According to Edward Tylor (1871), culture is what human learned by living as a member of social, such as art, belief and law (Longhurst et al, 2008). Hall (1977) coined the phrase of “hegemony” when he studied culture, which claimed that it is the dominant class who shapes and controls the dominant culture in society (Dick, 1979). Meanwhile, there is another type of culture challenge the idea of hegemony, which is subculture. Gelder (2005:1) defined subculture as “a group of people that are in some way represented as non-normative or marginal through their particular interests and practices, through what they are, what they do and where they go.” There is a variety of subculture, for instance, the mod in the old days and the goth nowadays. French sociologist Perre Bourdieu developed the notion of cultural capital, which implies that difference between subculture groups may rely on differences in capital (Webb at al, 2002). Thronton then developed the concept of subcultural capital based on the work of Bourdieu, which can be used to study how subculture groups differentiate themselves (Gelder, 2005). This essay will express the notion of ‘subcultural capital’ briefly and give an introduction to the E’gao Subculture in China in the first part. Next, it will examine how the subculture group of E’gao forms its own style with the help of subcultural capital.
The notion of subcultural capital originates from Bourdieu’s cultural capital critically. Harker et al (1990) pointed out that cultural capital consists of social relation, goods, material, symbolic and other things which can express their special social formation (Webb at al, 2002). At a later stage, Thornton (1995) evolved the concept of subcultural capital based on empirical research of youth culture. She coined that subcultural capital influences the status of the youth through embodied forms, such as