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Dissonance and Mutations: Theorising Counter-Culture

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-05-17, 11:21 authored by Dave Eden
Could there be a more telling example than that of The (International) Noise Conspiracy, a self-proclaimed revolutionary rock band steeped in Situationist rhetoric, dancing on music programs in über-stylish clothes singing “Everything is up for sale”? Is it the ultimate subversion: the repositioning of dominant structures of the culture industry, turning them into opposition voices? Or, is it the ultimate recuperation, the transformation of the expression of alienation and revolt into niche commodities for expanding youth markets: the conversion of dissent into a spectacle of harmless dissent? Counter-culture (especially that based around “youth”) is now a fundamental part of the life of global cyber-industrial civilisation. Often critiqued as a pastime for middle-class children in Western nations, anecdotal evidence suggests people all over the world participate in counter-culture on deep personal levels. Despite the conception that counter-culture is a diversion for bored suburban youth of the Global North, places like Malaysia have as large “metal” scenes as Australia.


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