Macquarie University
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After the counterculture: from political protesters to music consumers - middle class youth subcultures 1975-1995

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posted on 2022-03-28, 18:34 authored by Nigel Bowen
This thesis examines the phenomenon of Australian middle class youth subcultures in the period between 1975-1995 , The introduction discusses the antecedents of contemporary middle class subcultures , the work of American , British and Australian theorists and the approach and objective of the author . Chapter One examines the economic , educational and social changes that have occurred since the mid 1970s and the now vulnerable position of middle class youth . Chapter Two provides some possible reasons for the lack of political radicaUsm amongst contemporary middle class subculturalists . Chapter Three discusses the Gothic , Feral , Raver and Indie subcultures analysing the activities , affective investments and consciousnesses of their members , as well as noting continuities and discontinuities with the Counterculture of the 1960s/70s . Chapter Four investigates to what degree contemporary middle class youth subcultures can be seen as counter-hegemonic . Chapter Five explores the possible reasons for the increasing popularity of subcultural subjectivities amongst middle class youth over the last twenty years , the nature of those subjectivities and the significance of subcuhural style . The Conclusion offers some suggestions on possible future areas of research . A wide range of subcultures , drawing their membership fi-om diverse groups exist in contemporary Australia . It is possible only to examine a small proportion of these subcultures . This thesis confines itself to examining four subcultures which draw their membership fi-om middle class youth - individuals who have chosen ( for a certain period of time ) to differentiate themselves fi-om what they perceive as ‘mainstream’ Australian society . The study of those subcultures which draw their membership from groups more permanently and comprehensively exiled to the margins of Australian society and differentiated from the mass of their fellow citizens by more than style , leisure activities and musical taste is a significantly different project and one beyond the scope of reference of this thesis. Accordingly the author makes no attempt to examine subcultures primarily drawing their membership from the gay and lesbian community , religious or ethnic minorities , the indigenous population or those at the nadir of the class structure such as the homeless and street kids .


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The rise and fall of Australia’s middle class -- Chapter 2. Epigoni in Interregnum -- Chapter 3. Contemporary Australian PMC youth subculture -- Chapter 4. Oppositionality in contemporary Australian PMC subculture -- Chapter 5. Style and subjectivity in contemporary PMC subculture.


Bibliography: pages 303-321

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis masters research


PhD, Macquarie University, School of English , Linguistics and Media

Department, Centre or School

School of Historical, Philosophical and Political Studies

Year of Award







1 online resources (321 pages)

Former Identifiers

mq:34961 2442347