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Subcultures and Small Groups: A Social Movement Theory Approach
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation uses social movement theory to analyze the emergence, activities and development of subcultures and small groups. The manuscript is comprised of an Introduction followed by three journal articles and one book chapter.  The introduction discusses: 1) the concept of theoretical extension whereby a theory developed for one purpose is adapted to another; 2) it identifies the social movement theories used to analyze subcultures and small groups; 3) it describes the data used in the analyses included here. The data for this work derives from two distinct research projects conducted by the author between 2002 and 2012 and relies on multiple sources of qualitative data. Data collection techniques used include fieldwork, archival research, and secondary data. Paper I uses resource mobilization (RM) theory to analyze the origin, development, and function of White Power music in relation to the broader White Power Movement (WPM). The research identifies three roles played by White Power music: (1) recruit new adherents, (2) frame issues and ideology for the construction of collective identity, (3) obtain financial resources. Paper II gives an overview of the subculture of Freestyle BMX, discussing its origins and developments—both internationally as a wider subcultural phenomenon, and locally, through a three-year ethnographic case study of a subcultural BMX scene known as “Pro Town USA.” Paper III conceptualizes BMX as a social movement using RM theory to identify and explain three different forms of commercialization within this lifestyle sport in “Pro Town.” The work sheds light on the complex process of commercialization within lifestyle sports by identifying three distinct forms of commercialization: paraphernalia, movement, and mass market, and analyses different impacts that each had on the on the development of the local scene.  Findings reveal that lifestyle-sport insiders actively collaborate in each form of commercialization, especially movement commercialization which has the potential to build alternative lifestyle-sport institutions and resist adverse commercial influences. Paper IV refines the small group theory of collaborative circles by: (1) further clarifying its concepts and relationships, (2) integrating the concepts of flow and idioculture, and (3) introducing a more nuanced concept of resources from RM. The paper concludes by demonstrating that circle development was aided by specific locational, human, moral, and material resources as well as by complementary social-psychological characteristics of its members. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. , 96 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 78
Keyword [en]
theoretical extension, White Power music, BMX, commercialization, creativity, collaborative circles, right-wing extremism, lifestyle sports, small groups, subcultures, social movement, ethnography, social psychology, mobilization
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-172988ISBN: 978-91-554-8355-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-172988DiVA: diva2:516140
Public defence
2012-05-31, Room IX, Universitetshuset, Övre Slottsgatan 2, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-05-10 Created: 2012-04-17 Last updated: 2017-01-25Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. White Power Music and the Mobilization of Racist Social Movements
Open this publication in new window or tab >>White Power Music and the Mobilization of Racist Social Movements
2008 (English)In: Music and Arts in Action, ISSN 1754-7105, Vol. 1, no 1, 4-20 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

