Dubstep - A journey in to dark sounds, urban spaces and contemprary youth identities

University essay from Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle

Author: Emilia Frölich; [2009]

Keywords: youth identities; music culture;

Abstract: This paper concerns processes of youth identification and formation of lifestyles in relation to the recent British music genre 'dubstep'. The music style is viewed as a modern youth leisure practice which construct social meaning and belonging in an urban translocal environment. The research, based on analytical data and qualitative interviewing, has proven that modern youth lifestyles can not be analysed through the theoretical scope of subcultures, as these tend to be homogeneous and out dated. Therefore, a postmodern approach has opened up to possibilities to understand youth identification as fragmented and interrupted processes, influenced by a hybrid of transnational cultural meanings and spaces. The paper also discusses the role of media and the growth of consumerism in relation to youth identifications, and it suggests that the dubstep scene can be viewed as a respond to, and sometimes a borrowing of, the representation of the modern urban youth which can be found in newspapers, as well as fashion and music magazines. Furthermore, several postmodern youth studies has celebrated the rejection of old unequal categories of gender and class when analysing the way contemporary youth socialise and create belonging. However, my study questions this notion and claim that structural power relations still exist and to a certain extend determine lifestyles, behaviour and motivation among different youth.

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