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Understanding Dislocal Urban Subcultures: The Example of the Hardcore Scene, from Tokyo and Beyond

Author(s): Alain Mueller

Journal: Music and Arts in Action
ISSN 1754-7105

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 136;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: hardcore | punk | subculture | globalization | network

This article examines, through several ethnographic examples taken from my empirical multi-sited fieldwork, the logics and the mechanisms of the global circulation of a specific music-based "youth subculture": hardcore punk. More broadly, it proposes a shift of perspective in the examination of similar phenomena by adopting (1) a stance that refuses to consider entities such as "cultural areas", "subcultures", "cultural" and "subcultural identities", "local" and "global" as taken-for-granted analytical concepts, but rather considers them as the result of continual actions by social actors who create and maintain such loci of action; (2) a method that allows us to focus on the mechanisms of circulation themselves rather than on the modalities of "delocalization" and "relocalization", mainly by tracking ideas, conventions, people and material objects. From this perspective and on the basis of my ethnographic material, I demonstrate to what extent and under which modalities the hardcore scene takes the form of a global network bounding different units of social situations.

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