Subcultures or neo-tribes? Rethinking the relationship between youth, style and musical taste

Bennett, Andy (1999) Subcultures or neo-tribes? Rethinking the relationship between youth, style and musical taste. Sociology-the Journal of the British Sociological Association, 33 (3). pp. 599-617. ISSN 0038-0385. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Despite the criticisms of subcultural theory as a framework for the sociological study of the relationship between youth, music, style and identity, the term 'subculture' continues to be widely used in such work. It is a central contention of this article that, as with subcultural theory, the concept of 'subculture' its unworkable as an objective analytical tool in sociological work on youth, music and style that the musical tastes and stylistic preferences of youth, rather than being tied to issues of social class, as subculture maintains, are in fact examples of the late modern lifestyles in which notions of identity are 'constructed' rather than 'given', and 'fluid' rather than 'fixed'. Such fluidity, I maintain, is also a characteristic of the forms of collective association which are built around musical and stylistic preference. Using Maffesoli's concept of tribus (tribes) and applying this to an empirical study of the contemporary dance music in Britain,I argue that the musical and stylistic sensibilities exhibited by the young people involved in the dance music scene are clear examples of a form of late modern 'sociality' rather than a fixed subcultural group.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: lifestyle; neo-tribalism; style; subculture; urban dance music; youth
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: M. Nasiriavanaki
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2009 20:38
Last Modified: 09 May 2014 09:34
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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