Subculture, the Meaning of Style - Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Dick Hebdige
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Chapter 4 Summary and Analysis

Hebdige contends that white subcultures borrowed many of their cultural elements from contemporary black subcultures. Where elements of black culture appear in the mass media, the author claims, they are wrongly attributed to whites and laundered of their subversive voice. To many whites, particularly to the beats and the hipsters, the blacks represent a naturalized state of man, existing apart from the societal expectations and imposed constraints of their familiar white culture.

Bound to the blacks by jazz music, the hipsters and the beats each represent different cultural engagements. The hipsters, with their slick zoot suits, represent the traditional upward mobility of the black street-corner man. The college-educated beats, however, with their ripped clothes and sandals, engage the poverty inherent in black culture. While seemingly oppositional approaches, the author argues, both the beat and the hipster are symbolizing blacks to communicate...

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This section contains 663 words
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Buy the Subculture, the Meaning of Style Study Guide
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