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Lecture Five: Subculture And Style

Subculture, a group of people which differentiates them the larger culture in which they belong, subculture being separate from style, have the style without the sub culture. Is style sub cultural?

Skateboarding, parkour and free running, subcultural reaction to the built urban environment

The riot Grrrl movement, a model for present and contemporary female subculture

Portrayal of youth culture though film and subculture

Dogtown and Z boys, uses a mix of original photography and up to date documentary footage to explore the zephyr skateboard team, skate culture from the 1970’s an original nerdy past time into a subcultural arena and sport where sponsorship is involved

Zephyr skateboard team using an empty pool as a skate arena, development from original subculture into contemporary subcultures

Peggy Oki not exclusively male, female were involved but the clothing is more practical then for style, therefore no difference between male and female members of the group, not a feminine aspect, girls were not excluded

Ian Borden’s book performing the city, a political statement, he argues that street skating gives the body something to do other than to passively consume the cityscape, taking in advertising and the architecture, an alternative to this experience, this makes in a subculture experience, its a way of resisting the architecture of the city, broaden puts forwards that skateboarding changes this urban space, hand rail to navigate stairs, its used as a place for the board to travel, a definition of contemporary space

Slate culture as a substitute family, 2006 remake Lords of Dogtown, replaces life with a whole new way of life from the normal within this subculture, for many reasons this may occur such as a broken family situation

Parkour essentially is based around moving around obstacles with speed and efficiency whereas free running is more a creative activity which is about pose and freedom of movement

Yamakasi 2001, a story creates a group of super heroes who fight injustice in the paris ghetto’s, use parkour to steel from the rich and give to the poor, a political element involved

Jump London, a documentary film and spawns the sequel jump Britain, chasers navigate buildings famous in London, creating a challenge to architecture

Graffiti is also a redefinition of space as way of claiming ownership to public space, tagging, you are in some way claiming that space, wall or a building, claiming the public space back to the individual, it’s done at night which make it very subcultural, this is not about style but about a subcultural activity taking place

*Nancy McDonald quote here*

Black graffiti quotes here, erases the border of how you looks, racism, graffiti and separating from you visual appearance

Miss Van, female graffiti writers are judged on there physicality whereas this is not the case for men, miss van uses overly sexualized figure reads as a focus on appearance but also putting felinity in peoples faces, its an assertion of femininity

Swoon, us graffiti artist, black women resting on the top of the city, swoon is ver politically motivated, she works in urban regeneration, works in areas in need of this, uses graffiti as a way of allowing people to claim back space

Angela mc Robbie and jenny Garber says girl sub culture become more invisible, because the term sub culture has a strong male over tone, in 1977 this may have been this case, but not the case in post sub cultural theory?Lolita fashion as a subculture

Motorbike girls, the female as she appears in the motorbike culture, a powerful sexual deviant, biker female, not really true to the femininity of the time, in this culture girls are an add-on, they ride pillion, not an involvement in the mechanical side of the subculture, exaggerated masculinity and femininity that separates this from other cultures

Mod culture rather than extremes of males and females amorphous culture appears in which males and females where similar clothes, there is neatness which the motorbike culture doesn’t have they are more scruffy

Mod culture more easily fitting in to the parent culture of which the youth are from which the motorbike culture couldn't do

Working class had jobs, which meant they had money for socializing, develop a group identify which they developed which was separate from the parent culture

Quadrophenia (1979)

Status within a subculture which creates factions, which results in smaller factions being developed which tear away from the main subculture which also results in people being originals and followers

Hippy girl, subcultural stereotype, the mod girl british working class, the hippy girl is more middle class, comes out of university education, middle have a space and time for leisure, through education and travel, there is time for personal expression before you settle down.

Good hippy vs. Bad hippy, bad symbolized by the rock and roll hippy who is thw mistress of her own discretion the good hippy more about flower power

Riot grrl, underground punk movement, based in washington in the 1990’s, a type of feminism, but they didn’t class themselves as feminist, by issue they dealt with were very feminist, rape, male power and control etc

Bands within the Riot grrrl, less about the music and more about the protest, about an anti authoritarian and approach/attitude which addresses these issues. The assertion of the female figure in the music industry, this culture was influenced by the female punk rock culture which came before

Riot Grrl comes from that Jen smith said to Allion wolfe, ‘this summers going to be a girl riot’ they produce fanzines which deal with some of the issues they are dealing with, these reproduce a punk DIY aesthetic deal with body image, eating disorders, issues which affect females

To a truly subcultural activity it needs have a political influence as part of what they are doing

Media attention towards the grunge scene, not a political movement but a distortion of the riot grrl subculture, the style without the subculture, even more distorted when it comes to the UK in the form of the spice girls, girl power, which offers little empowerment in real life, reduces any political message and understanding of what power might be, to a comment on what power might be?

Hebdige, sub culture represents noise not sound which interferes to an ordinary society, society’s ills are focused on within a sub culture to rebel against parent culture

Elements of a sub culture are quickly commercially, and turn into commodities, items become mass produced, this is where style overtakes a subculture

**A treat to the family slide here**

Objects associated with rebellion, punk culture transforms an ordinary item and use it pierce the skin or clothing within the items, they do this as a rebellious statement

How quickly the subculture is absorbed by the commercial world, a 9ct white gold safety pin is produced

21st century denomination, the hoodie has become a symbol of demonized society, a bullet proof hoodie, association with a garment which is to do with lawlessness, now a badge and way of belonging to a group, its means you can be unidentifiable within this group

Hebdige also looks at a bricolage within fashion, teddy boy, a meaning of the clothing changes as its context changes, coat moving from high class item, and then moving into mass produced and then moving through to the working class

Teddy boy sub culture, girls as small part of the sub culture, women might get into trouble if they are out on the streets where the teddy boy culture plays out

Skinhead culture starts with the mod culture and deviates from it, photographers work within this culture, Gavin Watson, This is England film from 2006, the new kid transforms himself into a british skin head, takes on the style of the group, example of an individual how is alienated from the traditional family culture, his new friends in the film because his new family, a right of passage movie, the movement from young boy into a man. The skinhead style and the politically movement of the national front, the film is clear in conveying this difference between the two movements.

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