Becoming Guido: Identifying a Youth Subculture
This chapter locates the collective turn to American popular culture in an ethnic space, a second front that makes Guido a subculture. The turn to disco in the 1970s occurred among youth inside large and dense Italian American communities in the city, specifically outer borough areas like Bensonhurst which was replenished by post-1945 immigration; a critical agency is accorded to a “new second generation” possessing a “thicker” Italian ethnicity, throwing an Italian American identity into greater relief in a segmented and stratified youth style market. Guido announces a new Italian American performance in the city as a leisure/consumption activity, a hybrid or remix youth culture (Hebdige 1979; Maira 2002) characterized by the “blending of traditional cultural forms into new youth-based styles and practices” Bucholtz (2002: 544). The identity symbol transacts a contested identity inside as well as across the ethnic boundary.