“Real Artists Ship”

Colin Johnson’s blog


Subcultures and Social Class (2)

It is a common failing of parents to view all subcultures as drop-out underclass cultures. When I was a teenager there were no significant subcultures at our (suburban, working-class) comprehensive school; by which, I mean that no-one was part of a recognisable national subculture like punks or skinheads. The view of my parents, and I suppose my own view at the time, was that these subcultures were all an underclass, people who had completely rejected the regular society around them.

It was a surprise, following this, to meet a lot of people from various subcultures at university. In particular, it was a complete shock to realise that some subcultures (Goth is a canonical example) were primarily middle-class. I think my parents were rather shocked to see me hanging around with what to them were the dregs of society—in practice, I was hanging out with people from what they would have viewed as respectable middle-class families.

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