Presentation on theme: "After today… You should be able to tell the difference between subcultures & countercultures You should be able to identify the purpose of subcultures."— Presentation transcript:
After today… You should be able to tell the difference between subcultures & countercultures You should be able to identify the purpose of subcultures within dominant society You should be able to identify the qualities of sub/countercultures
What is a subculture? Any group that exists within dominant, mainstream culture…a world within a world –Shared ideology…values, norms, beliefs –Shared aesthetic…dress, pastimes, music, zines/blogs, etc –Shared vernacular…specialized language
Purpose of both sub and countercultures Gives people a place where they are empowered Connects likeminded people Makes invisible people visible Allows people to escape the identity they are born into Gives people a place to construct identity
Otherkin Subculture of people, primarily Internet- based, who identify in some way as other than human Believe themselves to be mythological or legendary creatures, explaining their beliefs through reincarnation, having a nonhuman soul –Angels, demons, dragons, elves, extra- terrestrials, fairies, kitsune, lycanthropes, and vampires
Bōsōzoku “Violent running gang”; a Japanese subculture associated with motorcycle clubs and gangs. –First seen in the 1950s as the Japanese automobile industry expanded rapidly. Engage in dangerous or reckless driving, such as weaving in traffic, not wearing motorcycle helmets, and running red lights –composed of people under the legal adult age, (20 yrs old) –Weapons of choice: wooden swords, metal pipes and Molotov cocktails.
Girls dress like their favorite manga, anime, or video-game character. Harajuku district of Japan Wamona, cyber, decora, or cosplay
Steampunk Based on science fiction literature blended with Victorian Era culture… –Think H.G. Wells and Jules Verne –Clothing: gowns, corsets, petticoats and bustles; suits with vests, coats and spats; or military- inspired garments.
LARPers Participants physically act out their characters' actions as decided by the gamemaster –May last hours or days –May be in public or private –Most characters dress up and have alternative personas –Horror, zombie, fantasy, post apocalyptic, assassin, etc.
What is a counterculture? A group who’s values and norms deviate from or are at odds with those of dominant culture: –Usually viewed as negative/dangerous, but not always (e.g. women’s lib groups in the 70s or the Civil Rights movement of the 60s) –Hippies, KKK, early punk, Satanists, Hells Angels/Pagans, Anarchists, Cults
Why do people join countercultures? Members of countercultural groups are… –Usually outsiders –Alienated –Marginalized people with little power over their status in the world –Don’t fit the mold of what American cultures says is “normal”
Punk Subculture Emerges in London and NYC in the 1970s –Max’s Kansas City & CBGBs Backlash against the hippy counterculture Values: nihilistic, rejected materialism, anti-establishment
What is a “cult”? A group whose beliefs seem bizarre or abnormal Can be religious or secular: Modern cults include large group-awareness training, psychotherapy, business (pyramid schemes), political (militia), and "New Age" groups:
Cults in American Society Some estimates suggest there are over 5000 cults in the U.S. (including militia groups, extremist religions, and new age sects) The turn of the century rekindled interest and membership in cults. –Some estimates suggest upwards of 185,000 converts per year to various cults
Problem with Defining “Cults” One person’s cult is another’s religion What is the difference between a “cult” and a “social movement”? What is the difference between an “extremist group” and a “club”?
Cults: 8 Commonalities 1.Authoritarian: central leadership in one person or small group of individuals. 2.Oppositional: values, beliefs or practices at odds with dominant culture. 3.Exclusivistic: only the group has ''the truth,'' usually based on new insights or revelation. 4.Legalistic: a tightly structured framework which governs spirituality and the smallest details of daily life. 5.Subjective: undue emphasis on experience and emotions often resulting in anti-intellectualism. 6.Persecution-Conscious: the belief that their group is singled out for persecution. 7.Sanction-Oriented: stern sanctions issued for anything less than total obedience. 8.Esoteric: an emphasis on secret, hidden or inner truth.
Characteristics of People Who Join Cults A desire to belong Unassertiveness Gullibility (impaired capacity to question critically) Low tolerance for ambiguity Cultural disillusionment or alienation Idealism A lack of self-confidence A desire for spiritual meaning
Heaven’s Gate Cult Founded by Marshall Applewhite AKA “Do”, and Bonnie Lu Truesdale AKA”Ti” Mid 1970’s – West Coast Beliefs –Aliens a “ Level Above” humans –Earth was a “ Garden for Souls” –Jesus was part of this. Applewhite was the same as Jesus –Earth was being “Recycled” –Comet Hale-Bopp was signal to leave
All wearing the following: Identical blue shirts and sweatpants Nike Widerunners Armbands reading “Heaven’s Gate Away Team” Each had a $5 bill and 3 quarters in their pocket Star Trek reference
Marshall Applewhite & Bonnie Lu Nettles Trusdale
Jim Jones: The People’s Temple Founded in 1955 by Jim Jones By 1959 = over 900 members (mid-70s 3,000) Preached imminent end of the world in a nuclear war and that the survivors would create a “new socialist Eden” on earth Would travel around the country performing fake healings and fund raising San Francisco - police suspicion Jones leases 4,000 acres of land in Guyana
Jonestown Massacre November 17, 1978: Congressman Leo Ryan goes to Guyana to investigate November 18, 1978: Ryan attempts to help potential defectors –Temple guards open fire, kill Ryan, 3 journalists and one defector –Jones orders mass execution –Cyanide-laced, grape flavored Kool-Aid
Aftermath 918 dead 270 children Greatest single loss of American civilian life before 9/11 Only Congressman to ever be assassinated