Cultures & Subcultures

Today we talked about what we are expecting to do in this term. The new topic is identity, culture and representation.

‘Identity may be regarded as a fiction, intended to put an orderly pattern and narrative on the actual complexity and multitudinous nature of both psychological and social worlds.’

(Frankovits, 2005)

Identity, as Frankovits said, is an invention to get order into our lives. We seek to know who and what we are for most of our lives. A lot of people travel and gain more experience, trying to find out who they are. But how are we supposed to know who we are if we often wear different masks on different occasions. I believe almost everyone is acting differently when their around different social groups like family, friends, colleagues or people they just met. We like to wear masks or we do not reveal everything we feel except for our closest loved ones.
People need other people. The human is a social being and so everyone looks for other humans who share similarities. We form social groups and often have more than one (e.g. sports friends, friends/people from school/university/work). It gives us strength and a place where we can belong. This is a way of forming our identity.
We talked about cultures and subcultures over time and what they are and symbolise and how they developed.

‘‘particular way of life, whether of a people, a period or a group’’

          (Williams, 1976: 80)


This image shows how cultures formed and developed into subcultures. You see how people who might have been Goths in the 80’s developed further into Emos. But it does not mean that everyone who considers themselves as part of a culture will automatically be the next subculture that formed from that group.

Stuart Hall shows in Rituals through Resistance (1975) the meaning of subculture through a ‘parent culture’ and the ‘dominant culture’. The former group does not literally refer to the family, it is the culture youths find themselves. For example, the parent culture of the hippies is the middle class, while the parent culture of the skinheads is the working class. Subcultures within a dynamic occur between both a ‘parent culture’ and the ‘dominant culture’.

We talked about the subcultures nowadays and what their significant characteristics are. After that we recreated those groups in a stereotypical order. Everyone was a person of a group and had to act that way. Together we formed a summery of the (sub)cultures of our time. Examples for subcultures we explored: gamers, comic book fans, stoner,  you tubers, bloggers,…



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