From Culture To Hegemony: Ii. Subculture: The Unna

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“I. From Culture to Hegemony: II. Subculture: The Unnatural Break” By Dick Hebdige Throughout our society, there has always been this constant struggle between the bourgeoisie or the dominant class and the proletariats or specific subcultures. Dick Hebdige makes it clear in his argument, that the dominant class not only controls material production but also produces and maintains intellectual production, according to Marx (Hebdige, 203). These ideologies, which are developed to appear as nothing more than common sense, are taught to us through various institutions like the media. These ideas go hand in hand with the “needs” of those who contribute to the “media process” (Coulter, Feb.10). However, in order for these dominant ideologies and hegemonies to be successful, it must be “won, reproduced and sustained” so that the control of the bourgeoisie class resembles authenticity and naturalistic forms (Hebdige, 205). As a community, we are brainwashed with the dominant class ideals, but there are some who oppose and rebel against the norms of our culture. Mohawks and safety pins in the punk subculture represent this form of subversion and are viewed as a threat to the rest of society because they are believed to be a “symbolic violation of the social order” (Hebdige, 206). Their unnatural behaviour and style attracts the attention of television and newspapers; exploitative techniques of “recuperation” are utilized by mainstream media to heal and decontaminate this new form of deviance (Hebdige, 209). This process of incorporation involves: adapting these “subcultural signs” and transforming them into commodities and constructing new meaning for these deviant expressions (Hebdige, 209). Hebdige clearly articulates his arguments regarding hegemonies and subcultures, but he fails to recognize the ongoing gender inequality of hegemonic
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