Contraculture and Subculture
Current sociological work makes extensive use of the concept of subculture--in the analysis of delinquency, adolescence, regional and class differences, religious sects, occupational styles, and other topics. In the study of these areas, our understanding has been increased by seeing norms that vary from more general standards as manifestations, in part, of distinctive subsocieties. Unfortunately, however, the term subculture is used in several different ways. In over 100 sources reviewed here, three clearly different meanings are found, with resultant imprecision in its application. A new term contraculture, is suggested in order to distinguish between normative systems of sub-societies and emergent norms that appear in conflict situations. The usefulness of this distinction is explored with reference to several substantive areas of research.
Yinger, J. Milton. 1960. "Contraculture and Subculture." American Sociological Review 25(5): 625-35.
American Sociological Association
American Sociological Review