Witch house, 'a digital neo-tribe': digitalization of a postmodern theroy
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The field of youth cultures’ studies has experienced intense academic discussions in the last three decades, notably because of the increasing importance of the leisure practices as the primary focus of young people for their quests for belonging. This has considerably distorted the established subcultural model explaining the formation of peripheral social groups through placing emphasis on the yet outdated elements such as socio-economic position, collective rejection of dominant values and foundation of alternative normative guidelines. Furthermore, the arrival of the Internet and new technologies has widened the spectrum of leisure habits and lifestyle preferences, as these technologies have enhanced the grassroots creative practices and enabled a relatively easy distribution of the cultural products. In terms of music, such participatory cultural production has allowed for a development of an ‘online Do-It-Yourself (DIY) industry’, the existence of which subsequently adds to the diversification of overall contemporary cultural production. Yet increasingly diversified popular culture then poses a significant challenge to understanding of minor youth socio-cultural groups. This thesis examines the nature of a peripheral, music-centered socio-cultural phenomenon called ‘witch house’ and the role of the new technologies in the processes of its formation, further development and dissemination to the young audiences. The thesis simultaneously attempts to position the phenomenon within the cluster of other music-related youth cultures and point out consequent theoretical shortcomings that the field of youth cultures yet needs to take into consideration.