By subculture is understood a special specific way of existence, based on the realization of the natural human need for personal development, self-expression, comprehension of one's own destiny.
Each subculture exists outside the framework of the social structure of the economy or politics. Therefore, it is only to a small extent determined by material causes and objective factors of existence. From Latin the term is translated as "subculture". It is understood that it differs from the dominant one.
Signs of subculture and counterculture
Their carriers are also allocated to a separate social group. Differences can be expressed in an alternative system of values, a particular language, manner of behavior, etc. Different subcultures can be formed on the basis of ethnic, national, professional or any other communities.
And what does the concept of counterculture include? Already from the definition it can be guessed that this is not an ordinary subculture, but sharply different from the dominant one, which conflicts with traditional values. Counterculture in literature and in life is based on its own norms and moral foundations of its representatives, trying to overthrow the prevailing attitudes in society. A vivid example of counterculture can be considered the youth revolution of the 60s of the 20th century, the movement of punks and hippies.
One of the classic, the oldest, can be attributed counterculture of the underworld. The emergence of it is due to the natural isolation of prisoners serving time, divorced from generally accepted values. As a consequence, the dominant counterculture naturally emerged in its very rigid variety with a clear hierarchy and well-defined laws.
On the similarity and difference of terms
Since the sixties of the last century, the concepts of "mass culture", "counterculture" and "subculture" began to converge. Young people are trying to rally against a common "enemy", seeing it in the face of society as a whole, or individual social phenomena. However, there is a difference between these definitions. Let's look at the main differences between the youth subculture and the counterculture as such.
The first of these exists, as a rule, in the atmosphere of the game, opposing the concepts "We" and "They". Representatives of youth subcultures are engaged in quite constructive activities. Their goal is to create their own particular world. They do not seek to fight the enemy and most often occupy a passive position.
The concept of counterculture assumes existence in the form of a rally. It implies the presence of a common enemy, against which you should fight. The basis for the existence of a counterculture is the activity of a destructive nature, the purpose of which is to defeat the enemy. It comes to an open confrontation and a very real declaration of war against the hostile values of society.
As a rule, these differences are characteristic for pure forms of counterculture and youth subculture. In practice, there are a lot of intermediate options that combine elements of both forms. The most striking examples of subculture and counterculture are given below.
The main reasons for the emergence of youth subcultures
Western sociologists, investigating the emergence of these forms of social life, see their origins in the need to develop fundamentally new norms of behavior that correspond to contemporary difficulties. Traditional forms of the organization of the society and the family are not able to satisfy the aspirations of the youth. Its representatives, shocking the society with an unusual style of life, appearance and behavior, can not achieve adequate self-expression in the conditions of existing reality.
Any subculture has a number of characteristic features, the set of which is mandatory for it. In the center of each of them, an initiative block is invariably revealed, which carries out ideological support and generates new ideas. It is characteristic that representatives of this or that youth subculture, as a rule, can be found only in megacities and large cities. In small settlements, informal people are exotic. They usually only copy the characteristic attributes, which makes imitation conditional and rather superficial.
What gives the subculture of youth
As you know, the emergence of any phenomenon always has very specific reasons and is called upon to solve a number of social problems. What, from this point of view, is the meaning of youth informal associations? The main functions of the counterculture are psychological. This is an increase in the status of a rebellious teenager in his own eyes and an attempt to get out of parental control.
Thus, the period of stay in the conditions and framework of a youth subculture for a teenager becomes a transition from a child to an adult, meaningful perception of life. An important lesson that is learned in the process of immersion in the world of youth movements is the mastering of the necessary social rules and skills.
Faced with certain forms of behavior, a teenager either accepts or rejects them. As a rule, the average rotation period of a teenager in an informal environment does not exceed three years.
Why is this environment so attractive?
In addition, stay in the framework of an informal movement takes time of adolescents, teaches them to structure their own leisure time and, ultimately, leads to greater organization.
