Smells like Teen Sprit 3/8

Thursday 16th February 

Remake Remodel 

Subculture Style and Identity

Subcultures must exhibit a distinctive enough shape and structure to make them identifiably different from their parent’ culture. They must be focussed around certain activities, values, certain uses of material artefacts, territorial spaces etc which significantly differentiate them from the wider culture (p100) 

  • Refer to original with a twist there has to be visible differences. ‘Parent’ culture mainstream a look that can be bought not made.
  • Clear rituals that accompany each sub-culture
  • Customise a object everyone has – graffiti is used as a way to customise

Various youth subcultures have been identified by their possessions and objects: the boot-lace tie and velvet-collared drape jacket of the Ted, the close crop, parka coats and scooter of the Mod, the stained jeans, swastikas and ornamented motorcycles of e bike-boys, the bovver boots and skinned-head of the skinhead…. 

  • Objects have meanings that can link you to an identity of style

Yet despite their visibility, things simply appropriated and worn (or listened to) do not make a style. What makes a style is the activity of stylisation – the active organisation of objects with activities and outlooks, which produce an organised group-identity in the form of a coherent and distinctive way of ‘being in the world’ 


  • Stylisation- the active organisation of objects with activities and outlooks. How you use the object and why?
  • That process creates your identity making you different from mainstream
  • Example – all have a phone that has the same function but we all customise them to make them our own

Construction means actively putting it together with a choices being made

Punk safety pin example of having a new meaning

Resignification – Have to put quotation marks around it 

  • It means taking something and give it a new meaning
  • Brands can be associated with on group and be used by another – like expensive brands being bought by working class
  • Secret language and code

When using someone else word use quotation marks also put the source in brackets () A bracket will always follow a direct quote. Harvard system. When paraphrasing you need author and year. 

Example – According to whitley (2011) hip hop street ………..

Exaggeration of the jewellery to represent power. Gold of the chains connotes wealth. Not fir for purpose. Bling and sportswear the sports wear New York baseball. Two different meanings put together sports wear for running with heavy jewellery defeats the purposes. Juxtaposition two things that don’t belong together. Bling and sportswear it changes the meaning of the sportswear.  Changed the purpose of trainer by getting rid of the lace and exaggerating the logo by pulling the tongue up on the trainer. They were made for running but doing this would make it impossible.

Afrocentric was a hip hop style would be worn with the NewYork baseball hat. Mixing cultures to create a modified style of hip hop. Bob Marley.

We also learnt how to paraphrase quotes and also to references them correctly.

The capitalist boom of the 1980’s brought with it a focus on materialism and conspicuous consumption that was right at home with hip-hop’s penchant for self-aggrandisement.

Competition was integral to earning respect in the culture – competing for wall space as a graffiti-tagger, battling for time on the mic as an emcee and even one- upmanship in constructing a personal identity through one’s clothes

… As a source of aspiration and a means of flaunting one’s belongings, branded goods shared a natural affinity with hip-hop music” (Whitley, 2011: 187)

Paraphrase the main points of this direct quote.

  • Hip hop culture show that they earned and wore a lot of money. Show you important through the perceptions they wear. Consumerism is important for this sub culture.  Graffiti and jewellery made them confident making them seem above the law.

“The creative appropriation of styles further extended to unintended sartorial branding opportunities…hip-hop style was generated by people striving to be different, often with limited means but still wishing to be acknowledged for their flair with the vogue for wearing gold chains and flashy jewellery, young people began co-opting status symbols into accessories of their own devising. Chief among these was the practice of wearing the ornament off a Mercedes Benz, Cadillac or even Volkswagen as a medallion…brandishing a trophy that speaks to one’s boldness and fearlessness, the ornaments were vaunted hints at toughness and irreverence…though one might never be able to afford the expensive car itself, it was possible to establish a personal association with the brand” (Whitley, 2011: 188)

Paraphrase  the main points of this direct quote

  • According to Whitley 2011 fashion brands were funded trends set by sub cultures. The hip-hop style was made by people wanting to be different by using jewellery to accessories the brand. This confirms “Resignification of object and dress”. They stole things to be above the law. It was brave because it was criminal behaviour.

What is this quote suggesting about subcultural use of objects?

  • Steal tags from cars represented criminal statements. It was an anti establishment statement.

Hoe does this link to our practice?

  • Mix two things together to create a new meaning
  • History and heritage can influence style
  • Any thing is appropriated into any style
  • Parent culture
  • Style constantly change

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