Mainstream Youth Subcultures Essay

Mainstream Youth Subcultures Essay

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In modern society, youths are encouraged to stand out and as a result, this ‘subculture population’ is ever increasing. Such mass media labelling has resulted in such a creation of these youth subcultures that evidentially exist and they have become mainstream. Changes that occur within society and mainstream however lead to the emergence of new subcultures whereby old ones change or disappear. Such transition is apparent between these two films, from the ‘mods’ within the 1960’s to ‘chavs’ and hoodies today. The two films are evidently driven by their dramatic media representations of youth subcultures.
Quadrophenia was presented 30 years before the release of Harry Brown which focuses on the two main subcultures that existed, the ‘mods’ and the ‘rockers’. This representation uses unusual factors, such as the ‘mods’ fashion, music, drug use, sexual activity and language in an attempt to show how these represent their feelings of rebellion and anger (Hebidge, 1979). Harry Brown however is a more modern representation that also focuses on the subculture of gangs but more specifically the subculture of the ‘hoodies’ and ‘chavs’ which has emerged as a result of the decline of the ‘mods’.
‘Quadrophenia’ is a fictional film that highlights the important youth subcultures within the era of the 1960’s. The more specific youth subculture that is represented within the film is that of the gang of the ‘Mods’. As a gang, they deviate from the majority of the laws of society but instead of completely going against the norm they actively follow the latest trends within society such as the fashion where their social identity derives from. These youths think of themselves as a unified subculture that unite when their rivals, the ‘Rockers’, ...


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... into the audience.
Both films seem to generally support and reproduce mainstream thinking today regarding youth subcultures. Such negativity regarding these youths and involvement within these subcultures generally became important within the 1960’s around the time of the release of ‘Quadrophenia’. The representation of the youth subculture social identity within Quadrophenia seems to surround their ‘style’ and interest whereas the social identity within Harry Brown seems to surround their social economic status and family backgrounds. Both films support some sociological and criminological theories put forward but as this essay has found, they also can challenge some of these. Also the specific media techniques used in the film are play a powerful role on reproducing and maintaining this negative mainstream thinking surrounding youths and youth subcultures.


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