There is growing interest in work on transgression, liminality, and sub-cultural capital within cultural studies, sociology and the social sciences more broadly. However, there is a lack of understanding of the problem of alternativity: what it means to be alternative in culture and society in modernity. What ‘alternative’ looks like is often left unexplored. The alternative is either assumed un-problematically, or stands in for some other form of social and cultural exclusion.
Alternativity delineates those spaces, scenes, sub-cultures, objects and practices in modern society that are actively designed to be counter or resistive to mainstream popular culture. Alternativity is associated with marginalization, both actively pursued by individuals, and imposed on individuals and sub-cultures. Alternativity was originally represented and constructed through acts of transgression and through shared sub-cultural capital. In contemporary society, alternative music scenes such as heavy metal, goth and punk have spread around the world; and alternative fashions and embodiment practices are now adopted by footballers and fashion models. The nature of alternativity as a communicative lifeworld is now questioned in an age of globalisation and hyper-commodification.
This book series provides a stimulus to new research and new theorizing on alternativity and marginalization. It provides a focus for scholars interested in sociological and cultural research that expands our understanding of the ontological status of spaces, scenes, sub-cultures, objects and practices defined as alternative, liminal or transgressive. In turn, the book series enables scholars to theorize about the status of the alternative in contemporary culture and society.
Samantha Holland and Karl Spracklen (eds), Subcultures, Bodies and Spaces: Essays on Alternativity and Marginalization
Stephen Brown and Marie-Cécile Cervellon, Revolutionary Nostalgia: Neo-Burlesque, Retromania and Social Change