Rave Is More Than Just A Subculture As Defined By The Birmingam Centre For Contemporary Cultural Studies.

3688 words - 15 pages

This essay aims to look at how rave culture is more than just a youth subculture as defined by the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (C.C.C.S.). It will start by looking at the C.C.C.S.'s definition of a youth subculture and will go on to examine rave culture in relation to these theories. Finally, it will hopefully show how rave culture is more than just a reaction to society at that time. It will look at the spirituality of rave culture, the impact that it has had on many people's lives and the DJ as an urban shaman.Hall et al (1976) wanted to examine why and how youth groups were formed. Youth only really came into existence after the second world war when, with the advances in industrialization and technology, it was no longer necessary for people to go straight into a working life at an early age and there was much more leisure time available. There was no longer the immediate jump from childhood to adulthood, but there was a transitory period in between when a child became an adult, they may have been continuing their studies or just enjoying life. This period of life between childhood and adulthood became known as youth, "'Youth' appeared as an emergent category in post-war Britain, one of the most striking and visible manifestations of social change in the period" (Hall et al 1976, p9). If there is youth then there will be youth culture, culture is defined by Hall et al as, "the peculiar and distinctive 'way of life' of the group or class, the meanings, values and ideas embodied in institutions, in social relations, in systems of beliefs, in mores and customs, in the uses of objects and material life. Culture is the distinctive shapes in which this material and social organisation of life expresses itself" (1976, p10).There is never just one culture, society is always split into different groups and there is always a dominant group. At the time when members of the C.C.C.S. were investigating youth cultures they believed that these different groups are always a result of different classes within society, "in modern societies, the most fundamental groups are the social classes" (Hall et al, 1976, p 13) and the creation of youth subcultures was a response to the breaking down of class barriers at the time. Phil Cohen (1972) argued that, "when working-class communities are undergoing change and displacement - when the 'parent culture' is no longer cohesive - youth (and the focus here is always on working-class youth) responds by becoming subcultural. Subcultures thus become a means of expressing and, for Cohen, also 'resolving' the crisis of class" (Gelder, 1997, pp 84-85). This is no longer applicable in today's society as class is no longer such an influential factor in societal groupings, but I will examine this further later on in this essay.Hall et al (1976) identify five specific social changes that caused the creation of youth cultures. The first was the increasing affluence of youth, "the increased importance of the...

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