Rethinking youth cultures : the case of the 'Gothics'

Tait, Gordon (1999) Rethinking youth cultures : the case of the 'Gothics'. Social Alternatives, 18(2), pp. 15-21.

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This paper has argued that subcultural social formations, such as the Gothics, did not evolve as resistance to a dominant culture. Instead, they are a response to the governmental construction of youth as an object of knowledge—the by-product of particular forms of government, generated by specific power/knowledge relations. Accordingly, attempts to account for the phenomenon of ‘subcultures’ should begin, not with notions of a shared, resistant class/generational consciousness, but rather with detailed investigations of specific forms of government, such as those involving conventions and customs within the fashion and music industries, the distribution of technologies of marketing and consumption, the adoption of various techniques of self-shaping, the prevalence of different journalistic practices, routines of policing, and so on. ‘Subcultural style’ is not an expression of relationship between a given social class, its material conditions and its economic and cultural aspirations. Rather, it constitutes the construction of particular habitus, shaped by fashion and leisure activities, through which certain youthful personae are given their form.

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ID Code: 28864
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Youth, Gothics, Governance, Practices of the Self, Youth subcultures
ISSN: 0155-0306
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Cultural Theory (200204)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1999 Please consult the author.
Deposited On: 26 Nov 2009 01:26
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 14:11

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