The subculture is a term of contemporary use , implemented from the twentieth century to identify certain groups of people who have specific social and cultural characteristics to each other , but they do not share the ideology of the dominant culture of the region or country where are located. For example, in a certain country there may be more than one dominant religious belief, since it is faced with an increasingly multi-ethnic world. This subculture has its respective characteristics with which they feel identified, such as the meaning of some symbols, lifestyle, clothing and use of language.

What is subculture?

The term subculture is used to refer to a community of people who have certain behaviors, beliefs and attitudes in common, which are different from the culture of their environment or context . Therefore, it is a culture inferior to the predominant one of its community. The members of each subculture have their characteristics in common that differentiate them from the other members and, in turn, are united with the members of their subculture , sharing a similar appearance and lifestyle that can be easily distinguished.

  • History of subculture
  • Types of subculture

History of subculture

In the mid-twentieth century, in 1950, the American theorist and sociologist David Riesman observed that in a majority community there was a group of people who did not follow the same life patterns . Riesman viewed this subculture as a culture with its own peculiarities within the prevailing culture.


At the same time, several theorists of the 20th century have carried out specialized studies in culture. This is the case of Dick Hebdige , social researcher, who published his book: Subculture : The Meaning of Style , in 1979 and which constitutes a valuable contribution to the cultural studies carried out at the Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCS) from the University of Birmingham, England, an institution where he acquired his studies in sociology, Thus, Hebdige, is taken as an important reference when dealing with the subject of youth subcultures . Furthermore, Hebdigeconsiders that the members of a subculture when validating their belonging to it must have certain peculiarities such as style, clothing, language and / or the way of relating , so that the study of a particular subculture often lies in the association to a certain style of dress, musical tastes, language, etc., among the individual members, since these attitudes contain an emotional and subjective charge only for that subculture.

Types of subculture

Subcultures by nationality

In some parts of the world, it is usual for emigrants to enter another country, this population contains its own characteristics such as: language, clothing, behaviors and other skills, which belong to and identify them with their place of origin, however, When their culture arrives in another region or continent, it is not predominant, therefore, it would be classified as a subculture . For example, these groups of people have centers of their nationality in countries that are not of their origin, where they meet specifically, to remember or live experiences similar to those of their native country, such as their gastronomy, their clothing or lifestyle.

Religious subcultures

Around the world there are multiple beliefs and affinities towards a specific worldview , therefore, there is no single religion and this variety of religious beliefs allows different types of beliefs to exist in different regions , not just one.

For example, the case of Argentina, which among its most predominant beliefs is Catholicism, there are also different religious beliefs, such as the case of the Protestant churches , the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Jehovah’s Witnesses , among other minor religions of great importance. importance for their native countries but with communities on other continents, such as Judaism , Islam and Buddhism . Despite this, in Argentina there is also the case of not belonging to a specific dogma or religious belief, as in the case of atheism , agnostics and humanist currents.

Geographic or regional subcultures

Although several individuals share geographically in a given space-time context, they do not have the same beliefs, customs, traditions, ways of dressing, eating, language, among other things. It can be seen that within the same country different cultural peculiarities occur according to the region of said country , this could be called regional identity , with certain characteristic factors or factors specific to each region, factors that are more popular in certain parts. This is linked to what would be the sense of belonging of each individual according to their city of origin.

Racial subcultures

In each continent, country or / and region certain racial groups predominate, such as the original ethnic groups , however, one inhabits an increasingly racially varied world, where their own cultures predominate in a specific region, but people are present. Born in that region, but with parents of origin from another part of the world , however, these people acquire the characteristics of the site.

Hipster subculture

It is a contemporary subculture made up of youth and young adults that had its origins during the twentieth century, around 1950, and then reappeared in the late 1990s. Currently, it continues to become popular as it is characterized by an independent ideology which tries to move away from the prevailing fashions picking up second-hand, old-fashioned, or vintage clothing. Thus, it is characterized by the use of clothing outside of the everyday and non-commercial musical tastes, among which is indie and alternative music . Although it could be a homogeneous subculture, there is a diversity of particularities between them,They do not have as much cohesion as other subcultures with well-defined characteristics , since they only seek to generate their own thought in their search for individuality through a contemporary and alternative lifestyle, outside of all conventionalism.

Gothic subculture

The Gothic subculture arises as a result of Romanticism of the 19th century , since they are associated with satanic cults, going against religious dogma, relating to death. Likewise, this subculture is related to the sociocultural aspects of Europe in the Middle Ages, for which, its members were awarded the name of “Gothic”, in reference to the artistic manifesto whose architectural style left aside the ideal of the strength and greatness to focus on a magnificent beauty. At the end of the 20th century, around the 70s and 80s, this subculture began to be witnessed with greater boom , with the influence of the gothic rock bands of the time, literatureand horror movies. They try to express themselves, although not with much success, since the culture of the predominant society does not share their ideals, such as their attraction to the color black, since it is associated with mourning and death. Although her clothing focuses on the prevalence of the use of this color, it also encompasses the Victorian style of the Renaissance and the Middle Ages, such as the use of corsets and dresses with large embroidered details.

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