Friggers and Skeggs: Exploring globalization as an homogenising or hybridising force in rural youth culture

Dr. Lindy Croft-Piggin (School of Education, Charles Sturt University)

ORB 132 12:30 :: 25th April 2012

Institute for Social Sciences in the 21st Century Research Seminar Series
In this paper the social concepts of identity and capital will be used to explore the homogenising and hybridising pressures of globalization on rural youth culture. This ethnographic examination of a small Australian community will demonstrate the responsive nature of youth culture and illustrate the degree to which global semiotics penetrated a very small, isolated township dominated by the agricultural industry. Two youth micro-cultures will be examined. The first characterized by signs and symbols of the cattle industry and the second with beach culture and rap music. Through empirical analysis, the capital associated with allegiance to a prosperous rural elite will be shown to be losing its potency for many young rural men, who, despite their remote location, moved away from the country and western image of utes, boots and horses in favour of surf label clothing, ‘Skate’ shoes, rap music and skateboard parks. Gender dynamics will be discussed, as boys desertion of rural identity permits some girls to enter a field once closed to them. Displacement of a local youth culture, where young people import auditory, visual and linguistic material connecting them to youth communities across the globe, will show how the ‘glocal’ future they are constructing blends global and local values and attitudes. Rural youth are observed in the process of acquiring new social and geographic mobility.

Dr Lindy Croft-Piggin is a lecturer in Creative Arts and literacy education at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia. Her PhD study examined youth identity in an Australian rural context. She has worked as a teacher and education consultant in English, history, visual art, dance, drama, and music education.

Lindy will be a Visiting Scholar at ISS21 from April 19th to 27th 2012. She is very happy to meet with students and staff who have similar research interests while she is here. Please contact Allen White to make an appointment to meet with her.

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