“It’s Cool Being Italian”: Fashioning an Ethnic Youth Style
This chapter focuses on the use of ethnicity in assembling a style-based youth subculture. Being Italian is performed in style repertoires—enlisted for appropriation, including poaching, and to give coherence to a style. Ethnicity is the cornerstone of a “subcultural ideology”, a claim to “distinction” or “social power” alongside style (Thornton 1995; also Maira 2003). An ethnography of an online setting exposes primordial ethnic discourses and the active conversion of ethnic capital into youth culture capital featuring a symbolic reversal of ethnic stigma associated with minority group status.