Outline and Explain the View That Youth Subcultures Are a Form of Resistance to Capitalism

Topics: Marxism, Sociology, Karl Marx Pages: 2 (685 words) Published: May 1, 2013
Outline And Explain the view that youth subcultures are a form of resistance to capitalism (33 Marks)

A youth subculture is a youth-based subculture with distinct styles, behaviours, and interests. Youth subcultures offer participants an identity outside of that ascribed by social institutions such as family, work, home and school. Capitalism is an economic and political system in which a countries trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit. I will use evidence from the CCCS (Marxists), Parsons, Pollemous and Bennett.

Marxist writers, especially those associated with the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) studies youth sub-cultures in the 1970's. They saw working-class youth cultures linked to the decline of working-class inner-city communities. According to Marxists, these cultures are seen as an attempt to symbolically recreate traditional notions of working-class community through dress, style and behaviour. Moreover, such styles allegedly represent a form of working-class ideological or cultural resistance to ruling class hegemony. However, research conducted by the CCCS doesn't account for girls, due to bedroom culture- it has also been criticised for ignoring the influence from media on young people.

The CCCS also note that those belonging to the working-class subcultures cause class conflict, without even knowing it, they say that youth culture is an inarticulate way for the working class to express anger towards their bleak future in a capitalist society. The CCCS has decoded the meaning of the choice of clothes, hair, music, slang and ritual behaviour to show how they demonstrate opposition to capitalism. However, this research has been criticised as they do not take into account middle-class culture, they have only concentrated on working class, youth sub-cultures and therefore cannot generalise this to all subcultures.

However, Functionalists would argue that youth sub-cultures are not rebelling against...
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