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Subculture vs counterculture

Video transcript

- [Voiceover] A subculture is the culture of a meso-level subcommunity that distinguishes itself from the dominant culture of a larger society. So a subculture is smaller than a nation, but unlike a microculture, it is large enough to support people throughout their entire lifespan. So what does all this mean? Let's take a look. A subculture is the culture of a meso-level subcommunity. So culture is the ideas of a society. It is the values, beliefs, and rules that make up that society. And meso-level tells us that a population size falls between micro and macro levels. Micro meaning small and macro meaning large. So in the meso level of analysis, sociologists look at, you can think of it as medium sized groups. And examples include communities, organizations, cities, states, or even clans and tribes. And a subcommunity is just a smaller community within a larger one. And this can include the examples we just talked about with the cities and states. So in plain English, all this first sentence is saying, is that a subculture is the rules and ideas of a medium sized community. The rest of our definition says that a subculture distinguishes itself from the dominant culture of the larger society. And this just means that it is different in some way. So it is good to note that when subcultures are unique to the larger society in some ways, they still share some of the culture of the dominant society. So they're different but they're not completely different. So bringing our analysis together, a subculture refers to the rules and ideas of a medium sized community that differs in some way from the larger community. We also said that a subculture is different from a microculture, because a subculture is large enough to support people throughout their entire lifespan. So just as a reminder, microculture refers to groups or organizations that affect only a small segment of one's life. And they influence a limited period of someone's life. So examples of microcultures include things like girl scout troops, college sororities, or even a boarding school. And subcultures affect your life on a much longer period than microcultures would. So in the United States, subcultures include things like ethnic groups such as Mexican-Americans or even exclusive religious groups such as the Orthodox Jews in New York City. They can even include social classes, groups like the elite upper class. So subcultures can cause tension with the dominant group, and the dominant group has the power to determine the cultural expectations of society. So an example would be that a very small percentage of Mormons in the United States believe in polygamy. And polygamy is when a person is married to more than one spouse. So I wanna emphasize spouse. So having more than one wife is actually called polygyny, and it breaks the law in Utah where many Mormons live. And they still hold on to this practice and this belief. So when a conflict with the larger culture becomes serious, and the laws of the dominant society are violated, a different type of culture actually emerges, and this is called a counterculture. And a counterculture is a group with expectations and values that strongly disagree with the main values of a particular society. So one type of counterculture that is represented, is actually called the Old Order Amish of Pennsylvania and Ohio. And the Amish drive horse drawn wagons, and they rarely use electricity or modern technology. So they reject mainstream ideas, and they have their own values. So the Amish rejecting mainstream or dominant culture like technology or consumerism, and replacing it with their religious principles which call for a simpler lifestyle, this makes them a counterculture, because their values, they differ greatly with those of the larger society.