Saturday 31 March 2012

David - Hybridity of youth cultures

In this book there is an article explaining that youth cultures today are a hybrid of different cultures
"... while youth cultures certainly leap geographical scales in the search for influences and references to tap into, this openness of cultural formations is not specific to the young. 'Hybridity' is probably a condition of all cultures"

This may also refer to why we can't exactly pinpoint what hipsters are.

Tuesday 27 March 2012

James - Emos to Hipster?

Subcultures progression?

( Cited in Houston Press )
I like the concept of a subculture transforming in something else. Though this is a interesting article with how the subculture keeps a similar theme, like with emo and hipster with the subculture being centred on the independent music scene?! (which I will explore in the next post)

Evolution of the Hipster

(cited on Paste Magazine )
Think this image is interesting as it separates all the part of the Hipster (till 2009) we have already found out about into stages. I do not know if this is a true evolution of a group but it visuals some of the stereotypical image of a hipster (as it would, as it is constructed).

I feel we need to defiantly explore the context of the hipsters and maybe be even the emo/scene subcultures context. Whats going on in the world? What is their counter culture countering? Consumerism, with the second hand/ vintage clothes?
Same with Skinheads and Punks, what was happening in the world to cause these people to form this identity/subculture?

Sunday 25 March 2012

Katie - Skinhead Behaviour


Nick Knight

Omnibus Press, 1982

London/New York/ Sydney

At a time when middle class hippies, flower power, student mysticism and love-ins were getting attention of the media, the working class youths of the skinhead movement adopted an aggressive form of behaviour, in keeping with the tough uniform of their boots and braces.

The skins were passionately interested in football. the first appearance at away matches of massive groups of skinheads, all uniformly dressed and intent on smashing their opponents into the ground, must have been rather unnerving for the managers of those clubs who were hoping to turn football watching into a family outing. 

Clashes with the police and opposing supporters, and taking part in the ritual songs and chants of the football ground, together with the opportunity to get drunk and run amok, provided the sort of power and excitement which is normally denied to working class youth. 

Chris Welch has written "The sight of cropped heads and the sound of heavy boots entering the midnight Wimpy bar or dance hall is cause for sinking feelings in the pit of the stomach."

Football hooliganism is still happening in today's society. 
Has this been taken over by a new subculture now?

“I DON’T KNow why I LiKE BEINg a SKIN But I do. But I don’t SEE Why people grope us together as holigans ‘cos we ain’t alright you get troble makers in every facktion But They dont publish it if a niggeR does a old Biddy do they give us a faiR chance will someone as for stop being a SKIN I dont think I will."
Harry the Duck, Born TO BE A SKIN

The really bad grammar/spelling etc in both of these suggest that they haven't had much of an education and focus more on being a Skin. 'But we proved that skinheads rule london' implies that they are trying to prove something to the parent culture/mainstream. It suggests that by going against society they are the rulers and have authority even when 'the old bill' arrests them. 'You better still be a skinhead or else' proposes how strict the culture is. It seems that once you're a Skin you're always a Skin. 'Born to be a skin' in the second note backs up this idea.

The attitude of Trevor in the clip below, "They're all fucking wankers" "everything they teach you at school is useless", suggests how Skins rebelled against education which explains the note and letter above. It seems that Skins like Trevor would rather be honest to their subculture and go to prison for their actions than be part of the mainstream and obide by any rules. 
The Swastika tattoo on his forehead backs up my research on the use of tattoos in this subculture. Tattooing was used by the Nazis in concentration camps to tag prisoners which could relate to how they may feel in the parent culture 'as prisoners' so they rebel against it. It also suggests that the Skins are supporting the beliefs of the Nazis. 

Video from the film, Made in Britain (1982)

Katie - Skinhead Tattoos

Tattoos have been popular in the skinhead subculture since at least the 1970s when the skinhead culture was revived. In 1980s Britain, some skinheads had tattoos on their faces and/or foreheads usually with the word 'Skin.'

Nick Knight - SKINHEAD

It shows how proud they were of their subculture and how they were part of something that seemed to be of a big importance to them and that it would last forever. It's like a 'uniform' to them, something to show off who they are and brand them.

This is a big comparison to today as subcultures tend to come and go over time. A lot of the time, people are embarrassed to be branded as part of a subculture e.g a Chav wouldn't be seen with 'Chav' tattooed on their forehead as they probably wouldn't admit that they actually were a Chav. Tattoos have always had negative connotations and suggest criminality but they are now becoming more accepted in society.

Katie - Skinheads

Subculture - The meaning of Style
Dick Hebdige
Psychology Press, 1979

Here is a a sentence from the book that really grabbed my attention:

…we are interested in subculture – in the expressive forms and rituals of those subordinate groups – the teddy boys and mods and rockers, the skinheads and the punks – who are alternately dismissed, denounced and canonized; treated at different times as threats to public order and as harmless buffoons.

This idea of subcultures being a threat to public order is backed up by the photography in Nick Knights book - SKINHEAD. Some images are shown below. 

Katie - Subculture Music

It is difficult to imagine a youth cult without it's own type of music. Music serves to identiy and unify members of the group, as well as to entertain. The teds had rock and roll, called the Devil's Music by some American clergy. The mods had soul, the Motown sound and beat music. It was necessary for the skins to obtain a seperate musical identity. They did this by adopting the Jamaican music.

