Surfing- Counter Culture

1501 WordsDec 13, 20107 Pages
In order to successfully understand the inexplicable surfer’s lifestyle as a counter-culture to main society, we must first have a greater knowledge of the ingredients that make this culture so different in the views of the social norm. A counter-culture as described by Professor Chad Smith in the second week of class is, “When subcultures specially stand in direct opposition to the dominant culture of the society in which they are located, rejecting it’s most important values and norms and endorsing their opposites.” As surfers began to express themselves more and more freely throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s, the surfing sub-culture that was portrayed by the media, with retrospect to Gidget and Beach Part, began to diminish in the eyes of…show more content…
They would create little gimmicks that would further classify themselves as authentic and a bizarre breed. The “Brown-eye” became a common sight to be seen around beach cities and surf spots, as surfers would intentionally pull down their trunks and show their backsides to fellow surfers and the onshore crowd. This however spread to the inter cites and by “1959 & 1960 in beach towns and the L.A basin, cars passing by with a youth’s bare posterior framed in the side window were a common sight” (Irwin 22). Although their attitude was indeed a huge aspect in labeling the surf community as a counter-culture, it did not stop there. Their personal image changed as they began to dress in a way unconventional to society thus creating a distinction from others. Now at this point of the paper, we need to look at another view of the surf counter-culture in order to examine both sides of its complexity. Kristin Lawler believes that the thriving capitalism that came post WWII had a huge effect on the growth and direction in which the surfing counter-culture took place. “The counter-culture of the 1960s was welcomed by capitalist, who had already been getting pretty hip and countercultural themselves” (Lawler 6). With the surfing community identified as rebels to surrounding society, capitalism saw a need to supply these groups of radical individualists with products that were suitable to their lifestyle. She states

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