Posts tagged ‘Subculture’

June 26, 2020

Bosozoku

Universal Japanese Motorcycle

Bōsōzoku (literally ‘running-out-of-control (as of a vehicle) tribe’) is a Japanese youth subculture associated with customized motorcycles. The first appearance of these types of biker gangs was in the 1950s. Popularity climbed throughout the 1980s and 1990s, peaking at an estimated 42,510 members in 1982. Their numbers dropped dramatically in the 2000s with a reported number of under 7,297 members in 2012.

Bōsōzoku are known to modify their motorcycles in peculiar and showy ways, which are called ‘Kaizōsha’ (‘Modified Vehicles’). The general style of bōsōzoku bike modification appears to combine elements of an American chopper bike and a British café racer. Examples of modifications that are taken from these styles are raised handle bars like those on a chopper or over-sized fairings like those found on café racers (though bōsōzoku usually fit them much higher on the bike than their original position, and angled upwards at the front).

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December 12, 2018

Mole People

Mole people (also known as ‘tunnel people’ or ‘tunnel dwellers’) are homeless people living under large cities in abandoned subway, railroad, flood, sewage tunnels, and heating shafts. The term may also refer to the speculative fiction trope of an entirely subterranean society.

While it is generally accepted that some homeless people in large cities make use of abandoned underground structures for shelter, urban legends persist that make stronger assertions. These include claims that ‘mole people’ have formed small, ordered societies similar to tribes, with members numbering up to the hundreds, living underground year-round. It has also been suggested that they have developed their own cultural traits and even have electricity by illegal hook-up. The subject has attracted some attention from sociologists but is highly controversial due to a lack of evidence.

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March 21, 2017

Manosphere

MGTOW

Red Pill

The manosphere (or androsphere) is an informal network of blogs, forums, and websites where commentators focus on issues relating to men and masculinity, as a male counterpart to feminism or in opposition to it. Some of these forums have been described in the media and by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) of the United States as promoting a misogynistic worldview.

The content of manosphere articles varies widely. Common topics include the men’s rights, fathers’ rights, and Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW, a movement cautioning men against romantic relationships with women) causes; male victims of abuse; antifeminism; self-improvement; and pick-up artistry (PUA, a collective of men discussing seduction and sexual success with/access to women).

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March 2, 2016

Sneakerhead

just for kicks

A sneakerhead is a person who collects, trades or admires sneakers as a hobby. The birth of sneakerhead culture in the United States came in the 1980s and can be attributed to two major sources: basketball, specifically the emergence of Michael Jordan and his eponymous Air Jordan line of shoes released in 1985, and the growth of hip hop music. The boom of signature basketball shoes during this era provided the sheer variety necessary for a collecting subculture, while the Hip-Hop movement gave the sneakers their street credibility as status symbols.

Several popular brands and styles of sneakers have emerged as collectors items in the sneakerhead subculture, including Air Jordans, Air Force Ones, Nike Dunks, Nike Skateboarding (SB), Nike Foamposites, Nike Air Max, and in the past few years, the Nike Air Yeezy. Shoes that have the most value are usually exclusive or limited editions. Also certain color schemes may be rarer relative to others in the same sneaker, inflating desirability and value. Recently, sneaker customs, or one-of-a-kind sneakers that have been hand-painted, have become popular as well.

 

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December 15, 2015

Phreaking

Capn Crunch

2600

Phreaking is a slang term coined to describe the activity of hobbyists who study, experiment with, or explore, telecommunication systems, such as equipment and systems connected to public telephone networks. ‘Phreak,’ ‘phreaker,’ or ‘phone phreak’ are names used for and by individuals who participate in phreaking. The term first referred to groups who had reverse engineered the system of tones used to route long-distance calls. By re-creating these tones, phreaks could switch calls from the phone handset, allowing free calls to be made around the world.

Electronic tone generators known as ‘blue boxes’ became a staple of the phreaker community, including future Apple Inc. cofounders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The blue box era came to an end with the ever increasing use of computerized phone systems, which sent dialling information on a separate, inaccessible channel. By the 1980s, much of the system in the US and Western Europe had been converted. Phreaking has since become closely linked with computer hacking.

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October 17, 2013

La Sape

sape

La Sape, an abbreviation based on the phrase ‘Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes’ (‘The Society for the Advancement of Elegant People’) is a social movement centered in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo. It embodies the elegance in style and manners of colonial predecessor dandies as a means of resistance.

