The Turn to Disco and Other Subcultural Developments
This chapter narrates a turn to disco in the 1970s as a breakthrough in youth culture practice on two fronts. Disco became the centerpiece of a qualitatively different engagement with popular American culture, laying the foundation for a bounded youth formation, or subculture, identified with Italian ethnicity. It escalated the commitment to a style of consumption oriented to the media and entertainment culture that is at the center of late capitalist youth identity (Ratansi and Phoenix 1997). Stylized performances revolving around music and clubbing promoted the formation of a subculture as an umbrella for localized youth peer groups. Instrumental in this development was the pop culture significance of SNF which made it possible for Italian American youth in southern Brooklyn to claim an authentic place in a late 1970s pop culture moment. Subcultural development has since taken other “turns” notably representation on local FM radio in the 1990s and early 2000s and a foray into online social media at the turn of the new millennium.