of cultural studies and popular culture." -- Lawrence Grossberg, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
"Imagine a book that could be subtitled Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Dance But Didn't Even Know Such Questions Existed." -- Q magazine (three star rating)
"A highly accessible yet rigorously written study of popular culture, with some pertinent points about what clubbing means for the gals . . . An important contribution not only to current media debates, but also that oft overlooked question of club music and gender." -- Everywoman
"Essential reading, and especially valuable for those veteran clubbers who might be finding it difficult to remember for themselves -- if you know what I mean." -- The Pulse
"[If a] critical analysis of the far-reaching cultural effects of clubbing sets your pulse racing, this thoroughly researched book makes for an essential bedside companion." -- Musik
The Subcultures Reader (2000) - Ken Gelder, Sarah Thornton
- The Subcultures Reader (2000) - Ken Gelder, Sarah Thornton [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
First coined in the 1940s, the term "subculture" has been applied to society's most interesting, and, often, most inventive elements. Through a collection of articles written over the last 50 years, this book by Gelder and Thornton traces both the history of the academic study of subcultures and the history of subcultures themselves. While you'll find the usual assortment of articles on punk rock, street gangs, and Star Trek fans, what is perhaps most interesting are the articles from the early days of "subculture studies." Two of the highlights include a piece by Paul G. Cressey on 1930s taxi dancers and their opinions on race and class, and an article by Howard Becker on the language and attitudes of jazz musicians in the early '60s. The 55 selections in this volume offer a rich spectrum of subcultures and the academic responses they have evoked. --Amazon.com
Subcultures--from the 1950s juvenile delinquents portrayed by Elvis, James Dean and Marlon Brando to 1970s punk rockers Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten, to 90s angst-ridden Kurt Cobain and Henry Rollins, from fans of Star Trek to the current crowd of internet surfers--define themselves in opposition to society's mainstream. They also differentiate among themselves, creating hierarchies of participation, knowledge and taste. The Subcultures Reader collects the most valuable and stimulating writings on subcultures from the Chicago School to the present. It enables students and teachers to understand how subcultural studies developed, the range of work it encompasses, and future directions of study. All the articles have been specifically selected and edited for inclusion in the Reader and are grouped in sections, each with an editor's introduction. --via Amazon.com
This revised and updated edition of a hugely successful book brings together the most valuable and stimulating writings on subcultures, from the early work of the Chicago School on 'deviant' social groups to the present day reasearch and theories. This new edition features a wide range of articles from some of the biggest names in the field including Dick Hebdige, Paul Gilroy and Stanley Cohen, and expertly combines contemporary essays and critique with classic and canonical texts on subcultures. Examining an eclectic array of subcultures, from New Age travellers, to comic book fans, "The Reader" looks at how they are defined through their social position, styles, sexuality, politics and their music, and this new edition gives expression to the diversity of subcultural identifications, from scenes and 'tribes' to the 'global underground'. With specially selected articles, grouped sections, editors introductions and a general introduction which maps out the field, it gives students and teachers of cultural studies an invaluable study aid.
