Subculture, the Meaning of Style - Introduction and Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

Dick Hebdige
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Introduction and Chapter 1 Summary and Analysis

Dick Hebdige's Subculture is a structuralist approach to understanding the styles of Britain's youth cultures. Hebdige argues that style, through the subversion of common objects, allows Britain's subcultures to symbolically separate themselves from the mass culture to which they belong. By defining this separate system of symbols, these subcultures challenge tradition, denying the context of the mass culture. In this way, otherwise powerless teenagers can be transformed into the socially significant punk rockers.

Dick Hebdige defines style as an aesthetic nonconformity. Those who participate in this cultural rebellion, whether consciously or expressively, invite backlash from the majority culture. This scorn then serves to galvanize the countercultural identity, legitimizing the subculture precisely by rejecting its deviance. In this way the autonomy of a subculture is both established and maintained. Such discrimination creates a stylistic vehicle for those desiring...

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This section contains 519 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Subculture, the Meaning of Style Study Guide
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