THE subcultures introduced in the previous sections have till now been described as a series of mediated responses to the presence in Britain of a sizeable black community. As we have seen, the proximity of the two positions – white working-class youth and Negro – invites identification and even when this identity is repressed or openly resisted, black cultural forms (e.g. music) continue to exercise a major determining influence over the development of each subcultural style. It is now time to explore the relationship between these spectacular subcultures and those other groups (parents, teachers, police, ‘respectable’ youth, etc.) and cultures (adult working-class and middle-class cultures) against which they are ostensibly defined. Most writers still tend to attribute an inordinate significance to the opposition between young and old, child and parent, citing the rites of passage which, even in the most primitive societies, are used to mark the transition from childhood to maturity. 1 What is missing from these accounts is any idea of historical specificity, any explanation of why these particular forms should occur at this particular time.