resistance through ritual

resistance through ritual

any ritualized styles of working-class youth culture and leisure behaviour – e.g. teddy boys – which can be interpreted as aimed at resistance to structural and cultural changes. The phrase gained currency after its use as the title of a collection of articles written by researchers at the CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY CULTURAL STUDIES in the mid-1970s. The title is indicative of the approach to the study of SUBCULTURES adopted by the CCCS and has been influential subsequently in studies of youth cultures, education, and deviance.

Youth subcultures such as MODS AND ROCKERS and punks, have been studied in this way (M. Brake, 1985). These youth subcultures arise at times of social upheaval – the collapse of community, whether associated with relative affluence or unemployment – and are thought to reflect ‘negotiated responses’ to these circumstances. In this process the products of mass culture are not simply accepted but richly interpreted, so as to express subcultural concerns.

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