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Subculture: The Meaning of Style (New Accents) Paperback – 1979


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Product Details

  • Series: New Accents
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New Ed edition (1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415039495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415039499
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Complex and remarkably lucid, it's the first book dealing with punk to offer intellectual content. Hebdige is concerned with the UK's postwar, music-centred, white working-class subcultures, from teddy boys to mods and rockers to skinheads and punks.' -- Rolling Stone

About the Author

A renowned cultural critic and theorist, Dick Hebdige has published widely on youth subculture, contemporary music, art and design, and consumer and media culture. His current interests include the integration of autobiography and mixed media in critical writing and pedagogy.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Hebdige's book is an excellent text that is enjoyable and informative to read.
D. Pacifico
He grew up right in the middle of the movement in England and witnessed firsthand the events and shifts that the book covers.
David Wallis
This book is written in a very academic style, so the 200 pages seems like 500.
Sheldon Kessel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ulrich Gdhler on April 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I assessed social movements such as Occupy, I always looked for requirements and political programme, hegemony and its weak point, class composition and contradictions, potential allies and relative strength. I never looked at style so far. But my photo album shows me with the Sergeant Pepper uniform of the late 60s, the Che Guevara beard of the radical 70s and the yellow raincoat of the antinuclear movement. Reading Dick Hebdige’s “Subculture - The Meaning of Style” I learned that questions of style should become part of the political analysis of social movements. I am a 68er and I still recognize those younger or elderly people on the streets who share my disdain for the system. This is because of – Style.

Dick Hebdige’s book appeared in 1979 and became one of the bestsellers of Cultural Studies. Hebdige heavily relies upon the Birmingham CCCS anthology “Resisting through Rituals – Youth Subculture in Post-Britain” (1975). Hebdige starts with an analysis of Reggae and Rastafarianism in the West-Indian community in London. He then portrays white working class youth subcultures such as the teddy boys, skinheads and punks. He describes subcultures as a series of responses to the presence in Britain of a sizeable black community. But there is a large difference between the 1975 CCCS anthology and Hebdige’s 1979 book. Actually Hebdige has received the theory of structuralism, particularly the works of Lévi-Strauss and the younger Roland Barthes. Hebdige confirms the definition of culture as “coded exchange of reciprocal messages” and Style as a “signifying practice”. There are also the first repercussions of Louis Althusser’s Structuralist Marxism, when Hebdige talks about ideology of the way of perceiving other groups as well as one’s own group.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Pacifico on March 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Hebdige's book is an excellent text that is enjoyable and informative to read. It is academic and poetic all at once, mirroring certain aspects of the self-conscious scene he describes. He takes on the challenge of recording both the history and method of cultural creation and change in Britain, and leaves the savvy reader at a good place for interpreting later subcultural movements (US punk & hardcore, for example). I would say this is an essential read for the student or layman interested in subculture (past and present) or the history of punks, skins, etc.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Beemus on March 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great read and a must have for anyone in the social science field. I bought it originally for an assignment and because it's short. I didn't realize how important this work was to the field of communication. If you're interested in culture, punk music, and Marxist works than you should definitely purchase this title. I plan on re-reading this many times.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is fundmentally the the bases for anyone who is studying art theory. This books goes into how subcultures like the punk movement to hip hop and gang cultures got started and why they are important to understanding diverse social structures.
Althought this book is small it is not an easy read. I read this book four or five time before things started to sink in. After finishing this book I felt more prepared for the art going experience.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
From mods to rastafarians this books covers the history and social significance of them all. Although heavy at the start the book levels out at a nice factual tempo providing meaning to every subculture youth movent interlinking them and weaving them with the music scene. There are a few gaps, perhaps due to lack of knowledge, which I believe are significant but have been left out. Worth a read if you are intrested in fasion, youth, sociological research or music.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stacey on August 14, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book takes an awesome and serious look at punk as a social and cultural phenomenon, and examines the roots that made punk into what it was. it is a very enlightening read, but is the kind of book you must read in the front and the back at the same time to have it all sink in. hebdige uses a number of endnotes throughout the book, which made me have to jump back and forth to understand what he was saying. i think a second reading would provide an even deeper understanding-- there were definitely times on the first read when i had to reread passages. i definitely recommend this book and have greatly enjoyed it.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've read other books in the same vein like Neil Nehring's "Flowers in the Dustbin", but this book deserves respect as one of the first books to deal with punk seriously as a social phenomenon. The last few paragraphs also privide much insight into the mind of a "radical" academic.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
Dick Hebdige provides unparalled insight to the the United Kingdom's subcultures. If you're interested in the mods or skinheads, check it out!
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Subculture: The Meaning of Style (New Accents)
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