1. Describe how Sarah Thornton’s research relates to issues of identity raised by postmodernist theory.
Do her conclusion support postmodernist theory? People’s identity can be hard to identify in post modern society. It only exist as an ever changeable For McGuigan post modern identities are characterizes by the differences and otherness of people that comprise the society.The “others” can be view as cultures from different countries rather than only western one or groups or individuals that not hold the same ideology as the majority of the individuals in the society (McGuigan 1999: 88) Theorists of postmodernism always stress the importance of understanding that there is no definite meaning of “otherness” (McGuigan 1996: 89) in regards to post modern culture. The understanding of “others” can be ambiguously defined depending upon who you talk too, according to Sarah Thornton’s research on the youth culture.For her the youth clubbing culture see the dominant culture in society as having bourgeois ideology, while the mainstream groups sees the youth subculture as deviant ideals (Thornton 1996: 97).
In her research, many of the clubbers and ravers would identify themselves as in opposition and rebel to the dominant culture values (Thornton 1996: 99). This ambiguity of defining the absolute meaning of “otherness” would indicate that identities are primarily shaped by local circumstances and experiences of individuals, rather than structural positions in the society.Furthermore, this would suggested that social classes, race, ethnicity and status groups may not exist in the normal manner previously understood by social theories, also analysis of these factors may not be helpful in understanding characteristics that would shape identities in post modern society. For Thornton, in the UK, youth clubbing culture comprise mixture of many subcultures that combined to form another mainstream culture for them (Thornton 1996: 98).Many of the clubbers interviewed believed that their culture are characterized by different people from sort of life, but all of them have shared or common beliefs.
They suggested that their culture is hard to classify to the outside world and their members consist of mixture of crowds from various cultures (Thornton 1996: 99). Thornton’s research into club culture has resulted in the more understanding that the shared common identities usually associated in with modernism has greatly diminished in post modern culture. In its place are the shifting and localized identities that are shaped by the individuals themselves.”Individuals clubbers and ravers are part of one crowd, then another, and then grow out of dancing together” (Thornton 1996: 98). Thus the youth culture has shown that there are diverse mixtures of identities that have combined to form their own version of culture.
According to Thornton club culture are fundamentally about fantasy, where youth can assume other identities that they would not be able to do when appear in dominant culture. Thornton stated that “it is rude to puncture the bubble of an institution where fantasies of identity are key pleasure” (Thornton 1996: 91).