Straight Edge

Straight Edge

Clean-living Youth, Hardcore Punk, and Social Change

Book - 2006
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Baker & Taylor
Looks at the lives, values, and culture of American youth known as sXers.

Rutgers University Press
Straight edge is a clean living youth movement that emerged from the punk rock subculture in the early 1980s. Its basic tenets promote a drug-free, tobacco-free, and sexually responsible lifestyle-tenets that, on the surface, seem counter to those typical of teenage rebellion. For many straight-edge kids, however, being clean and sober was (and still is) the ultimate expression of resistance-resistance to the consumerist and self-indulgent ethos that defines mainstream U.S. culture.

In this first in-depth sociological analysis of the movement, Ross Haenfler follows the lives of dozens of straight-edge youths, showing how for these young men and women, and thousands of others worldwide, the adoption of the straight-edge doctrine as a way to better themselves evolved into a broader mission to improve the world in which they live. Although the original definition of straight edge focused only on the rejection of mind-altering substances and promiscuous sex, modern interpretations include a vegetarian (or vegan) diet and an increasing involvement in environmental and political issues.

The narrative moves seamlessly between the author's personal experiences and theoretical concerns, including how members of subcultures define "resistance," the role of collective identity in social movements, how young men experience multiple masculinities in their quest to redefine manhood, and how young women establish their roles in subcultures. More than a unique window into one youth movement, this book provides fresh perspectives on the meaning of resistance and identity in any subculture.

Straight edge is a clean-living youth movement that emerged from the punk rock subculture in the early 1980s. Its basic tenets promote a drug-free, tobacco-free, and sexually responsible lifestyle—tenets that, on the surface, seem counter to those typical of teenage rebellion. For many straight-edge kids, however, being clean and sober was (and still is) the ultimate expression of resistance—resistance to the consumerist and self-indulgent ethos that defines mainstream U.S. culture.

In this first in-depth sociological analysis of the movement, Ross Haenfler follows the lives of dozens of straight-edge youths, showing how for these young men and women, and thousands of others worldwide, the adoption of the straight-edge doctrine as a way to better themselves evolved into a broader mission to improve the world in which they live. Straight edge used to signify a rejection of mind-altering substances and promiscuous sex, yet modern interpretations include a vegetarian (or vegan) diet and an increasing involvement in environmental and political issues.

The narrative moves seamlessly between the author’s personal experiences and theoretical concerns, including how members of subcultures define “resistance,” the role of collective identity in social movements, how young men experience multiple masculinities in their quest to redefine manhood, and how young women establish their roles in subcultures. This book provides fresh perspectives on the meaning of resistance and identity in any subculture.



Book News
Haenfler (sociology, U. of Mississippi) takes the first close look at sXers, the straight-edge young whose commitments may include vegetarianism or veganism, environmental issues and social movements. He describes, sometimes from first hand, the core values and the emergence of straight-edge life as a subculture and social movement, the inter-movement struggles between positive sXers and militant elements, the effects of subculture life on the formation of masculinity and femininity, the ways older sXers refine commitment, the inroads of commercialization and the Internet, and the lingering after-affects of good intentions. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c2006
ISBN: 9780813538525
0813538521
9780813538518
0813538513
Characteristics: x, 248 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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