The Graffiti Subculture: Youth, Masculinity and Identity in London and New York

Springer
Free sample

This book is the most extensive contribution to our understanding of the graffiti subculture to date. Using insights from ethnographic research conducted in London and New York, the author explores the varying ways young men use graffiti to construct masculinity, claim power and establish independence from the institutions which define and often limit them as young people. Forging a link between subcultural practice and identity construction, this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in new understandings of youth and their subcultures.
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About the author

NANCY MACDONALD has lived and worked in London and New York. She currently resides in London where she works as a youth consultant in a brand development company. This book is based on her PhD thesis which she completed at Brunel University.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer
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Published on
Jul 19, 2001
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780230511743
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / Criticism & Theory
Art / Techniques / General
Social Science / Anthropology / General
Social Science / Gender Studies
Social Science / Sociology / General
Social Science / Sociology / Urban
Social Science / Sociology of Religion
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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More than ever education students are required to study the social context of youth culture in order to understand and design meaningful, motivational curiculum. There is a need to bridge the gap between theory and practice and to address the critical issues which confront the education of youth today. In studying hip-hop graffiti, the author explores a crucial but neglected area in the contemporary training of youth workers and educators.

The author interviewed ten hip-hop graffiti writers of various race, class, and gender by audiotape and reviewed them until patterns emerged as themes, mainly issues concerning public space and community. She continued her relationship with the participants over a five-year period to observe the diversity and transformation of individuals within graffiti culture.

The study begins with a literature review from Web resources, books, and subculture magazines on graffiti in order to define The Structure of Traditional Hip-Hop Graffiti Culture. This chapter lays the basic foundation familiar to all writers and points to the main issues in order to analyze how individual writers conform to or deviate from the standard subculture. The author addresses the complex issues which are layered behind a residue of illegally painted signatures, characters, and text. There is a need for the voices of young people to be heard, especially those who have found artistic integrity, and awareness of civic and political issues on their own terms. Youth are in an ongoing struggle to construct personal identities and communities that they want to live in. Hip-hop graffiti is only one example where they have created a space, within a peer-run environment, to respect and encourage their political powers, ideas, and skills. The book asks whether an understanding of how adolescents learn outside of school can generate alternative sites for curriculum theorizing.

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