Young people have a particular relationship with the world. There are many groupings or subcultures that have interests different from those of the mainstream culture. A particular cultural grouping is a way for young people to express their individuality, to spend their free time. Teens create a certain lifestyle within their subcultures. Being in a group is like living a real life for them.
A subculture is a part of the mainstream culture differing from it. In 1950 an American sociologist David Riseman gave a definition of subculture: Its a group of people choosing style and values prefered by the less. His colleague Dick Habdege gave another definition in his book Subculture: Meaning of Style: Subcultures attract people with the same tastes, who are not satisfied with social standards and values.
Features of fandom and different hobbies can be found in subcultures. But teenagers dont always form subcultures being fans or having common interests. They just concentrate on the subjects of their interests. They are fans of music groups, gamers, hackers. Subcultures have closed character and aim to be isolated from the mainstream culture. Having conflict with it subcultures can be aggressive and sometimes even extreme. Being members of any grouping some teens rebel against the society, others run away from the reality.
Subcultures have their own image, language (slang), symbols and beliefs and of course music preferences. Image and style of behavior divide representatives of any subculture from strangers. Image for representatives of subculture is not only clothes, its a show of beliefs and values. The most well-known example is Jack-a-dandy of the XIX century. Some elements and clothes styles are becoming a part of mainstream culture.
Goth Aristocrat or Goth Lolita styles are not only elements of Goth subculture, its a part of the distinctive Japanese fashion style.
Representatives of subcultures have their language which has been developed from previous subcultures. Many elements of slang are neologisms. From the culturological point of view symbols and For example, the sign of ankh in Goth subculture meant a symbol of everlasting life in ancient Egypt. The symbol of hippie is a peace sign. symbolism are determinative in subculture. Symbols are on the one hand its features and on the other hand a connection with cultural legacy of the past.
Subcultures are described easily, but its difficult to classify them. Subcultures have a lot of features which are impossible united into the concrete system. But sociologists and psychologists distinguish several main youth groupings: musical, art, the Internet, social-active and counter- subcultures.
Image of musical subcultures was formed simulating scene image of popular music stars which fans they were. There are some similarities and differences in these subcultures. But all of them have their own beliefs, value systems, fashion and favourite music.
Hippies always want to change the world to the best. The slogans of hippies are Make Love, Not War, Give Peace a Chance. Today hippies are more socially active. Within the hippie community using drugs has stopped growing. They set up environmental groups and join charity projects. A lot of things from hippie subculture came into other subcultures. One of the first and oldest music subcultures were hippies. Its a youth movement of pacifists and fans of rock music. This subculture was formed in San Francisco in the middle of the 1960s in XX century as a protest against philistinism and conservatism of life. They dont conform to societys standards and support a liberal attitude and lifestyle.
Rastamen are very closed to hippies. Its a religious music movement. It came from Rastafarianism, religion of a Jamaican sect regarding black West Indians as a people chosen by God for salvation. They listen to reggae. This music style appeared on Jamaica in the 1960s last century. They are also pacifists, especially they protest against racism. Rastamen are fond of Arts but take drugs. They are often met in the company of hippies. Rastamen have a very special image. The main colours are green, red and yellow.
Metallers is one of the largest subcultures. This movement appeared in England in the period of hard economical crisis in the 1970s. That time new genres in rock music, hard rock and heavy metal rock, black metal rock, speed metal rock, were very popular. The Metal movement can be divided into two groups: radical and real judges of hard rock. Metallers love free life for their own pleasure. Punks are very closed to metallers. The main slogan of punks is No Future!, the main belief is In pigsty its better to be pigs ourselves. Punks are sure that its impossible to change the world to the best. Punks motto is Anarchy, thats why their main symbol is letter A. Modern cyber punk became popular in the 1990s. Its a branch of industrial rock. Cyber punks are fond of ideas of coming technical apocalypse and domination of technocracy. Punks and metallers have the most aggressive image among other subcultures.
In the 1980s when Gothic rock became popular a new subculture, Goth, appeared. Early Goths looked like punks, but the dominate colours were black and a little white and purple with silver jewellery. First all fans of Gothic music groups were called Goths. But later they had had their own lifestyle and beliefs. They listen to industrial, glitch, hi-tech, neo-trance, dark electro music. They like graffiti and use computer slang. Image of modern Cyber Goths is very complicated and various. Goths use Egypt, Christian and Celtic symbols. The main features of Goth subculture are gloom, melancholy, depression. Goths are fond of seeing horror films and reading Gothic novels.
Hip Hop subculture with its music, image and life- style appeared in the USA in the middle of the 1970s thanks to immigrants from Jamaica. This street subculture became very popular in the world. Its one of the form of mastering social neighbourhood through break-dance, rap, graffiti and DJing. Hip hop subculture is connected with poor coloured block of flats in large cities in the USA and has features of ethnical groups. Rap is favourite music of hip hoppers. It is connected with African Art of Griots, with roots of the black protestant community in the USA. Now hip hop is one of the most successful trends in the modern culture from the commercial point of view.
