Contemporary subcultures as alternative ways of looking for individual identities
Looking for alternative lifestyles, building one’s own identity within subcultures are a consequence of the condition of contemporary Central European societies, a cultural reaction to radical changes in the 1990s. This phenomenon becomes relevant in the course of political transformations. The subcultures functioning in Czechoslovakia from the 1950s on, were persecuted by the totalitarian system characterised by ideological and social conformism. The post-1989 political transformation has expanded their scope and changed their nature. An alternative lifestyle does not mean only a rejection of political determinants or cultural heritage. Contemporary subcultures reflecting specific values as well as psychosocial processes occurring within various communities constitute their expression.
In the Czech Republic subcultures previously presented primarily within the framework of social marginalisation processes are presented today as urban neotribes with liquid identities significantly shaped by the new media. The functioning of individuals within subcultural communities, which until recently depended on their activity in their free time wherever they lived and was linked to the stage of their development, has been replaced by the recognition of values attracting the individuals to a specific subculture. Changes in cultural transmission and social relations force us to adopt a serious approach to alternative life models in the creation of the contemporary paradigm of culture.