Global culture is incredibly diverse due to the existence of a huge amount of subcultures and countercultures. In general, a subculture is a group of people who have similar views, thoughts, and beliefs. The meaning of subculture changed with time. At the beginning of the second half of the twentieth century, the very concept of subculture had a negative connotation. The belonging to some subculture meant having an active minority style. Global community considered subcultures as something abnormal. Nowadays, a subculture is something like a group of people with a common ground. It is an environment where people feel themselves free and open, where they can share their emotions, thoughts and ideas. It is important to state that some of the subcultures have made a great impact on the cultural development of society. A counterculture is a specific type of subculture, which views differ significantly from the commonly accepted in the world. Among many, the hippie subculture was and remains incredibly important and groundbreaking in forming the future of subcultures. However, there are many other subcultures and countercultures, which deserve attention. The study is aimed at interviewing the representatives of such subcultures as hippies, emo, hipsters, and punks, and a representative of the skinhead counterculture about the history of their movement and their feelings of being its part.
In order to conduct a well-organized, grounded and quality research, it is important to gather data on the subject matter correctly. A subculture is a popular concept analyzed in many articles and studies. To bring something new in the analysis of subcultures and countercultures, it is important to involve new opinions. Having many friends who belong to different subcultures, I have decided to use intertwining as the basic research design. It will help gather information about each subculture from the primary source and see how people belonging to different groups and subgroups feel themselves in the modern diverse world. The choice of the interview method is also explained by the desire to see whether the commonly accepted knowledge about subcultures and countercultures relates to the real-life experience. The choice of subcultures for analysis was directed at people from the local environment.
The Hippie movement is a one of the most popular subcultures that emerged in the United States in 1960 and spread all over the world. Hippies have been the most famous subculture for decades. It is possible to say that they are a great example of peace and love for all people, regardless of race, gender, and age. A member of this subculture from the local environment also follows these principles and specific views. Hippies shock the world community with their peaceful beliefs and worldviews. This subculture has made a great impact on the views and outlooks of the American people on such subjects as war propaganda, consumption of drugs and alcohol, world peace, and political and traditional ideas. It is possible to say that the influence of Hippies was immense, and even nowadays one may find members of this subculture worldwide. Furthermore, the ideas, beliefs and concepts of Hippies are quite significant and relevant nowadays. It is well known that their main slogan is “Make Love Not War,” and such paradigm is traced in their music as well.
An important counterculture that has a great influence on society is skinheads. They were originally simply boys with shaven heads, influenced by Jamaican fashion, music and lifestyle. There was nothing political or racial in their ideas and beliefs. This counterculture was not about color, ethnicity, race, religion, national origin, or anything of the sort. It was a kind of kinship of people with common beliefs and ideas. Nowadays, according to answers of a member of this group from the local environment, this counterculture is characterized by its extreme right-wing nationalistic or neo fascist views and beliefs. Even though, skinheads were nonpolitical at the beginning, they became very aggressive towards immigrants and people of different race later. It is possible to say that the very counterculture of skinheads dramatically influenced the fashion of that time. Skinheads are associated with army surplus or Dr. Martens with jeans. It also should be noted that skinheads created one of the most iconic youth movements ever to emerge.
One may say that it is impossible not to mention such counterculture as Emo. It is believed that Emo is one of the most popular countercultures among the youth all over the world. Its main concept is understandable from its name being a shortening from ‘emotional’. A person who has claimed to be part of this counterculture says that she perceives the world in a more emotional way, feeling greater happiness from seeing something pleasurable, and vice versa, she may be extremely sad seeing a little stray dog, for instance. A huge amount of stereotypes revolves around this counterculture, like, all emos are suicides, people with depression and that they tend to harm themselves, yet these are just general misconceptions. Distinctive features of emos are black-pink clothes, bright hair color, listening to particular music (emo pop or pop punk). Nevertheless, they believe that they change society greatly. Youngsters are quite aggressive and violent, but being emo meant to be less aggressive and more sensitive.
It should be noted that there is another subculture in the local environment like hippies or emo that has influenced society all over the world. The Punk subculture appeared in the middle of the 1970s and then vastly spread all over the world. The members of this subculture are common people from the working class, that wear dirty clothes and use dirty language, yet it is possible to say that there is a sense of parody and irony. The Punk subculture is based on punk music, punk rock to be precise. The latter at the same time originated from Reggae, and here one can see the main concept of punks, the refusal to be like everybody else. Reggae was uncommon for British people and did not fit into their tastes.
It is believed that a definition of ‘hipster’ appeared in the beginning of 1940, and now it describes a person or a group of people who admire jazz music. In the contemporary world, though, the definition has dramatically changed. Nowadays, being a hipster shows that a person is young and quite wealthy, interested in fashion, modern non-mainstream music, films, and magazines among others. The most important feature of a hipster is being non-mainstream, even though that the very subculture is very popular nowadays. I believe that the hipster subculture represents the reality of the modern youth, and they need to be as exclusive as it is possible, and sometimes it goes to ridiculous lengths. Hipsters may teach one how to be ironical and unique.
Therefore, it is possible to conclude that subcultures are incredibly important in the lives of their members and society. With the help of a vast diversity of subcultures people may find likeminded people and feel themselves free. Subcultures provide people with changes and developments. Having conducted a research on subcultures, it is important to be part of a subculture in order to express a personal inner world. People express themselves in different ways, and some need to be part of some group in order to understand who they are.