This course will explore the roles of subcultures in contributing to the cultural spectrum of the United States between the 1920s and today. Studying subcultures reveals as much about the shadows of society as it does the mainstream. Subcultures also represent a unique intersection of radical political ideologies and new artistic trends, often expressed through a group’s attachment to a specific genre of music, social outlet, and/or fashion.
We will examine the value systems and the historical contexts that gave rise to various groups, potentially including the Flappers; Zoot-Suiters; Beatniks; Greasers; Hippies; Hip-Hop; Punk Rockers; street artists; and others.
We will also explore the ways in which society has repeatedly borrowed from these previously isolated movements, turning them into yet another means of mass consumption.