Sample Cultural and Ethnics Studies Paper on Youth Subcultures

Youth subcultures are fundamentally based on interests, behaviors, and diverse styles of
the youth. They allow the participants to have a unique personality outside credited social
institutions for instance; school, home, work, and family. They display a methodical lack of
sympathy to the main cultures and at times are recognized as countercultures. Commonly, the
term subculture can be often misleading as it tends to generally label experiences and activities.
Ethnicity, and social class also play a huge role in youth subcultures.
Youth subcultures are mainly distinguished by different elements such as slangs, dialects,
fashion, interests, and beliefs. In addition to that, vehicles have also played a huge role in youth
subcultures. For instance, in the 1960s, mods were associated with scooters while rockers
identified with motorcycles. Most of the youth cultures are related to different music genres for
example; metalheads, ravers, punks, emo, goths, and gangsters.
An example of a youth subculture is the Rastafarian. It comprises of black youth and is
also considered as a religious movement which initially arose from the ghettos of Kingston,
Jamaica. It arose in the 1950s and men grew out their hair and would wear in in dreadlocks.
Additionally, they wore woven caps, smoked marijuana, and primarily listened to reggae music.
Youth mainly identify with Rastafarianism as it promotes the idea of living naturally. The use of

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marijuana among the Rastas is sacred as it is portrayed as the supreme herb. Youths involved in
the subculture, believe that marijuana generates feelings of peace and love and has healing
properties. The youth claim that the drug nurtures meditation and allows then to uncover their
inner spirituality.
The Rastas often view themselves as those who have ‘seen the light’ and do not associate
with “non-Rastas”. The youth identify themselves with the Rastafarians due to their cultural
beliefs, religion, their sense of identity, gender roles, and behavioral patterns.