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This paper reviews the concept of 'subculture' as it has evolved within the framework of Contemporary Cultural Studies, and  come to refer to a wide variety of cultural practices. It surveys how the evolution of the concept of subculture, in its fluidity and multifacetedness, has informed contemporary perceptions on culture in general, as well as shaped approaches to cultural, literary and intellectual issues. 

Part I examines basic assumptions about the concept, outlines major attributes and common characteristics of subcultural groups, as well as theses put forward to explain the emergence and growth of subcultures. Part II reviews the early emergence of subcultural studies as an area of disciplinary investigation (the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Chicago and of the Centre for Contemporary and Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham). It also outlines later developments in the study of subculture away from the approaches of these two institutions. Part III is a survey of salient varieties of subculture primarily in the United States and Britain, but also in other parts of the world. Part IV examines the revisions the concept of subculture has more recently undergone, and reviews recent critiques of traditional approaches to its study. Part V examines how basic assumptions about subculture can be seen to inform approaches to other varieties of cultural practices, particularly mass, popular and folk cultures. Part VI examines the relevance of basic assumptions underlying the concept of subculture to contemporary cultural, literary and intellectual debates. Part VII is the conclusion, and it highlights how the concept continues to influence major debates in cultural studies, as well as in related fields, in addition to pointing out the future directions the concept of subculture seems to be moving into.
Document Type: Article Topic Area: Other Submitted: 20th Aug 2013
Institution: Cairo University- Egypt Department: English Country: Egypt
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