Let us note that a very large number of representatives of young people are characterized by the absence of a clearly marked personal identity. Most of them are at the mercy of behavioral stereotypes, which ultimately leads teenagers into the ranks of informal people. Any youth counterculture for 80-90% consists of amateurs imitating, unable to defend their own individuality.
The simplest reason for juvenile adherence to representatives of a particular subculture is the search for people who are close by conviction. Epatage, as well as external attributes, in comparison with this secondary.
Counterculture: examples from life
Some of the youth movements have already sunk into the past. The most prominent example is the hippie movement that existed in the United States in the 1960s. Its scale was so great that thousands of young people lived together in the hippie communes. In no other subculture did such a joint residence occur later. On the hippies' ideas of free love, the sexual revolution of those years was founded.
The basis of the alternative way of life of the current considered by us was the emergence of a network of flats ("flat"), where everyone could get to the lodging or temporary accommodation ("fit"). For the social institute of hippies, the denial of the traditional values of the surrounding society, the principle observational position, pacifism, sexual freedom and extreme asceticism in everyday life became characteristic.
Subculture and counterculture on the example of Russia
Another example of the disappeared subculture that existed in our country is the lyubers. So called representatives of youth groups of criminal nature. Appeared initially they are in the suburbs, in the city of Lyubertsy.
A characteristic feature of such groups is the orientation toward a healthy lifestyle combined with the "adjustment" of social reality in perestroika years. She expressed herself in the persecution of "dregs of society" (homeless people, alcoholics, prostitutes) - they were beaten and in every possible way treated.
The appearance of the lyuber spoke of an immediate readiness to engage in a fight. Frequently organized groups traveled to Moscow and other cities and organized massacres, pacified by the police.
Other examples of subculture and counterculture are even "more serious". Similar to the lyuber, modern radical extremist groups have a fundamentally different level of organization and ideology (for example, skinheads). Skinheads can be classified as socially dangerous subcultures. Their first representatives appeared in England in 1968, they "taught the mind-reason" of relaxed hippies and addicts.
The style of "skinheads" was developed taking into account the need to adapt to the brutal street fighting: black tight pants, army boots on a thick sole, helping in a fight, short jackets without a collar. Clothing skinhead was spared from any details that allow you to catch on to the enemy (badges, bags or glasses). For the same purpose, they shaved their heads.
Their followers - Russian skinheads - appeared in the 90s of the 20th century. External attributes were copied by them from Western "colleagues", the ideology and scope of the forces were based on national Russian problems. This subculture can be attributed to the most aggressive. Skinheads profess typical Nazi ideas, leaving no chance for dissenters. The ideology of skinheads is based on the idea of racial purity. They often organize pogroms among those who differ in appearance (for example, long hair, skin color), or representatives of another sexual orientation.
Fans of Satan
Examples of counterculture are very diverse. Another dangerous phenomenon is the so-called Satanists. They separated in a separate movement from the movement of metalworkers, teaming up with the worshipers of the Church of Satan in the early nineties in our country. The Satanic subculture now has several independent directions. These include anti-Christians who pervert the Bible and practice actions that are directly opposite to the biblical commandments (often mockery and vandalism).
Another trend is the orthodox Satanists. They claim that the power of Satan is equal in power to the power of God. They have their own rites and rituals, although sacrifices are usually not made in this environment. Developed direction in the Protestant countries.
There are satanists-philosophers - they are the only ones who have an organization officially registered. Their main values include indulging their own selfish needs on the basis of Nietzsche's idea of a superman. Other followers of this teaching basically observe only external attributes (wear ornaments with an inverted cross, color hair in black color).
Other youth movements
In the 80s of the 20th century a movement of "Gopnik" appeared in our country. Especially there were a lot of them in the middle Volga region. Gopnik declared themselves enemies to representatives of most other youth subcultures - rappers, bikers, hippies and so on. Any of the above could be beaten and robbed.
As other, less dangerous representatives of youth subcultures can be considered football fans. In their midst, it is common to divide the fans of various sports clubs.
