Rethinking subcultural resistance: Core values of the straight edge movement

  • Haenfler R
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This article reconceptualizes subcultural resistance based on an ethnographic examination of the straight edge movement. Using the core values of straight edge, the author's analysis builds on new subcultural theories and suggests a framework for how members construct and understand their subjective experiences of being a part of a subculture. He suggests that adherents hold both individual and collective meanings of resistance and express their resistance via personal and political methods. Furthermore, they consciously enact resistance at the micro, meso, and macro levels, not solely against an ambiguous "adult" culture. Resistance can no longer be conceptualized in neo-Marxist terms of changing the political or economic structure, as a rejection only of mainstream culture, or as symbolic stylistic expression. Resistance is contextual and many layered rather than static and uniform.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Punk
  • Resistance
  • Straight edge
  • Subculture
  • Youth

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  • Ross Haenfler

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