Contextualizing the Spectacular
DOI link for Contextualizing the Spectacular
Contextualizing the Spectacular book
This chapter offers a reflection on some aspects of the development of subcultural and post-subcultural studies in the light of ongoing criticism of the subcultural theory of the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS). It suggests that such criticism ought to be taken on board but not only through greater focus on so-called ordinary young people. For example, while CCCS may be criticized by some for focusing so much attention on subcultures at all, it is noteworthy that, in coming to their conclusions about such groups, they relied largely on semiotic interpretations of fixed, idealized versions of spectacular style. The workings and importance of subcultures and the various identities, narratives and contexts involved often became reduced to the most externally visible or obvious textual features. Post-subcultural theory also sometimes included calls to place greater emphasis on the cultural practice of ordinary young people rather than only the most noticeable or spectacular.