Subcultural Studies

Subject CULS40005 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2
Total Time Commitment:



Admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth year honours in English or cultural studies.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Ken Gelder

Subject Overview:

This subject studies texts and events relating to various subcultural formations, including gangs, music subcultures, drug cultures, neo-pagans, sexed subcultures, bohemias, underworlds, body art cultures and virtual communities. The subject asks students to explore the ways identification is expressed through the subcultural frame, to examine ways in which cultural forms can be contested or claimed by subcultures, and to read subcultures both textually and sociologically. On successful completion of the subject students should be able to analyse subcultural studies as an historically-framed discipline, beginning with late 19th century ethnographies and developing through the Chicago School and the Birmingham tradition to contemporary analyses.


Students who complete this subject will:

  • understand cultural arrangements and identifications - in particular, the ways in which cultural forms can be contested or claimed by subcultures;
  • appreciate ethnographic problems in relation to the documentation of subcultures;
  • understand the politics of representation in relation to subcultural identification; and
  • understand the formation of subcultural studies as a discipline, and the ways in which histories of subcultures may be written.

An essay of 5000 words 100% (due in the examination period). Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% (or 10 out of 12) classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Any student who fails to meet this hurdle without valid reason will not be eligible to pass the subject. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject. Essays submitted after the due date without an extension will be penalised 2% per day. Essays submitted after two weeks of the assessment due date without a formally approved application for special consideration or an extension will only be marked on a pass/fail basis if accepted.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

  • K Gelder (ed), The Subcultures Reader, Second Edition, 2005.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • be able to apply new research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;
  • develop critical self-awareness and shape and strengthen persuasive arguments; and
  • communicate arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and to others.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Cultural Studies
Cultural Studies
English and Theatre
English and Theatre Studies
English and Theatre Studies
Screen and Cultural Studies

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