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

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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
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Parsons says that the purpose of youth sub-cultures is essentially to act as a transition between childhood and adulthood and smooth this pathway, providing links between the conflicting values of home (childhood) and work (adulthood). Functionalist research into youth sub-cultures has been criticised for emphasising the shared features of youth-subcultures and ignoring important differences, especially social class.
Pollemous, a postmodernist would also argue against the statement that youth sub-cultures are rebelling against capitalist society, stating that old/solid subcultures no longer exist as boundaries between subcultures have become blurred. His concept, the supermarket of style illustrates that lifestyle is now based on individual taste, and often approached in a pick 'n' mix approach. The pick 'n' mix approach involves playing with different styles, sampling and mixing them. Criticisms of postmodernist research into youth sub-cultures is that distinct sub-cultures may not have disappeared, some still exist in contemporary society- included Goths and hipsters.

Bennett would disagree with the statement and say that sub-cultures do not exist today. Bennett researched clubs in Newcastle and found no evidence for youth sub-cultures. Instead, he found loose, fluid and relatively short term youth groupings occurred, which were drawn from a range of social

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