Modified People: Indicators of a Body Modification Subculture in a Post-Subculture World

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This article contributes to the debate on the relevance of subculture as a theoretical concept for understanding groups in contemporary Western societies. Utilising data from a virtual ethnography of body modifiers, the article challenges the dominance of post-subcultural approaches. The body modification subculture discussed in this article has not only formed along socioeconomic lines, it has developed alternative work opportunities that enable and promote continued involvement in the subculture beyond one’s youth. While scenes and (neo-)tribes maintain their relevance for scholars investigating groups with a more temporary nature, the data presented herein show that subcultures did not vanish as society transitioned from post-War to postmodernity.

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