A subculture is a group of people that develops within a culture and is distinct from the broad consensus. Such a group is united by shared beliefs, values, traditions, and rituals that are unique and might not comply with the broader culture. and sociologists.


Sociology scholars at the Chicago School first designed the subcultural theory in the 1920s. The Chicago School examined the nature of deviant behavior and identified deviance as the output of social problems within society. The theory and the general concept of subcultures were further developed by the Birmingham School, contemporary theorists.

To begin with, culture itself is a set of shared beliefs, ideas, and artifacts that are valued by a specific group of people. The culture addresses virtually every aspect of life that can be learned and, hence, is constantly evolving. However, not every member of this group might follow its values and beliefs. Therefore, the subcultures are smaller groups within a broader culture that adhere to different or additional ideas and beliefs. They generally share much in common with the general context of culture and engage with representatives of the majority regularly. As a rule, most people are members of at least one group that can be identified as a subculture. The big groups of friends or family members tend to set their own subcultures.

The essential characteristics of subcultures include diffuse networks, shared distinct meanings, shared identity, resistance, marginalization, as well as stratification, values, and specialized vocabulary. It is worth noting that there is no single and coherent definition of a subculture in sociology. Subcultural theorists are continually developing and altering the clarification of this cultural concept by analyzing the subcultural groups and integrating sociological theories of deviance into the subcultural framework. As such, the subculture’s definition is considered as contentious. The characteristics of subcultures address the concepts and methods from the most notable subcultural scholars, however, they do not establish the definitive perception of the subculture.

With that said, there are many interesting subcultures to study that provide a different insight into the culture’s modifications. They are usually less well-established than the wider culture since their members might easily transit from one group to another. A subculture example involves the following groups of people with a long-term existence, such as alcoholics anonymous, beatnik, bikers, fandom, freak scene, LGBT, military brats, rockabilly, skinhead, survivalists, and zazou. Considering modern subcultures, afrofuturism, bodybuilding, cosplay, cybergoth, demoscene, emo, gaming, goth. grunge, hip hop, hipsters, hypebeast, Internet subculture, new age, rave scene, and many other groups form the current subculture scene.

People who identify themselves with non-normative sexual orientations or practices might be regarded as a subculture group. Furthermore, this includes the groups that are related to artistic, literary, or musical ventures, for instance, the goth culture and the postmodern art scene. While sharing the common values within a dominant culture, its members might as well behave or dress in ways that distinguish them from the dominant culture. Some groups may actively oppose the beliefs or ideas from the wider culture. To sum up, subcultures facilitate the grouping of people by shared interests to celebrate their passions and unique lifestyle. Although, in terms of modern society, the Internet does not produce the mass movements that are united by a shared taste in music, fashion, and ownership of subcultural capital. Instead, it leads to the emergence of brief and microcosmic modern subcultures.