Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Music
  • Essay length: 3100 words

Using the example of Mods, How did different subcultures distinguish themselves in Britain during the 1960's?

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Using the example of Mods, How did different subcultures distinguish themselves in Britain during the 1960's? In the 1960's, young people questioned Britain and America's materialism and cultural and political norms, much as they've always done. Seeking a better world, some used music, politics, and alternative lifestyles to create what came to be known as the counterculture. Briton's in that era faced many controversial issues-from civil rights, female equality, nuclear arms, and the environment to drug use, sexual freedom, and nonconformity. Many members of the counterculture saw their own lives as ways to express political and social beliefs. Personal appearance, song lyrics, and the arts were some of the methods used to make both individual and communal statements. Due to this reason many different subcultures formed, each with very different views and also very different taste. It has been argued that structural conditions, especially persistent, structural contradictions, often experienced as class problems, are a basic generating force for subculture. Cultural conditions, particularly those generated by social class, may interact with the apparent middle class consensus and, when assisted by neighbourhood traditions and specific historic circumstances, act in shaping the cultural form of a subculture.1 One cultural form common in a subculture is fashion and its style. Cohen notes that an important aspect of a reference groups such as a subculture group is the symbolic use of a style. "An actor learns that the behaviour signifying membership in a particular role includes the kinds of clothes he wears, his posture, his gait, his likes and dislikes, what he talks about and the opinion he expresses".2 Gangs, by definition, each have their own character.

Middle

In lots of places (including London) there were mostly Mods. In the rural areas and more northern towns there were mostly Rockers. So the two groups did not bump in to one another too much unlike the representations of the press.9 As the Mods and Rockers grew in numbers and popularity, the media began publicizing their activities. The gangs developed a bad reputation through the media, who exaggerated many of their deviant acts. The community began treating Mods and Rockers like serious criminals for small acts of deviance such as sleeping on the beach and speeding on their scooters and motorcycles. Café owners and bartenders began to refuse them service because of the reputation they received from the media. Their newly acquired bad reputations only added to the anger and contempt the Mods and Rockers held toward mainstream society. The persistent media reporting created a sharp division between the Mods and Rockers. On Easter weekend in 1964, the rivalry created by the media between the Mods and Rockers finally boiled over in the town of Clacton. The fight between the two gangs resulted in several broken windows and the destruction of some beach huts. However, the media reported the altercation in national newspapers, suggesting there had been large scale riots and wholesale breakdown of public order. Johnny Moke and Willie Deasey were Mod's at Clacton during the 'riots', "When the pubs closed after lunchtime, there was nothing to do. Kids were just milling around.

Conclusion

It was important to hear something before anyone else and to be full of information on obscure records. Ron Mitchell explains, "what I couldn't stand was that I'd say to people 'listen to this' and play some great music that they'd never heard of and they weren't interested. Then the Rolling Stones would do a poxy cover version of it and everyone would say 'isn't it great?' I really like this R&B, Stone's kind of sound".19 In conclusion it is possible to see that Mods were clearly responsible for their own identities. Through their choice of fashion and music they set their tastes as different from other cultures, such as Rockers who listened to Rock and Roll and wore leather jackets. Leah highlights this by saying "It was very important to have the right kind of clothes - the right shoes and the right skirts and sweaters, up until the Mary Quant thing you had to have a nice tweedy skirt and a Fair Isle sweater with a little circle pin at the neck on a rounded white collar. It was all about fitting in with the crowd back then." However it is also clear that if it had not have been for consumerism and the availability of goods in the 1960's then access to different materials and fashions would not have been possible and therefore Mods would have been unable to distinguish themselves in theses ways. The importance of the growth of advertisement is also important as it meant that teenagers could consult magazines and catalogues to see changing fashions enabling them to keep up to date and therefore enabling individuals to conform to Mods ideal fashions and music.

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • Over 150,000 essays available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

Related GCSE Music

  1. Ludwig van Beethoven, his life story and music from the Bonn peroid.

    It is not clear whether Haydn also instructed him in free composition. A clue here is provided by an episode that seems to reflect better on Haydn than on his pupil. Since leaving Bonn Beethoven had found himself with insufficient money for his living expenses.

  2. Censorship - are the arts dangerous?

    fear of failing to sell their work, are not engaging in censorship in this narrower sense, nor are those who boycott sponsors of disliked television shows. --Academic American Encyclopedia Censorship: supervision and control of the information and ideas circulated within a society.

  1. Free essay

    Sound Sources

    Drum Machines A Drum Machine is an electronic musical instrument; it's designed to play drum kits and percussion. These machines are useful for creating drum loops when a drummer is not available to play it live. Most modern drum machines are sequencers with a sample playback so that you can

  2. The Blues - socio-political context & influence on culture

    He married his first wife Leith and settled down to life as a sharecropper in around 1912, but was tempted back to his former life, partying and playing in the barrelhouses and dancehalls. Somewhere in Dallas he picked up with Blind Lemon Jefferson, a blind blues singer and guitarist who was to influence his musical style dramatically.

  1. How does Alice Walker discuss various cultural issues that faced America during the era ...

    Despite this exploitation Traynor does not truly understand the song's meaning. His relationship with Gracie is based on his search for the meaning of the song that made him have such a god like status. Yet since he does not have a black background he cannot understand the song based on another culture.

  2. Rock And Roll - analysis of the different styles of Rock.

    However, some Punk Rock bands like the Sex Pistols broke from this format. Punk Rock laid the groundwork for Alternative music. Punk Rock bands and artists include: Ramones (1974-1996) Sex Pistols (1975-1978) The Stooges (1967â1971, 1972â1974, 2003âPresent) My Chemical Romance (2001-Present)

  1. How Historical and Social Events have affected Artists' Music

    It was not until Bob Marley took Rastafarianism and put it into music that it was known around the world. Bob Marley was highly influenced by this religion and was often seen carrying a bible, reading the psalms. Music had always been important for rastas and in rasta services they would play on rattles, tambourines, saxophones and a rumba box.

  2. Describe Popular Culture In Britain At The Beginning Of The 1960s.

    Another TV show that became very popular in the early 1960's was 'Jukebox Jury'. It was a jury based show that commented on new singles. This show enabled people to make their own decisions about new music that was around.

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.