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Dreams That Only Money Can Buy . . . Or, The Shy Tribe In Flight from Discourse

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Subculture is defined as being distinct from mainstream society, a term coined in the 1940s. The article questions whether the idea of subculture as a form of resistance to the dominant culture is still useful when examining youth culture in the 1990s. Has subculture been so co-opted by the market-place that it has simply turned into "lifestyle", and is "authentic" resistance now a dream that only money can buy? Evans uses a Foucauldian model of resistance to analyse the subcultural tactics of ravers in the late 1980s, suggesting that resistance is now more subtle and complex. The article attempts to reconcile this with the Gramscian model of "repertoires of resistance". Evans concludes that we need a new model of subculture because we need a new dialectical model of culture, which is more heterogeneous and unstable. Foucauldian and Gramscian models of resistance are incompatible - each fit different examples of resistance at different points in history. Such subcultures are generally not studied in any serious, empirical way within cultural studies because of the state of British academia - in the field of popular culture it is cheaper to do theory than ethnography.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 1997

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  • Fashion Theory takes as its starting point a definition of “fashion” as the cultural construction of the embodied identity. The importance of studying the body as a site for the deployment of discourses has been well established in a number of disciplines. Until Fashion Theorys launch in 1997 the dressed body had suffered from a lack of critical analysis. Increasingly scholars have recognized the cultural significance of self-fashioning, including not only clothing but also such body alterations as tattooing and piercing.

    Fashion Theory provides an international and interdisciplinary forum for the rigorous analysis of cultural phenomena. Its peer-reviewed articles range from foot-binding to fashion advertising.
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