What does it mean when a society segments itself into smaller groups called subcultures? How do people in subcultures create alternative forms of identity? How do they resist, subvert, or challenge dominant culture? This course engages with the concept of “subculture” through a variety of media materials. Weʼll be watching documentaries (e.g., The Filth and the Fury, Paris is Burning), television episodes (e.g., South Park, The Monkees), and films ranging from the popular (e.g., Easy Rider, Near Dark) to its alternatives (e.g., The Man Who Fell to Earth, Born in Flames). Weʼll listen to music ranging from jazz to punk rock. Weʼll also read poetry and editorials.

This interdisciplinary course covers a variety of academic work from several fields including film and media studies, cultural studies, gender studies, queer studies, sociology, cultural ethnography, performance studies, and business history. Weʼll explore the emergence of subcultures and countercultures in postwar United States and Britain, the function of fashion in constructing identity, the relationship of subcultures to popular music, issues of social identity, the potential for social change through practices of resistance, what subcultures mean in the Information Age, and much more. 

To see the full syllabus, contact me.