Aesthetics of Youth Scenes: From Arts of Resistance to Arts of Existence
(2016) Young: Nordic Journal of Youth Research, 24 (1), pp. 66-81.
The aesthetic expressions produced and reproduced within post-war spectacular youth (sub)cultures used to be seen as a display of resistance to and subversion of ‘social order’, perceived as opressive of youth life experiences and chances. Under the traditional subculturalist paradigm, both artefacts or performances were subsumed to the class status of their young practicioners and seen as ideological expression of their dominated and disadvantadged social position. Nowadays, however, the stylistic resources used in youth scenes has taken on new meanings for which the concept of resistance is not enough and/or adequate to explain. Therefore, departing from a post-subcultural approach, this essay intends to highlight the social changes recently occurred in the political culture of spectacular youth scenes and, consequently, to contribute to overcome resistance as nuclear concept on the debate, relocating it towards the concept of existence. Following this idea, and to close this essay, I suggest the concept of arts of existence as analytical point of view on the new expressiveness of the aesthetics of contemporary youth scenes. Inspired in Foucault, that concept allows to go further in the understanding of youth scenes aesthetics as arts of a good living (in the consumption sphere), and arts of making a living (in the production sphere). © 2016, © 2016 SAGE Publications and Young Editorial Group.
aesthetics; arts of existence; arts of resistance; Subcultures; youth scenes