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Punk Subculture - Origins and Influence: Description

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A subculture is a group of individuals with the same interests that oppose social norms in society. it is a culture division within a larger culture with separate values and practices unique to them. They identify themselves semiotically, behaviourally and ideologically. Subcultures can have an important role in an individual’s identity, through the connection between the subcultures and the dominant culture is likely one of authority, with the status of individuals within the dominant culture could give them the power to define aspects of the subculture through processes of labelling which can lead to prejudice and discrimination.This gives a different perception and significance to youths subordinate status reinterpreting the social worlds. This can be seen by how they express themselves predominantly in the way they dress and present themselves, their lifestyle and music preferences. Subcultural capital creates an identity describing how a person’s taste can be swayed by their parents through the social positioning of the parents will lead their children’s identity and culture preference. The subculture capital is always below the elite and takes focuses on the proletariat. This results in a symbolism in subcultural capital that imparts a ranking position within two class and society.

The subcultural capital characterise the culture through methods which are primarily fashion, music, art and literature. They are conformed to portray a certain image that society are enforcing unto them. The beginning of punk was widely known for its rebellion against the British government popularised by bands like Sex Pistols and The Ramones in the New York punk scene but in fact punk rock originated from Lima, Peru over a decade before. The first punk band, Los Saicos was a group of 4 delinquents formed in 1961 which became the founding fathers of punk rock. Their song lyrics focused on demolishing, deaths of others and Within a short span they became widely successful within the country. Thirteen years later, the punk movement took off in England. Punk question institutional power while having energy and passion that punk music is known for and alternative way of music that represents the punk ideology in musical form Punks come from all walks of life and the mix of people contribute to form the essence of punk. An individual’s style, values and actions are key to identify their social setting. “Every object may be viewed.. as a sign”.

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For instance, the do-it-yourself clothing once served a purpose to up-cycle existing pieces for a new look, express one’s style and opinions but also a form of rebellion when taken into context with punk adaptation. Whereby the use of D.I.Y. in punk fashion was a symbolism to recognise the punk subculture. It provides an alternate way of living for people to thrive on. Contrary to before, subcultures of the present do not have easily identifiable consistency of style. Similar to every other alternative fashion, punk started as a response in questioning institutional power while possessing passion and liveliness in punk music a change in perspective that constitutes punk ideology. Punk fashion resembles 1950s Greasers tight fitted shirts, jeans and biker leather jackets but with a twist. Punk aims to outrage conformed norms of fashion, with bold clash of colours Incorporating the use of D.I.Y. plays a major part of the punk fashion with tattered and torn jeans and shirts held together with safety pins and tape written with markers.

Drawing most of its inspiration from sex, t-shirts were plastered with sexual risque graphics and materials like leather, rubber and vinyl from bondage and sado-masochism. Hairstyles played a part with spiky mohawks and vibrant colours was key in tying their whole look together. They often kept a part of their favourite band with them by attaching pin-back buttons or patches unto their jackets. Iron cross tattoos and Nazi swastika was added for pure shock content though the majority are anti-racist, they will cross out the Nazi swastika symbols while keeping them on. It wrecks the formity and unity within the structured society and thrive from the shock value of its style. They wanted to make a statement with their choice of fashion and outward appearance to revolt against

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