- SKINHEAD by Nick Knight


This is kind of what you've just mentioned James. It seems that subcultures tend to always follow a certain genre of music to suit their culture. Would be good to find out the genre that hipsters have adopted. The video you posted suggests that it is indie bands like 'The Shins' but this is something we could explore further. 

James - Honda Jazz

Honda - How much Hipster can you pack in a Jazz?

Another sign of absorption or at least a ironic joke on the hipster subculture? I feel we can learn alot from the representation of a Hipsters in this advert by Honda. This advert was broadcasted in 2010 in Australia and from my understanding Honda Jazz are known for being an older persons car of choice, so maybe using a "hip" representation of the youth would sell more cars?

Fashion in advert... (said in better words than I could say it).
(text from )
But from what I see in the advert and understand from the text it seems to be a bricolage of different items and styles, a real expression of interests, colours and textures. What do other people think about the fashion?

What does their accessories suggest about them?

Fixed gear bike - Cares about environment? Cares about person health? Saving money on personal transport?
Penguin Book - Educated? Cultural?
iPod - Music lover? large collection? Early adopter? Trendy item?
Vinyl - Serious music lover? Rawer sound quality? Vintage lover?
Typewriter - Artistic? Writer? Vintage lover?
Polaroid / 35mm camera - Artistic? Vintage lover?

Use of language suggest?
  • References to literature and cultural important films gives the sense of educated and cultural person and member of the represented subculture.
  • Instead of saying cheese when taking a picture using the phase of "fairtrade" suggests the need to be different from the mainstream but also shows a person belief?
  • The reference to being judgmental but also the use of the phrase "fucking hipster" gives the portrayal of an ironic humor and maybe not taking themselves to seriously?
  • The comments on the manual might suggest that they are artistic or at least well informed about design.
But is this a true and fair representation?

James - Hipster Hilter

Subcultures Absorption?

A web comic series but also published in the Stool Pigeon, I think its interesting how they have mixed a ironic take on Hipsters and Hitler together. Makes me think of all the emo Hipsters from school that appears on the internet. I feel this is a very postmodern thing to take something like an evil dictator and turn it into a piece of ironic humor?
Quick Deconstruction of Hipster Hitler.
Fashion & Dress.
Black framed lenless glasses which could be linked to the old NHS perception glasses (of course the NHS would give out lens too), Its like the uncool glasses the nerdy school children wear in Hollywood films. So is nerdy is now trendy? Is this a stereotype image that goes along with the Hipster subculture? With the use of retro/uncool clothes then adopting that for themselves. Its like a rebelling against the mainstream and a creation of their identity. 
Aswell the uses of the tshirts Hitler wears in each comic change with different ironic sayings is like a comment on mainstream society through the use of twitty language, showing their separation?
Cultural Capital
I think it is interesting at the end of the comic the character mentions the hipster triangle. I have read that the "hipster triangle" is linked with the band YACHT, which uses the triangle in its logo but alot in all the bands branding. So music would be an interesting root to explore!?

James - History of hipster

Beat Generation

From searching around on the internet, the Beat Generation keep appearing as a root from the contemporary Hipster subculture.
(from the )
I think the comments are interesting about the questioning of materialism of their society and how they are exploring the boundaries of society at the time and questioning why. From things I have seen on the internet about the background of Hipster it seems similar through being white middle class and being well educated. Plus the artistic core of the Beat Generation seems something that re appears in the Hipster movement. But what are hipster about?

The Hipster subculture in the Soviet Union (late 1940)

Hipster in the old USSR is way of a rebelling against the norms of society. Is this what all subcultures do? USSR Hipster Website

How to be a Hipster?

Not the best video in the world or comment on this subculture but has highlighted the need to explore the music and other cultural capital of the movement.

Thursday 22 March 2012

James - What is a Hipster?

I asked google...

 I looked on Urban Dictionary what a hispter is...
I think Urban Dictionary isnt a great source due to being all user generated content but at least kind of get a view of what people think this subculture is. We could do a questionnaire at a later date asking what people views of our subcultures stereotypes are and why?!

Do people hate Hipsters?
 "Look at this fucking hipster" is one of many hate blogs I have been finding on my searches around the internet. Think it is quite interesting there is so much hate against this one subculture, will be interesting to explore into this more and to see if there are any similarities to the Punk culture.

Lots more to come...

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Yvette - NY Rocker

NY Rocker publication, the above are designed by Elizabeth Van Itallie. Obviously an American publication but still following the trend of the ransom letter style punk zine and featuring a lot of British bands.

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Introduction to subcultures

Subculture is a group of people with a culture who differentiate from the larger culture that they belong to. As early as 1950, there has been a distinction between an accepted majority style and a ‘subculture’ as an active minority style. Dick Hebdige argued that a subculture is a subversion to normality. Subcultures tend to be perceived as negative and have a nature of criticism. Subcultures bring together individuals who feel neglected and allow them to develop a sense of identity. They often consist of the study of symbolism attached to clothing, music.

We are going to explore how a subculture can be absorbed into the mainstream by the exposure in the media because the iconography is popularised and then consumed. The subculture becoming popular creates consumption for it’s lifestyle and fashion.

The subcultures we are going to focus on are how punks originated and how cyber culture is affecting subcultures today with the likes of hipster culture. 

Yvette - My books

Monday 19 March 2012

Katie - My Three Books

Here are the three books I am looking at for research on subcultures. 

James - My Three Books

Hello everyone, these are the three texts I am starting my research on Sub Culture with.