Theory As Poetry: Dick Hebdige’s “Subculture”



We are interested in subculture—
in the expressive forms and rituals
of those subordinate groups
who are alternately dismissed,
denounced and canonized

we are intrigued
by the most mundane objects
which take on a symbolic dimension

we must seek
to recreate the dialectic
between action and reaction
which renders
these objects meaningful (2).

as a form of resistance
in which experienced contradictions
and objections to
this ruling ideology
are obliquely
in style (133).

-Dick Hebdige, Subculture: the meaning of style (Routledge, 1979).

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