A Cross-Disciplinary Symposium
Thursday 15 – Friday 16 Sept 2011
London Metropolitan University, London, UK

Style-based subcultures, scenes and tribes – along with their music genres – have pulsated through the history of social, economic and political change. From 1940s zoot-suiters and hepcats; through 1950s rock ‘n’ rollers, beatniks and Teddy boys; 1960s surfers, rudeboys, mods, hippies and bikers; 1970s skinheads, soul boys, rastas, glam rockers, funksters and punks; on to the heavy metal, hip-hop, casual, goth, rave and clubber styles of the 1980s, 90s, noughties and beyond; distinctive blends of fashion and music have become a defining feature of the cultural landscape. Research into these phenomena has traversed the social sciences and humanities, and this symposium aims to bring together recent studies, insights and methodological approaches in this rich, interdisciplinary field.

Bringing together theoretical analyses, empirical studies and methodological discussions, the Symposium will explore the relation between subcultures and their historical context, the place of subcultures within patterns of cultural and political change, and their meaning for participants, confederates and opponents.

The symposium marks the launch of the Subcultures Network: The Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change – a cross-disciplinary research network for scholars and students interested in the relation between subcultures (in all their forms) wider process of social, cultural and political change. Additional information about the Subcultures Network can be found at

Confirmed Speakers Include:
Prof. Dick Hebdige (UC Santa Barbara)
Prof. David Hesmondhalgh (University of Leeds)
Roundtable Discussion
Richard Barnes (author, Mods!; The “Who”: Maximum R & B – A Visual History)
Pauline Black (singer (The Selecter), actress, author, Black by Design: A 2-Tone Memoir)
Caroline Coon (artist, journalist, political activist, author 1998: The New Wave Punk Rock Explosion)
Paul Gorman (journalist, director, creative consultant, fashion label owner, author, The Look: Adventures In Rock & Pop Fashion; In Their Own Write: Adventures In The Music Press; Straight (with Boy George))

Key thematic strands of the conference include:
– the nature and meaning of ‘subcultural’ style.
– the relationship between subcultures, popular music and social change.
– gender, identity and subcultural groups.
– ethnicity, ‘race’ and subcultural identities.
– sexuality, style and subculture.
– globalisation, locality and subcultural hybridity.
– media configurations of subcultures, scenes and tribes.
-style, popular music and political movements.

We invite papers and themed panels which investigate these and other areas of interest from a wide range of theoretical positions and disciplines including: sociology, history, cultural studies, criminology, media studies, music studies, politics, psychology.

Titles and abstract (no longer than 250 words) to be submitted no later than Friday May 20th 2011. email

To register please click here.

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