Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Subculture, Popular Music and Social Change

Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Subculture, Popular Music and Social Change

Professor Matthew Worley; Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

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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 Network aims to bring together recent studies, insights and methodological approaches in this rich, interdisciplinary field.

The Network is currently organising five symposia, funded by the AHRC and based on the themes of:

a) Riotous Youth (18 October 2013)

b) Sound Affects (15 April 2014)

c) In/between Spaces (5 September 2014)

d) Political Subcultures (31 March 2015)

e) Global Subcultures, Local Identities (19 June 2015)

Aims:

  • To promote and facilitate research exploring the ways in which subcultures and popular music serve as mediums for social change

  • To encourage interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to the study of subcultures, popular music and social change

  • To initiate and sustain a dialogue between scholars whose work focuses on subjects relating to subcultures, popular music and social change by way of regular workshops, symposia and conferences

  • To provide support and opportunities for peer-review towards funding proposals related to the study of subcultures, popular music and social change

  • To instigate and amass a significant body of scholarly work examining the relationship between subcultures, popular music and social change

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