Representatives of another current are punks. Learn them easily by the characteristic type: leather jackets, piercings, exotic hairstyles. On the head, the classic Iroquois most often flaunts, or she is shaven-naked.
Punks imitate favorite rock musicians, hooligans, drink, smoke grass, rarely wash, stand for ideas of anarchy. Their main slogan: "There is no future." The pessimism of the punk ideology allows them to express themselves in extreme forms associated with violence, alcohol and drug abuse. Examples of counterculture punk - the most, perhaps, characteristic of youth informal trends.
Association of interests
Representatives of other subcultures are united on the basis of adherence to a certain way of life. A bright example of this - bikers (motorcyclists). They exist in their own, special world - the world of movement at enormous speeds.
But there are other examples of counterculture, for example, the sphere of hip-hop. This current refers to complex cultural formations. It includes dancing in a special style (break dance or rap), craze for graffiti, streetball (street football), roller skating (roller skating in certain techniques).
The growth of fans of hip-hop culture has improved the youth environment. Adolescents diverted from drugs and alcohol and began to compete in street dances and sports. All these exercises require a lot of physical training, which is incompatible with poor health and bad habits.
Another point worth mentioning is the current of diggers. This is the name of those who are exploring underground communications. "Inhabitants of urban caves" spend time in the mysterious tangled labyrinths, they are surrounded by a halo of secrecy, they do not seek to fame or expand their own ranks.
Game and creativity
Are there any positive examples of counterculture? Perhaps, one of the most psychological healthy, creative and socially successful representatives of it can be considered role-playing. Who are they? They include people who spend all their free time recreating a certain historical or literary era. These are reenactors, animeans, and other similar communities.
Their activities are in the form of theatrical performances played in the bosom of nature, as well as home or city role-playing games. Adherents of this trend regularly organize historical or reconstructive festivals, are engaged in equestrian sports, fencing and general physical training.
They have their own parties to communicate and find like-minded people. The huge attraction of role-playing games lies in the possibility of avoiding everyday reality and realizing the creative beginning. In the role-playing environment it will be easy to put on clothes of the chosen style (historical, medieval, Wild West style). Girls have the opportunity to choose an old or romantic outfit.
Among the roleplayers is highly developed certain attributes, especially between fans of Tolkien's work. Artistic works of the genre of fantasy - a kind of counterculture in literature, giving its supporters a huge space for the game.
Music and stuff
It also makes sense to mention the movement of mobbers (flashmobbers). They organize short-term actions, the process is organized using the Internet, according to which exact information about the time, place and nature of the next flash mob is sent to the users registered on a certain site.
Many subcultures are based on specific musical preferences. There are fans of the group "Alice", Victor Tsoi ("Cinema" group). Fans are eager to imitate their favorite soloists in the smallest details of the exterior.
A separate current is the metalworkers, who represent a widespread informal subculture. "Heavy" music is listened to by very, very many people. To unite the fans of "heavy metal" on some common ground is difficult these days, they are so different.
Emo and Goths
Certain music is preferred by representatives of such a youth movement as emo. It is believed that they are adhered to by adolescents with unstable psyche and increased emotionality, which is emphasized by certain clothing and characteristic make-up. Another, different from emo culture, is the Goths. They are fans of death, decline, they have their own special music, a characteristic aesthetics, which carries a pronounced theatricality.
"Dark Romance" resulted in a completely separate cultural stream with a characteristic depressive-romantic outlook on existence. The classic Goth is closed, prone to melancholy, bouts of depression. This creature, which is alien to the generally accepted stereotypes of behavior. Most representatives dress exclusively in black, in the same color they paint hair, lips and nails.
It is not possible to list the entire variety of the existing subcultures in detail. Counterculture and subculture are two sides of a single whole. They have much in common and can mutually cross into one another. Classifications of any counterculture and subculture are rather arbitrary, since the normal approach here is categorically unacceptable. The basis of any of the countercultures is the maintenance of the individuality of its bearers.