Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA
Toward Understanding The Subcultural Mosaic: Fragmentation of The Culture and The Symbiotic Interplay of The Market and Subcultures
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Dr. A. Fuat Firat
Dr. Mohammadali Zolfagharian
Dr. Michael Minor
This study brought to light the need for a more nuanced analysis and approach for understanding the observed tendency toward eclectic, fragmented, and paradoxical subcultures in contemporary society. It was critical to explore the impact of market hegemony and the response of subcultures to this hegemony leading to the development of contemporary subcultural sensibilities. The central purpose of this research was to develop a theory of subculture that accounted for the fragmentation observed in contemporary culture, and how this fragmentation influences subcultures leading to fragmentation within subcultures. To this end, using in-depth interviewing, netnography, and participant observation, I investigated the meanings that subcultural activities have for members of subcultures from the perspective of individuals who participate in music-based subcultures in their everyday lives. I adopted a poststructuralist approach in the interpretation stage to highlight the dynamic interplay between the subjective lived experiences of subcultural members and contemporary sociocultural discourses. This study extends subculture theory by developing and introducing the concept of the ‘subcultural mosaic’. Subcultural mosaic is based on an eclectic subcultural affiliation and a composite subcultural constellation. It is constituted through juxtapositions of several alternative subcultural discourses with each retaining, to some extent, its unique identity and qualities. Moreover, findings reveal that people participating in studied subcultures find the current institutionalizations oppressive and limiting. As they seek solace in membership in subcultures, they also seek membership in multiple subcultures since each represents / inherits the residual discontent from the mass culture, which also maintains the impulse to fragment within each subculture. The underlying purpose expressed is not to exert power over others, but to present alternative modes of life. In this respect, subcultures are venues in which people form several alternative positions and discourses. They resist the given subjectivities through constantly negotiating and reconfiguring cultural and subcultural positions, as well as by presenting new thoughts, imaginations, conceptions, positions, and subjectivities. That is, agency lies in subcultural mosaic.
University of Texas-Pan American
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