Reevaluating Subculture: Pro-Life Youth and the Rhetoric of Resistance

by Philpot, Justin

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis proposes a new model for subculture study. For over thirty years the field of subculture studies has been fractured by a continuous debate over the value of subculture as an analytical tool and the political implications of employing subculture as a descriptive term. While this thesis acknowledges that this debate has helped produce valuable theoretical and methodological perspectives, the model proposed here is intended to provide new tools to scholars in an attempt to move subculture studies away from the academic debate over the meaning of the term and return to examining the meanings created by subcultural groups. The subject of this analysis, pro-life youth activist group Rock for Life, demonstrates the viability of this new model by challenging long-held notions about which subcultural groups are worthy of study. Politically, Rock for Life would be considered a conservative organization. Subculture studies, while never openly dismissing the existence of conservative subcultures have, on the whole, been largely silent on the issue. The tendency of subculture studies has been to privilege so-called spectacular subcultures, such as punk. Studies dealing with conservative groups have also tended to favor spectacular displays, such as examinations of skinheads. This thesis moves beyond questions of style and display, focusing instead on the way Rock for Life positions itself rhetorically as resistant to dominant culture.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:subculture pro life rhetoric resistance


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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