English Essay


Read the article and write argument, the topic is Neutralizing Subcultures,·Resistance in youth scenes and tribes
·Examining the outside forces on youth subcultures
Style and self-expression


Outside Forces on Youth Subcultures

Just like any other culture, youth subcultures evolve with time due to changes in peoples’ perceptions and the environment in general. For instance, the street skateboarding sub-culture has changed a lot; one may even be excused to think it has declined. However, one thing has remained constant about this culture: the paradigm on which it was founded continues to thrive on. This is in reference to the skateboarders’ way of thinking that promotes a form of expression that is uninhibited or unrestricted. Mainstream society describes it as deviant and possibly extremist. As the author of the article puts it, skateboarders see opportunity where none exists; they see the cityscape as no one else sees it. As mentioned earlier, subcultures evolve, and street skateboarding is no exception. This is due to the outside forces that we will be examined in this essay.


Since the inception of the game, there has been long-lasting antagonism between the young people who like street boarding and the society in general. Socially, the game has not been welcome with open arms. The author has demonstrated this by giving a brief recollection of the events in the 1980s where street skaters thrived on the philosophy, “skate and destroy”. Consequently, this mantra grew unpopular even among corporates which abhorred the behavior associated with street skating. This culture promotes liberalism while the corporate world promotes the antithesis which entails order, restraint and adherence to social norms. The culture has attracted a lot of social critique, with many accusing its adherents of undermining the purpose and inspiration behind the city landscapes. The street boarders view the city as merely their playground, yet to many other people it serves a different purpose. This culture is even being blamed for the creation of a sense of disorder, chaos and unpredictability which is contrary to the expectations of city dwellers and property owners.

Meanwhile, legal forces have played a significant and useful role in streamlining the skateboarding culture. This legal platform has mostly used punitive measures to put this culture in check. For instance, most skaters have been sued for destruction of property and such-like liability. Other legal actions include a legal declaration stating that skate boarding is a hazardous recreational activity and a law that acquitted cities from any liability resulting from injury caused by skating. Moreover, the legislation allowed for the building of skating parks in order to eliminate or reduce the number of street skaters. Other measures that were intended to reduce street skating include issuing ticket to boarders, confiscating skate boards, putting up “no skating” signs within the city, use of skate stoppers and, in extreme cases, being sent to jail. Some measures, however, are meant to promote the safety of the participants, and one of them is the requirement by law to wear safety gear while skating.

Most of these efforts are geared towards making this culture acceptable to most people in society. This is what the author terms as a struggle to achieve some form of cultural validation. According to the article, the culture boomed between 1997 and 2000. This led to growth of revenues as a result of sale of skateboards and related sport apparel. Regardless of the social critique associated with the game, more young people subscribed to this culture. However, for there to be cohesiveness between the skaters and the society, there had to be a proper place and time for skateboarding. This led to the establishment of many skating grounds. This reduced the complaints associated with street skating. It may also be the reason why skating was incorporated into the Extreme Sports coverage and featured on a United States postage stamp. These actions will directly affect how skating is done, introducing regulations that are meant to change public opinion which has been negative for a long time now. However, this may not go down well with skaters because their fundamental motivation comes from their liberal way of thinking.

In conclusion, the author has clearly illustrated to us how external forces have gradually influenced the skateboarding sub-culture. Despite not saying clearly whether these influences have positively or negatively affected the sport, he has sufficiently shown how young people have reacted to these influences. I strongly believe these forces have yielded more positive than negative results. I anticipate seeing the implications of social acceptance that are a consequence of the tuning effect of the outside forces.

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