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History of modern Western subcultures

The 20th century saw the rise and fall of many subcultures.

In the early part of the 20th century, subcultures were mostly informal groupings of like-minded individuals with the same views or lifestyle. The Bloomsbury group in London was one example, providing a place where the diverse talents of people like Virginia Woolf, Leonard Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, and E.M. Forster could interact. Other pre-World War I subcultures were smaller social groupings of hobbyists or a matter of and philosophy amongst artists and bohemian poets. In Germany, from 1896 onward there developed a movement of young men (and later young women) which focused on freedom and natural environments. Called Wandervogel (translated as "hikers", "ramblers" or, more precisely, "migratory birds"), they wanted to throw off the strict rules of society and be more open and natural. The first known organized club for nudists, Freilichtpark (Free-Light Park), was opened near Hamburg, Germany, in 1903. In Italy, a popular art movement and philosophy called Futurism championed change, speed, violence and machines.

After the First World War (1914–18) hair styles changed: the wartime trenches were infested with lice and fleas, so soldiers were forced to shave their heads. Consequently, men with short hair appeared to have been at the front in the war, while men with longer hair might be thought of as pacifists and cowards, even suspected of desertion. Some artists managed to avoid the war by sitting it out in neutral Switzerland. A group of artists in Zürich invented Dadaism as an anti-war, anti-art, art movement, and a parody of the pro-violent attitudes of Futurism.

  • This is the Beat Generation by James Campbell
  • We are the people our parents warned us against by Nicholas Von Hoffman
  • Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga by Hunter S. Thompson
  • The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
  • Mod: A Very British Phenomenon, Rawlings, Terry (2000). London: Omnibus Press. .
  • Mods!, Barnes, Richard (1979). London: Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. .
  • Spirit of '69 - A Skinhead Bible, Marshall, George (1991). Dunoon, Scotland: S.T. Publishing. .
  • Cante, Richard C. (March 2009). Gay Men and the Forms of Contemporary US Culture. London: Ashgate Publishing. . 


Don't forget! that as one of our early users, you are eligible to receive the 1,000 point bonus as soon as you have created five (5) acceptable piglix.