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Subversion

In a general sense, subversive consumer practices are practices that challenge the stylistic canons of consumer culture by using and/or combining consumer goods in unintended ways. These practices become subversive in the sense that they undermine the evident desirability of established symbolic rules by presenting concrete stylistic alternatives. Famous examples of subversive consumer practices in this sense are the “punk” or “skin” styles that emerged among British youth in the 1960s and 1970s. Such subversive strategies remain often on the stylistic level, but sometimes they go deeper. In those cases, such as in the case of the hippie movement or of 1960s counterculture more generally, subversive consumption enters as an element to a larger alternative cultural universe with fairly precise political connotations. However, subversive ...

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