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British Skinhead Subculture: An Evolutionary Map

Includes Mods, Hippies, "Swinging London," Rude Boys, First-Wave Skinheads, Punks, Second-Wave Skinheads, Nationalist Skinheads, and S.H.A.R.P. Skinheads

Ellen Hodges

on 7 June 2016

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Transcript of British Skinhead Subculture: An Evolutionary Map

Mary Quaint, Vidal Sassoon
Early Mods
Hippies in Hyde Park, 1969
Style: Flowing lines, long hair
Music: Folk, Rock
Goal: Change society
An American import culture
Rude Boys
"Swinging London"
Style: Psychedelic prints/colors, architectural structure
Music: pop
Was a the mainstream popular culture for young people
Late Mods
British Skinhead Culture
An Evolutionary Map
Caricature of Working Class: Dr. Martens Boots, Ben Sherman or Fred Perry Shirts with braces, Harrington jackets and drainpipe jeans.
"The recovery of Englishness /Britishness" -- Les Back
Music, Community, Pride
Soul, Ska
First-Wave Skinheads
"Hard" Mods
Rougher aspects of original Mod style
Display pride in the working class and reject what they considered the "pretension" of late mods in "swinging London"
Anti-hippie style
Music: Soul, rock
Style: Anti-style
Music: Punk, Ska, Reggae
Goal: Change? Attention? Money?
"We are at the moment in a country that is economically depressed, [unemployed youths] are out of work and sitting around or hanging around the streets, without a music that they can feel is something that captures their imagination and inspire them to go forth" -- Malcolm McLaren
Style: Clean lines, architectural hair styles, scooters
Music: Soul, Rock
Goal: Step up in society
“Seemed to consciously invert the values associated with smart dress, to deliberately challenge assumptions, to falsify expectations derived from such sources.” Dick Hebdige, "The Meaning of Mod"
Carnaby Street Style
Second-Wave Skins/Punk Skinheads
Nationalist Skins
"S.H.A.R.P." Skins
"These changes in style mirrored, to an extent, changes in the content of the subculture, with the more extreme looks coming to signify affiliation with the radical right."
Emphasized more shocking aspects of the skinhead look
Oi! Punk, Ska, Two-Tone
Soul, Reggae, Ska
Sense of belonging, culture, almost exclusively West-Indian immigrants
Suedeheads, Smoothies
Softer look, some return to Mod style
Soul, Ska, Reggae
All about the music, "Northern Soul"
Mid/Late 70s
National Front fed off anger of young working class poor
Oi!, Punk
Racism vs Nationalism
"Chelsea" cut
Ska, Reggae, Two-Tone, some Punk
Combat stigma of racism in skinhead culture
"Trad" skins, "Spirit of '69"
Various emblems combine elements from logos of Trojan Ska, Fred Perry, and Two-Tone bands such as the Specials
Chris, Soho, 1982
Sex Pistols
The Clash
Full transcript