Introduction to Subcultural Studies,; Part One The Chicago School and urban ethnography, Introduction: Ken Gelder, 1 Robert E. Park, 'The City: Suggestions for the Investigation of Human Behaviour in the Urban Environment' (1925), 2 Paul G. Cressey, 'The Life-Cycle of the Taxi-Dancer' (1932), 3 Milton M. Gordon, 'The Concept of a Sub-Culture and its Application' (1947), 4 Albert K. Cohen, 'A General Theory of Subcultures' (1955), 5 Ned Polsky, 'Research Method, Morality and Criminology' (1967), 6 John Irwin, 'Notes on the Status of the Concept Subculture' (1970),; Part Two The Birmingham Tradition and cultural studies, Introduction: Ken Gelder 7 Phil Cohen, 'Subcultural Conflict and Working-Class Community' (1972), 8 John Clarke, Stuart Hall, Tony Jefferson and Brian Roberts, 'Subcultures: Cultures and Class' (1975), 9 Angela McRobbie and Jenny Garber, 'Girls and Subcultures' (1975), 10 Paul E. Willis, 'Culture, Institution, Differentiation' (1977), 11 Dick Hebdige, 'Subculture: The Meaning of Style' (1979), 12 Angela McRobbie, 'Second-Hand Dresses and the Role of the Ragmarket' (1989),; Part Three Critiques and Alternatives, Introduction: Ken Gelder, 13 Jock Young, 'The Subterranean World of Play' (1971), 14 Stanley Cohen, 'Symbols of Trouble' (1980), 15 Gary Clarke, 'Defending Ski-Jumpers' (1981), 16 Andrew Tolson, 'Social Surveillance and Subjectification' (1990), 17 Sarah Thornton, 'The Social Logic of Subcultural Capital' (1995), 18 Michel Maffesoli, 'The Emotional Community' (1996),; Part Four Occupying Territories, Introduction: Ken Gelder, 19 Frederic M. Thrasher, 'Gangland' (1927),; 20 William Foote Whyte, 'The Problem of Cornerville' (1943),; 21 Erving Goffman, 'Hospital Underlife: Places' (1961),; 22 Peter Marsh, Elizabeth Rosser and Rom Harre, 'Life on the Terraces' (1978), 23 Kevin Hetherington, 'Blank Figures in the Countryside' (2000), 24 Iain Borden, 'Performing the City' (2001) Part Five Style, Identity, Politics, Introduction: Ken Gelder, 25 Ralph H. Turner and Samuel J. Surace, 'Zoot-Suiters and Mexicans' (1956), 26 T. R. Fyvel, 'Fashion and Revolt' (1963), 27 Dick Hebdige, 'Posing...Threats, Striking...Poses' (1983), 28 Kobena Mercer, 'Black Hair/Style Politics' (1987), 29 Nancy Macdonald, 'Making a World of Difference: The Personal Benefits of Subcultural Membership' (2001), 30 Michael Atkinson, 'Tattoo Enthusiasts: Subculture or Figuration?' (2003),; Part Six Sexed Subjects, Introduction: Ken Gelder, 31 Laud Humphreys, 'The Sociologist as Voyeur' (1970), 32 Douglas Crimp with Adam Rolston, 'AIDS Activist Graphics' (1990), 33 Murray Healy, 'Getting Harder: Skinheads and Homosexuals' (1996), 34 Marcia Ian, 'When is a Body Not a Body?; When it's a Building' (1996), 35 Judith Halberstam, 'Drag Kings: Masculinity and Performance' (1998), 36 Clare Hemmings, 'Waiting For No Man: bisexual femme subjectivity and cultural repudiation' (1998),; Part Seven Scenes of Music, Introduction: Ken Gelder, 37 Howard Becker, 'The Culture of a Deviant Group: The Dance Musician' (1963), 38 Dave Laing, 'Listening to Punk' (1985), 39 Paul Gilroy, 'Diaspora, Utopia and the Critique of Capitalism' (1987), 40 Will Straw, 'Communities and Scenes in Popular Music' (1991), 41 James Farrer, 'Disco "Super-Culture": consuming foreign sex in the Chinese disco' (1999), 42 Ben Malbon, 'Moments of Ecstasy' (2001),; Part Eight Mediated, Global, Virtual, Introduction: Ken Gelder, 43 Howard Rheingold, 'Introduction to The Virtual Community' (1994), 44 Stephen Duncombe, 'Community' (1997), 45 Sharon Kinsella, 'Amateur Manga Subculture and the Otaku Incident' (2000), 46 David Bell, 'Meat and Metal' (2000), 47 Paul Hodkinson, 'Communicating Goth: On-line Media' (2002), 48 Martin Roberts, 'Notes on a Global Underground' (2004) --via the publisher
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