At the end of the 1970s a racist rock music movement known as White Power music emerged in Great Britain in connection with political parties of the extreme right and remains a vibrant force in racist social movements today. Throughout the 1990s, White Power music expanded significantly from its origins in a clandestine network of punk-inspired live shows and record promotions into a multi-million dollar, international enterprise of web-pages, radio stations and independent record labels promoting White Power musicians performing a wider range of musical genres. In this article, we view White Power music as a cultural resource created and produced by racist movements and used as a tool to further key movement goals.  Specifically, we examine White Power music’s role when used to 1) recruit new adherents, especially youth, 2) frame issues and ideology to cultivate a White Power collective identity, and 3) obtain financial resources. In doing so we rely upon in-depth interviews with White Power musicians and promoters as well as representatives of watchdog and monitoring organizations. Interviews were conducted by the lead author from 2002-2004 or accessed through transcripts of similar interviews made available by another researcher.  This research also relies upon an extensive examination of White Power music, lyrics, newsletters and websites. We conclude that White Power music continues to play a significant role in the mobilization of racist political and social movements by drawing in new youth, cultivating a racist collective identity, and generating substantial sums of money to finance a range of racist endeavours.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Exeter, UK: MAiA - Music and Arts in Action, Department of Sociology & Philosophy, The University of Exeter, 2008
Keyword
white power music, right-wing social movements, resource mobilization, youth recruitment, collective identity, issue framing, racism
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-131585 (URN)
Projects
Dissertation Project
Available from: 2010-10-07 Created: 2010-10-05 Last updated: 2012-05-14Bibliographically approved
2. From Greenville to "Pro Town, USA": The Mobilization and Commercialization of a Local Lifestyle Sport Scene
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From Greenville to "Pro Town, USA": The Mobilization and Commercialization of a Local Lifestyle Sport Scene
2009 (English)In: On the Edge: Leisure,Consumption and the Representation of Adventure Sportseditors, / [ed] Joan Ormrod & Belinda Wheaton, University of Brighton: Leisure Studies Association , 2009, 113-129 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Brighton: Leisure Studies Association, 2009
Keyword
lifestyle sport, commericialition, scene, resource mobilization theory
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-132783 (URN)978-1905369157 (ISBN)
Available from: 2010-10-26 Created: 2010-10-26 Last updated: 2012-05-14Bibliographically approved
3. Commercialization and Lifestyle Sport: Lessons from Twenty Years of Freestyle BMX in ProTown, USA
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Commercialization and Lifestyle Sport: Lessons from Twenty Years of Freestyle BMX in ProTown, USA
2010 (English)In: Sport in Society: Cultures, Media, Politics, Commerce, ISSN 1743-0437, E-ISSN 1743-0445, Vol. 13, no 7-8, 1135-1151 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent research on lifestyle sport and commercialization reveals a problematic and complex relationship. The analysis presented here examines the development and impact of commercialization on a unique and influential local BMX scene over a 20-year period. Three forms of commercialization - paraphernalia, movement and mass market - are identified and their varying influences on the mobilization and development of this lifestyle sport are analysed. Findings reveal that lifestyle-sport insiders actively collaborate in each form of commercialization, especially movement commercialization which has the potential to build alternative lifestyle-sport institutions and resist adverse commercial influences. This research conceptualizes freestyle BMX as a social movement within the resource-mobilization perspective and relies upon a combination of direct and participant observation recorded through field notes and augmented by 25 in-depth interviews. The combination of analytical tools and methodological approach can help shed further light on the complex dynamics of commercialization in lifestyle sports.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Abingdon: Taylor and Francis, 2010
Keyword
Lifestyle sports, commercialization, resource mobilization theory
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-132782 (URN)10.1080/17430431003780070 (DOI)
Available from: 2010-10-26 Created: 2010-10-26 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
4. A Refinement of Collaborative Circles Theory: Resource Mobilization and Innovation in an Extreme Sport
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Refinement of Collaborative Circles Theory: Resource Mobilization and Innovation in an Extreme Sport
2013 (English)In: Social psychology quarterly, ISSN 0190-2725, E-ISSN 1939-8999, Vol. 76, no 1, 25-51 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Farrell's (2001) theory of collaborative circles provides a useful frame for analyzing the interpersonal dynamics that enable creative collaboration in small groups, but it leaves contextual factors of collaboration undertheorized. Using ethnographic data on freestyle BMXers in Greenville, North Carolina, this article demonstrates how resource mobilization theory's conception of resources can specify the enabling and constraining aspects of a circle's environment in atheoretically satisfying way. Specifically, I find that the enabling interpersonal dynamics found by Farrell rely on distinct arrangements of material, moral, and what I term locational resources. During the formation stage, a welcoming skatepark and moral support from the local community afforded the group the space and time it needed to unite, articulate a common vision, and produce dramatic innovations in their sport. During the separation stage, increased resources from the commercialization of freestyle BMX influenced both the separation of the circle and the production of the scene that followed.

Keyword
collaboration, small groups, collaborative circles, social psychology, theoretical extension
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-172983 (URN)10.1177/0190272512470147 (DOI)000317866400002 ()
Projects
Dissertation
Available from: 2012-04-17 Created: 2012-04-17 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

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