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Inside Subculture: The Postmodern Meaning of Style (Dress, Body, Culture) Paperback – April 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Dress, Body, Culture
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; First Edition edition (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859733522
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859733523
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,210,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

While this book is ostensibly about dress and style in various British subcultures, scholar Muggleton uses clothing largely as a point of departure to explore the values and motives of those who identify themselves, at least partially, as "punk," "goth," "skinhead," or "hippy." With the greater purpose of investigating current claims about the "postmodern" nature of subcultures, Muggleton conducted a series of 57 interviews with subculture participants in Brighton and East Sussex. Subculturalists, he concludes, are postmodern in their identification with fragmentation and heterogeneity but modern in their commitment to individual freedom and self-expression. While there is considerable popular interest in the subject matter covered here, Muggleton writes almost exclusively for specialists in the field. His use of professional jargon and propensity to quote liberally from secondary sources will discourage all but the most intrepid general readers. Highly recommended for academic libraries.DAndrew Brodie Smith, Martin Luther King Memorial Lib., Washington, DC
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Highly recommended for academic libraries." --Library Journal

"Interview excerpts provide powerful illustrations of some of the points made on identification and dress style, and the book is also commendably thorough in its fieldwork details; the interview schedule in particular makes it a book that could be recommended as background reading to students on research methods courses as well." --Times Higher Education Supplement

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Z.A. on September 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Muggleton's biggest strength is that he tries to understand subjective experiences of subculturalists in their neverending conquest for differentiating themselves from the conventional. Unlike Birmingham scholars, Muggleton does not start with a pre given, dichotomous assumption about materially opressed subcultures against a totalizing dominant culture, but rather has a nominalist cultural orientation. So, if you are a materialist or structuralist, his perspective might put you off.

This book is indispensable if you are studying subcultures/youth cultures/microcultures/etc. However I suggest you read Hebdige before this, because Muggleton builds most of his arguments against his. Otherwise, it is hard to see where all this comes from.

Although it is a short text, it is quite dense and packed with references, so it might not be an enjoyable read if you are not very familiar with theories of culture.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jsfriedman on August 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
Academic summarizing nonsense aside, this is a well-argued/written/researched work on contemporary subcultures. Argument-wise, it's hard to argue with Muggleton (given sophisticated/nuanced/qualified positions. As far as writing is concerned, each chapter is structured around a single hypothesis which Muggleton explicitly proves or refutes, and anybody with even the slightest experience reading academic/theoretical texts should have no problem understanding it (i.e. it is neither French nor German). And research? Yes, you should probably read Hebidge first (you should probably read it anyways--it's short, generally fun, well-presented, and has definitively influenced contemporary thought about subcultures). Thornton wouldn't hurt (Muggleton is less in conversation with her than in the same vein/field). But since Muggleton provides ample background and introduction (along with quotes--probably half the book is quotes), it's no thing either way, and you're only slightly worse off for it.

Academically? Since Muggleton (i) is arguing for a corrective to a dominant theoretical position and, thus, (ii) making a meta-critique of the field, it's really hard to argue with him. Sure, he doesn't talk about race (everybody's white). And maybe he could be more critical of his informants' views. But Muggleton, to his absolute credit is way too reflexive to do this.
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Liam Maloney on June 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
Well i don't have much to say on this one. I ordered it as a help for my media assignment. Found it useful but a little long-winded and a little too specialised in terms of examples.
I'd recommend Sarah Thornton's "Club Cluture" as a good partner to this book.
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Inside Subculture: The Postmodern Meaning of Style (Dress, Body, Culture)
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