Subcultures are groups with shared features that enable them to be distinguished from both the parent culture and the dominant culture from which they emerge. We may speak in social terms of a youth subculture or a working-class subculture and so forth, but it is the cultural norms, values, and symbolic practices of its members that give it expression. The focal concern with consumer culture is central to Max Weber's notion of “styles of life,” according to which consumption is of the conspicuous type and gives rise to distinctions based on status. Subcultural exclusivity, however, is usually achieved by members defining themselves in opposition to dominant sets of tastes. Subcultures are prevalent in industrially developed consumer societies, although most literature has been relevant to the ...

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