Meaning of Subculture

What is Subculture:

A subculture is a marginal culture that is formed within a hegemonic culture, which maintains differentiated features while sharing others. These traits can include elements such as clothing, type of music, forms of language, interests, etc.

Despite having differentiated features, these are tolerated by the hegemonic culture. From this it follows that subcultures do not have a confrontational character in their origin, but rather operate as channels for concerns that are not represented in the hegemonic culture.

An example of subcultures can be represented by vegan groups, practitioners of non-dominant but integrated or tolerated spiritualities, ecological movements, followers of a certain musical genre, etc.

Difference Between Subculture and Counterculture

Subcultures differ from countercultures in that the latter have the purpose of confronting, questioning and resisting the hegemonic culture, that is, they have the purpose of opposing the established order. However, according to some researchers, countercultures often lead to subcultures.

This phenomenon is attributed to the current capitalism in western or westernized societies, since it models or manipulates behaviors and ideological systems through the market, marketing strategies and advertising.

Some sociologists point out that capitalism captures countercultural movements as niches for commercial exploitation. In this way, it creates, manufactures and distributes consumer products aimed at these sectors, which ends up “taming” or “normalizing” difference and transforming countercultures into consumer subcultures.

The hippie culture is an example of the transition from counterculture to consumer subculture. What in the 1960s constituted a social revolt, of confrontation against the hegemonic culture, ended up becoming a subculture that has lost its anti-establishment character, but is still alive through the supply of goods and services on the market. Today hippies are well tolerated in the hegemonic culture.

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See also:

  • Counterculture
  • Hegemony
  • Urban art
  • grungy
  • Hippies.