A dandy is a man unduly concerned with his appearance in fashion and manners. The word ‘sape’ means ‘dress’ and it corresponds to the intransitive verb ‘se saper’ which mean ‘to dress fashionably.’ This term made its first appearance in French vocabulary in 1926 and referred to the Parisian socialites and the ‘fashion energy’ they displayed during the Roaring Twenties.

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October 8, 2013

Northern Soul

Northern soul is a music and dance movement that emerged, initially in Northern England in the late 1960s, from the British mod scene (a youth subculture). Northern soul is devoted to American soul music based on the heavy beat and fast tempo of the mid-1960s Tamla Motown sound.

The movement, however, generally eschews Motown or Motown-influenced music that has met with significant mainstream success. The recordings most prized by enthusiasts of the genre are usually by lesser-known artists, and were initially released only in limited numbers, often by small regional United States labels such as Ric-Tic and Golden Records (Detroit), Mirwood (Los Angeles) and Shout and Okeh (New York/Chicago).

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July 14, 2013

Bear

bears by carey jordan

In gay culture, a Bear is a large, hairy man who projects an image of rugged masculinity. As a rising subculture in the gay and bisexual male communities, Bears are one of many LGBT communities with events, codes, and a culture-specific identity.

The term was popularized by Richard Bulger, who, along with his then partner Chris Nelson (1960–2006) founded ‘Bear Magazine’ in 1987. There is some contention surrounding whether Bulger originated the term and the subculture’s conventions. Author George Mazzei, for example, wrote an article for ‘The Advocate’ in 1979 called ‘Who’s Who in the Zoo?,’ that characterized homosexuals as seven types of animals, including bears.

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August 25, 2012

Furry

Anthrocon

The furry fandom is a subculture interested in anthropomorphic animal characters. According to fandom historian Fred Patten, the concept of furry originated at a science fiction convention in 1980, when a character drawing from Steve Gallacci’s ‘Albedo Anthropomorphics’ started a discussion of anthropomorphic characters in science fiction novels. This led to the formation of a discussion group that met at science fiction and comics conventions.

The specific term ‘furry fandom’ was being used in fanzines as early as 1983, however, fans consider the origins of the subculture to be much earlier, with fictional works such as ‘Kimba, The White Lion’ released in 1965, Richard Adams’ novel ‘Watership Down,’ published in 1972 (and its 1978 film adaptation), as well as Disney’s ‘Robin Hood’ as oft-cited examples. To distinguish these personae from seriously depicted animal characters, such as Lassie or Old Yeller, cartoon animals are referred to as ‘funny animals,’ a term that came into use in the 1910s.

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August 13, 2012

Riot Grrrl

Riot grrrl

Riot grrrl is an underground feminist punk rock movement that originally started in Washington, D.C.  and the Pacific Northwest in the early to mid-1990s. It is often associated with third-wave feminism which is sometimes seen as its starting point. Riot grrrl bands often address issues such as rape, domestic abuse, sexuality, racism, patriarchy, and female empowerment.

Bands associated with the movement include Bikini Kill, Jack Off Jill (and later Scarling), Bratmobile, Fifth Column, Sleater-Kinney, L7, and also queercore like Team Dresch. In addition to a music scene and genre, riot grrrl is a subculture: zines, the DIY ethic, art, political action, and activism are part of the movement.

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March 27, 2012

Valley Girl

moon zappa

Valley Girl is a stereotype leveled at a socio-economic and ethnic class of American women who can be described as colloquial English-speaking and materialistic. Valspeak is also a form of this trait, based on an exaggerated version of ’80s California English.

The term originally referred to the ever increasing number of semi-affluent and affluent middle-class and upper-middle class girls living in the bedroom community neighborhoods of San Fernando Valley. Due to the Valley’s proximity to the Hollywood media machine, the demographic group which the term stereotyped garnered large exposure to the rest of the world.

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January 24, 2012

Survivalism

alpha

howard ruff

Survivalism is a movement devoted to preparing for possible disruptions in social or political order, on scales ranging from local to international. Survivalists often have emergency medical and self-defence training, stockpile food and water, prepare for self-sufficiency, and build structures that will help them survive or ‘disappear’ (e.g. a survival retreat or underground shelter).

Anticipated disruptions include the following: clusters of natural disasters, patterns of apocalyptic planetary crises, or Earth Changes (in the form of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards, severe thunderstorms); disaster caused by the activities of humankind (chemical spills, release of radioactive materials, nuclear or conventional war, oppressive governments); societal collapse caused by the shortage or unavailability of resources such as electricity, fuel, food, or water; financial disruption or economic collapse (caused by monetary manipulation, hyperinflation, deflation, or depression); and global pandemic.

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