By Erik Hannerz (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1137485922

ISBN-13: 9781137485922

ISBN-10: 1349695149

ISBN-13: 9781349695140

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What are the defining characteristics of the conceived normal mainstream and how do these relate to the definition of the subcultural sacred? In so doing, I will point out that even though the stylistic representation of the subcultural sacred differs among participants, what unites these performances is an emphasis on a distinction from a mainstream defined as the normal and external in relation to punk. The Undifferentiated Mainstream The definition of normal mainstream was the most simple, and most common, definition of the mainstream within a convex pattern that occurs in my data.

Similar to Becker, she defines the subcultural as a means to imagine one’s own world and one’s own group’s distinct character from an equally 20 Performing Punk imagined mainstream, as difference revolves around the continuous exclusion of the hip world’s “perpetually absent, denigrated other” (1995:5). It is in relation to this “other” that one’s own distinctive character is both claimed and affirmed (cf. Grossberg 1987:147f, Williams 2011:11). Commitment, as well as authenticity, thus becomes a matter of negotiation and dispute, as the mainstream becomes what the hip world constantly attempts to escape: the image of the undifferentiated mass.

Seeing the subcultural and the mainstream as relational is the first step to examine these processes of boundary work, of establishing how the subcultural is set apart from a defined polluted, and polluting, mainstream. This way, the “sub” of the subcultural refers not so much to a subset of meaning within something larger, but rather as a defined subset of meanings that includes that which it opposes. The subcultural defines the mainstream at the same time as it communicates and portrays its separation from it.

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Performing Punk by Erik Hannerz (auth.)


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