A youth subculture is a youth-based subculture with distinct styles, behaviours, hobbies and interests that offer participants an identity outside of that ascribed by social institutions such as family, work, home and school.
Youth subcultures are said to have begun to have formed in the 1950s due to affluence. Teenagers gained enough money from part time work or allowances, but do not have the responsibilities or indeed rights of adults and so can afford to engage in subcultural behaviour. Generally, as group members age and gain adult responsibilities, they will gradually withdraw from the subculture to concentrate on the demands of adult life.
Music also plays a huge role in subcultures, specific music genres are associated with many youth subcultures such as punks, emos, ravers, Juggalos, metalheads and goths. The study of subcultures often consists of the study of the symbolism attached to clothing, music, other visible affections by members of the subculture, and also the ways in which these same symbols are interpreted by members of the dominant culture.
Subcultures have also been the subject of folk devil where folklore and media portrays some subcultures as outsiders and deviant, and who are blamed for crimes or other sorts of social problems. The pursuit of folk devils frequently intensifies into a mass movement that is called a moral panic. When a moral panic is in full effect, the folk devils are the subject of loosely organized but pervasive campaigns of hostility through gossip and the spreading of urban legends.
A notable example of this taking place includes the conflict between Mods and Rockers in the UK during the early to mid 1960s-
The rocker subculture was centred on motorcycling, and their appearance reflected that. Rockers generally wore protective clothing such as black leather jackets and motorcycle boots. A typical rocker hairstyle was a pompadour, which was associated with 1950s rock and roll — the rockers’ music genre of choice. The mod subculture was centred on fashion and music, and many mods rode scooters. Mods wore suits and other cleancut outfits, and preferred 1960s music genres such as soul, rhythm and blues, ska and beat music.
Among subcultures, there are also youth subcultures intended to show a systematic hostility to the dominant culture which are sometimes described as countercultures. A countercultural movement expresses the ethos and aspirations of a specific population during a well-defined era. A notable example includes the Hippie subculture which originated during the 1960s to reject the more of mainstream American life. The movement originated on college campuses in the United States, although it spread to other countries, including Canada and Britain.