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Beyond Spectacular Specifics in the Study of Youth (Sub)Cultures

Hodkinson, Paul (2012) Beyond Spectacular Specifics in the Study of Youth (Sub)Cultures Journal of Youth Studies, 15 (5).

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This paper asks how much we can learn about youth music and style groupings from the detail of the spectacular content and practices which most obviously distinguish such groups. First, I consider an apparent revival in theoretically driven interpretations of subcultural style, music and content in recent work on the goth scene, arguing that, for all their sophistication, such studies seem liable to reproduce some of the difficulties of earlier studies of spectacular symbolic meanings unless their findings are connected with other kinds of evidence. The paper then examines recent calls for greater focus on the minutiae of participants’ sensory experience of distinct subcultural practices. I discuss case studies of promising work in the area, while emphasising the need to avoid reducing subcultures to the specificities of selected spectacular experience. Drawing the two parts together, I suggest many elements of subcultures are neither imprinted in spectacular sounds and texts nor discernable from the immediate sensations spectacular practices give rise to. In order to enhance our overall understanding it is important, therefore, that our examination of the distinct and extraordinary features of subcultures is contextualised in relation to broader understandings a range of other properties and patterns which may be less distinct, unique or extraordinary.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Date : 1 March 2012
DOI : 10.1080/13676261.2012.663891
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2012 Taylor & Francis.This is an electronic version of an article published as Hodkinson PE (2012). Beyond Spectacular Specifics in the Study of Youth (Sub)Cultures. Journal of Youth Studies 15(5). Available online at:
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 27 Jun 2012 12:37
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 16:35

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