I go to Church a lot. I'm an Episcopalian (formerly a catholicish Methodist, turned MCCer) . I'm also an aspiring Priest and Anthropologist( of the socio-cultural variety). Also, I'm a gay with a wonderful Boyfriend. This blog will likely be a combination of churchy things, anthropology, and things I find amusing. Please forgive my grammar and style, because most of my writing on here is stream of consciousness. I don't argue.
Four indicative criteria of subculture: identity, commitment, consistent distinctiveness and autonomy.
Subculture theory: Consistent Distinctiveness
It would be an over-generalization to seek the absolute removal of notions of symbolic resistance, homology and the collective resolving of structural contradictions from the analysis of popular culture. However, none of these features should be regarded as an essential defining characteristic of the term subculture. For the most part, the functions, meanings and symbols of subcultural involvement are liable to vary between participants and to reflect complex processes of cultural choice and coincidence rather than an automatic shared reaction to circumstances. However, this does not mean that there is no distinctiveness or consistency to the styles and values of contemporary groupings, or that, where present, such features are not socially significant. While accepting the inevitability of a degree of internal difference and change over time, then, the first indicator of subcultural substance comprises the existence of a set of shared tastes and values which is distinctive from those of other groups and reasonably consistent, from one participant to the next, one place to the next and one year to the next.
Subcultural theory: Identity
The second indicator of subcultural substance seeks to redress this problem by focusing on the extent to which participants hold a perception that they are involved in a distinct cultural grouping and share feelings of identity with one another. Leaving aside the importance of evaluating consistent distinctiveness from a distance, a clear and sustained subjective sense of group identity, in itself, begins to establish a grouping as substantive rather than ephemeral.
Subculture theory: Commitment
It is also proposed that subcultures are liable to influence extensively the everyday lives of participants in practice, and that, more often than not, this concentrated involvement will last years rather than months. Depending upon the nature of the group in question, subcultures are liable to account for a considerable proportion of free time, friendship patterns, shopping routes, collections of commodities, going-out habits and even internet use.
Subcultural theory: Autonomy
The final indicator of subculture is that the grouping concerned, while inevitably connected to the society and politico-economic system of which it is a part, retains a relatively high level of autonomy. Most notably, a good proportion of the productive or organizational activities which underpin it are liable to be undertaken by and for enthusiasts. Furthermore, in some cases, profit-making operations will run alongside extensive semi-commercial and voluntary activities, indicating particularly high levels of grass-roots insider participation in cultural production.