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Sub-Cultures: Youth and Adult

Reflection Paper 2 – Sub-Cultures: Youth and Adult


In our lectures this week, we are looking at the Seven Models of Society. These are solutions to the age-old question “How do we live together?” proposed by major historical philosophers and social scientists (and this course!)

Although societies have always had adult sub-cultures, there has a rise in youth subcultures since the 1950s, particularly in Britain, the United States, and Canada.

The term “sub-culture” is describes visually and behaviorally distinctive characterizes of youth groups (and adult groups, as well.) Early sub-cultures were often seen as “deviant”, however, society is more enlightened now.

Subcultures tend to be either resistance/attention-oriented such as punks or commodity-oriented such as bikers. The commodity-oriented sub-cultures originated in the U.S. and the attention-oriented sub-cultures originated in Britain.

In recent years, we have see the rise of Millennial Youth Subcultures” and the media has played a huge role in the construction and growth of these groups.

In this exercise, we will not be including gangs. They are covered in Dr. Valdez’s popular UCI courses.

Reflecting on our Seven Models of Society, we can apply them to belonging to a sub-culture.

Outlaw motorcycle clubs
Punk subculture
Goth culture (contemporary)
Body-building culture
Hacker culture
Queer culture
Rude boy culture
Deaf culture
Surf culture
Straight Edge
Skateboard/BMX culture
We will have the Turnitin dropboxes later on Monday.
There will be a list of Turnitin ids on the website.
Questions/instructions on the next page:

1. Which group did you choose? Why did you pick that group?
2. What is the dominant identity of the group?
3. What is the group’s relationship to the larger society?
4. Give a brief history of the group.
5. How do members join? Do they need to qualify in some respect?
6. How do the members distinguish themselves from the rest of society?
7. If the group for youth, do they “age-out” of the group, or does affiliation continue into adulthood?
8. What about “wannabes”? What is the benefit of being a wannabe? How is their relationship with the larger society different from that of group members?
9. Critical thinking; the most important part:
Do you belong to this group, or do you know someone who belongs to this group?
Assuming you qualify, would you join this group? Why or why not?

Do not paste this into your paper:
Help with responding to last question: If you know of someone in this group, you can draw on their experience to help you with this response. If not, then reflect on what it means to be in a society – how individuals shape society and how societies shape individuals. How people get into groups and how people leave groups.
Think about Durkheim’s concept of “anomie” which you read about in Chapter 3 of the text last week and the idea of “outsiders”. Groups have differing relationships to society.
What are the benefits to you for membership? What are the costs (negatives) for belonging to this group?

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