Oh To Be Young And In A Subculture



This fine, late, morning I was working on developing a few more blog ideas and since my theme is “getting schooled,” I was looking into music about school, going back to school, etc. In my search I came across youth subcultures and how that ties into music about school. It got me thinking and decided it’s that time of year and certainly worth discussing a bit.

My disclaimer – clearly I will not have spent crazy amounts of time researching this particular topic as I just started it this morning. I did a quick search and read a few articles on it. I don’t have as much time to spend on this as I probably should but I figure, at least for now, I could get the talk started and I reserve the right to come back and revisit after having done some additional research later. Plus, my blog is typically about my point of view and while it’s always best to be educated when “speaking,” I’ve never claimed to use this blog as a source of education for others… just a way to start talking about things, which in of itself can turn into an education as other people are wonderful resources. That’s it… nothing crazy.

So back to the topic. Youth subcultures. It’s almost mid-August so naturally this means getting ready to go back to school, have that one last late summer vacation, the last hooray before school begins. I have a clear love of music and thought it would be fun to share some school related music with readers and that’s when the term youth subculture came up as I searched for the perfect song to share. So there my next post presented itself – getting schooled in youth subcultures if you will.

Cover of "Not Another Teen Movie (Unrated...

Cover via Amazon

I shouldn’t have been so surprised and perhaps it should have been something I thought about from the get-go but I didn’t. Youth, music and subcultures have gone hand in hand for decades, if not longer. There’s an entire genre of movies dedicated to exploiting youth subculture to the point there’s even a movie making fun of those movies, “Not Another Teen Movie,” which for the record… wasn’t very good, though the Molly Ringwald cameo at the end was pretty good. Just saying.

The cover for the movie itself exposes a few of the standard subcultures – jock, “in-crowd,” nerd, etc. When I was in school, there was the goth group, smokers, preps, and the list goes on from there. I did happen to go to a large school so there were quite a few different groups and then there were the kids that didn’t seem to fit in any category… that was me. Yes I happened to have been a “band geek,” but I was also an athlete and somehow managed to get along with most so I was lucky in that I had a good high school experience.

Anyway, I just think that youth subcultures are fascinating. Going back and doing a quick search, I noticed it seemed like a few of the so-called standard youth subcultures appeared to have originated in the United Kingdom, including the Teddy Boys. From there you get greasers… John Travolta anyone? When thinking youth subcultures you may also think of the Beatnik generation and hippies. In the 80s, girls were either for Madonna or Cindi Lauper. There was also the metal heads, which kept going until the early 90s (“Wayne’s World” ring a bell?).

The question I really have, especially after doing a little reading, is what is today’s major youth subculture? Sure there is Emo, which quite frankly I really don’t understand, and there’s still the standards of jock, nerds/dorks/geeks/dweebs, punks, etc., but it doesn’t seem as pronounced as it once was with certain groups.

There’s a total takeover these days with social media sites, use of phones, etc., and that could be a subculture but as with any culture there should be attire and music to go along with it to really complete the package. What songs and attire is used to describe the social media/technology subculture now… especially because in this case, it’s not just youth? I just thought it interesting and worth commenting on… at least for now. I know… I’m a bit all over the place and even my writing style isn’t so consistent these days… but I’m pretty sure I put a disclaimer for all that in my About Me page. Just saying.

On that note.. I shall leave you with a classic anti-schooling song that definitely belongs in some  youth subcultures… Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” Please don’t mind the analysis of the video that goes along with it.


2 responses to “Oh To Be Young And In A Subculture

  1. The Molly Ringwald scene was pretty funny wasn’t it.

    Things are blending and blurring quite a bit amongst the youth culture now-a-days. A big part of it is represented in the music; most of the youth music has become dance/club music. Whether it is hip hop, country, rock….its all began to blur into one big genre of dance/club music. Notice all the overlap between Hip Hop artists collaborating on songs with country, pop, and other singers.

    Everything is blurring together and that is why I think you’re noticing that the distinctions between the sub-cultures are less pronounced.

    Why is this occurring? I have a few ideas….but am still working on it 🙂

    • well when you’re ready… i’d love to hear what your thoughts are on it. i really hadn’t thought too much on it until i was going to post something really generic and then it really sort of made me think of what is or isn’t going on these days. my view is a lil’ skewed now because living in a small town i think tends to limit the number of subgroups simply due to lack of numbers but even so… it’s still an interesting development.

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