Tuesday, 28 October 2008

urban subcultures...

We all have heard, in a way or another, the words punk, goth, skinhead, raggare and hippie, just to mention a few.
Most of the times, our minds create an association with a visual concept of dressing.
When one thinks goth, for instance, always thinks of some people wearing black clothes almost all of the time, and wearing make up regardless of sex. But to be a “goth” isn’t just that.
The goth scene now has its own fashion, sociological and political views, religions as well as its own music scene.
So it’s a culture that has been formed in mainstream culture (the way of life for an entire society, the sum total of the lifestyles of its individual members) and then takes it underground.
What is called in sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, a subculture or (the term coined by the French sociologist Michel Maffesoli) urban tribe.
The members of the subculture may be distinctive in terms of demographics (age, race, ethnicity, class, location, and/or gender) and often signal their membership through a distinctive and symbolic use of style (fashions, mannerisms, and slang) and taste (music, books, and movies). Subcultures often, but not always, start as urban youth subcultures.
A subculture may be considered alternative or underground depending on how opposed it is to the mainstream culture (ex. rave culture). An alternative culture that achieves critical mass and persists for a period of time may be called a counterculture (ex. beatniks or hippies).
But a group of people that dress in a distinctive style to show their membership in this group is also called a style tribe or fashion tribe.

Does one need to be part of a fashion tribe?
check out also this post of mine


  1. What an interesting post! I think that fashion is a living thing, and my ever changing taste and mood have a lot to do with what I wear. Also the demographics, the whether, the occasion... if I need to put a label on it, I guess I am a hippy at heart when it comes to fashion.

  2. So so so very true and it really does make me think. I was never part of a subculture in my youth and I am not now, I do think it helps young people to feel like they belong and have something in common with other, but then again, not being in a fashion tribe has allowed me to grow and experiment with my own style :)

  3. if i like a particular style then i will dress accordingly but i won't dress a certain way to fit in.

  4. I don't intentionally try to fit into a tribe---and yet all of us do.
    Even if we think our clothes are free of such signifiers they are loaded with non-verbal communications about who we are, what we value and sooo much more.

    Interesting post.

  5. Wow what an amazing post!

    well i consider myself a fashion lover an when its time of getting myself dress i'm pretty simple, a t-shirt, a jean and a pair of classic vans and im done!
    maybe im in a differten subculture?
    Or maybe influenced by all of them !


  6. I guess it depends on how mysterious one wants to be.

    If one wants to be quickly identified with this group or that, then it helps to be a member of a fashion tribe/subculture.

    If one wishes to remain neutral, then to dress more generically would force onlookers/strangers to get to know the person by talking and interacting, rather than just classifying by look.

  7. Interesting topic dear...You might want to find out more on Ted Plolhemus who is researching a long-planned work on the cultural/style basis...

    I consider myself 'buffet-eclective'...loving all & pick & choose a bit of everything on the table! ;)yum!

  8. i'm a FASHION TRIBE by myself!! lol. yah! yay! i love this post darling!! and puhleezz bug me on facebook jare!!

  9. Teenagers need to join tribes so they can define themselves as different from their parents; then they end up looking like everyone else in the tribe.
    It is only with age that we are brave enough to just be ourselves, and have no need to identify with a particular sub-culture. Still there are those who need to be with "PLU" = People Like Us, rather than part of a truly diverse society.

    excellent post Seeker.

  10. Love your post .. it is a tricky question.

    Hugs from Angel.

  11. Very interesting post!
    I think one does not need to be a part of a fashoin tribe, we all can play with fashion and our own style! That's the fun part!

  12. Not for everyone of course, I wouldn't want to be part of some group that dresses alike...

  13. I found your post so interesting... can i add you to my "blogger friends"? =D

    Kisses from Spain!

  14. It's just a bit easier to be part of a fashion tribe when you're a teenager of when you want to get safety from your environment.
    It's nothing, which would be right for me, but I there are a lot of people outside, who like beeing part of a subculture...the newest idea seen here is "Krocha" from Vienna.

  15. I think you don't have to be a part of such a tribe.
    especially in fashion it's more interesting to mix different styles. I love it to mix ;)

    xoxo melmo

    ps oh yummy chocolate is so adorable

  16. I have been doing a bit of research on Lolita culture recently - I think you may be interested in this article:


    It needs sound :)

    Andrea xx

  17. What a mind-bending question. I agree with Hammie and other folks who posit that it's almost VITAL to associate with a fashion tribe when you're a teen. It's one of the first acts of self-definition ... even though it actually lumps us in with a bunch of other similarly dressed youths.

    Once we get a bit older, we can continue with tribe membership - though our allegiances may shift. I observe many more women branching out into eclectic dressing in adulthood, though. And I don't think one could state that it's necessary to belong to a fashion tribe.

  18. I always keen to find out what is on trend because I enjoy the energy that comes with it. However when it comes to dressing part of the tribe, I like to add my own touch. I think society is getting more accepting these days and I see alot of everything or anything goes.

    i love sociological debates especially when mixed with fashion!

    btw, i have not tried that soap you mentioned. i can't wait to try it though knowing that it has done so much for you. you got me :)

    x Grayburn

  19. Amei o post!!!
    É a primeira vez que te vejo falando tanto assim de coisas que adoro! Engraçado isso!
    Realmente moda tem uma grande força cultural.
    Creio que não há necessidade de se fazer parte especificamente de uma tribo, a não ser que você se identifique plenamente com ela. Hoje, em meu blog, postei justamente sobre isso, sobre os estilos e a diversidade.
    Muito interessante!
    Bless you!

  20. very interesting, and i do think as one gets older, the need to connect with a tribe changes. although i've never been 100% comfortable with one tribe, when I did it was generally the black clad rocker crowd.

  21. I'm so untribish - I'm definitely an agent.

  22. i love wearing black. but i'm neither emo nor goth. i'm more of a punk. if that makes sense. lol.


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