Emo subculture became super popular in the 1990s. Its one of the youngest subcultures. Most of its representatives are minors. Emo subculture shows bright feelings and defiant behaviour. Modern Emo-kid subculture is very popular in Japan. Its a mixture of Punk and Goth subcultures. But unlike punks emo- kids are too neat, and unlike Goths they are too emotional. Emo- kids frankly express their emotions and feelings, cover neither laugh nor scalding tears. Their image isnt teens but kids.
We can watch an idea of departing from nature in ravers image and behavior. The life style of the most popular music idols has become an example for ravers. They took a behavior model of frequenters of night clubs. The main idea of life is entertainment: drugs, disco, painting, cinema and sometimes theatre. Rave subculture was formed as a culture of working youth in Great Britain in the 1990s. Ravers are fond of acid rock, techno, trance, hard rock music and dance parties which is called wild parties by sociologists.
Most of youth subcultures unconnected with music styles passion for definite kind of Art or hobbies.
A role play movement appeared in the middle of the XX century. This movement has many trends. But the only thing connects all role players is that they love a definite age, historical or fictitious. Everything began with J.Tolkien and other authors written in the genre of fantasy. Role players play table role games, restore historical events in reality. They have their own slang, music (their own songs), and read fantasy.
Love to Japanese comics (manga is painted only in black and white colours) and animation causes Otaku subculture. There is anime-otaku, cinema-otaku, computer-otaku, painting-otaku, writing story-otaku, translation film-otaku, videogame-otaku, music-otaku. Anime-otaku is the most popular subculture. Fans watch Japanese animations, even take the names of their characters. They make anime-party, dress like anime heroes (its called costume play - cosplay), have the same make-up and hair-do.
Graffiti is also a kind of Art, very popular among street youth. Before it is regarded as the fact of counter-culture. But now graffiti has a very steady social-art practice. The history of Graffiti began in Philadelphia (the USA) in the middle of the 1960s where teens put their tags in New York subway. They were called writers. First they used markers, later car paintings. They apposed their hobby to social standards and were regarded as hooligans. Real writers blame those who put their primitive tags in the underground or somewhere else. Writers take part in official festivals. But graffiti will never be the mainstream culture. Writers have their own traditions, laws and technologies. They will always belong to street culture.
Young people who rebel against the society, the mainstream values, have their own extreme ideas belong to counter-subcultures.
Skinhead subculture has several directions: traditional and hardcore skinheads, NSS (White Power Skinheads), S.H.A.R.P. (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudices) and R.A.S.H. (Red and Anarchist Skinheads). Traditional and hardcore skinheads are out of politics. Traditional skinheads are closed connected with reggae, Oi, ska and soul music. Their slogan is Remember the Spirit of 69 because in 1969 the movement was on the top. The brightest example of counter- culture is White Power Skinheads. This part of skinheads has nationalistic and racialist beliefs, fight for the idea of superiority of the white race. The rest skinheads blame them and call boneheads. S.H.A.R.P. even held power actions against boneheads to ruin the stereotype of skinheads as nazies.
Football fandom is also regarded as aggressive subculture. Football fans get opportunity to model their behaviour in a group. This subculture demands minimum efforts and doesnt touch their life style deeply. Football fans go to different cities to support their favourite team. Football match inspires fans, let them show their emotions: they cry, fight, do violence and crime.
When the Internet technology got dissemination, new interactive subcultures appeared.
The World FidoNet Association was the first interactive subculture. Its a telecommunication net through usual telephone lines. It appeared long before the Internet. FIDO isnt a part of the Internet but the largest part of FidoNet is available for the Internet users. When the Internet became popular the greatest part of FIDO came into the world net. But now the numbers of FidoNet members has been increasing.
Some people think that hackers belong to the Internet subculture, but some dont. But we wouldnt like to rank them among the Internet subculture. They are very skilled IT experts, the wizards of the computer community. They are people with a deep understanding of how their computers work. They can do things with them that seem magical. Hackers are confused with crackers, computer attackers. A real hacker never attacks other computers with criminal aims. One should distinguish the meaning of the word hacker: expert or computer attacker.
One subculture can generate several others. Relationship among subcultures let us to watch development of the people, their views, changing language and society. But there is also antagonism between some subcultures. In the first turn it concerns music subcultures. The conflict is on the base of different music tastes, for example between punks and rappers. Subculture doesnt exist in cultural vacuum. Representatives of various subcultures live in cultural surroundings. The society of XX century was full of different ideas, philosophical tendencies and other elements of subcultures. So we cant speak that subcultures are isolated and antagonistic to a mainstream culture. They have just complicated relationship with a mainstream subculture and other subcultures.
Literature 1. В.П.Кузовлев, Н.М.Лапа, Э.Ш.Перегудова и др. «English 10-11»: «Английский язык: Учебник для кл.общеобразовательных учреждений». - 4-е изд. – М.:Просвещение, К.И.Кауфман, М.Ю.Кауфман. «Happy English.ru»: учебник английского языка для 9 кл. общеобразовательных учреждений. – Обнинск: Титул, The Internet Resources 1.ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Субкультура. 2.www.pobegporusski.ru/ 3.www.subcult.ru.