The Subcultures Reader

Edited by Ken Gelder and Sarah Thornton (1997)
First coined in the 1940s, the term “subculture” has been applied to society’s most interesting, and, often, most inventive elements. Through a collection of articles written over the last 50 years, this book traces both the history of the academic study of subcultures and the history of subcultures themselves. While you’ll find the usual assortment of articles on punk rock, street gangs, and Star Trek fans, what is perhaps most interesting are the articles from the early days of “subculture studies.” Two of the highlights include a piece by Paul G. Cressey on 1930s taxi dancers and their opinions on race and class, and an article by Howard Becker on the language and attitudes of jazz musicians in the early ’60s. The 55 selections in this volume offer a rich spectrum of subcultures and the academic responses they have evoked.

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