Teenage Satanism as Oppositional Youth Subculture
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Teenage Satanism as Oppositional Youth Subculture book
This chapter offers an ethnographic portrait of a coven of teenage Satanists. It argues that the psychological folklore, and constructionist perspectives on Satanists are lacking an important voice—the adolescent Satanists themselves. Lacking the social power though, the Coven primarily used a symbolic critique, through the creation of a Satanic style. The theoretical privileging of one culture accomplishes two things. First, it keeps the analysis focused on "bad" or "sick" individuals rather than on the level of the social group. Second, it does not allow for an analysis of teenage Satanists as social critics of the dominant culture. The Coven practiced bricolage—the deliberate creation of, not just a Satanic style, but a Satanic self-concept from available cultural elements. However, the stronger and more visible the Satanic style became, the stronger some in the community's concern became. Despite the community hostility, their Satanic style empowered Coven members.