Just a fortnight before Christmas, 1871, a young man, twenty-four years of age, returned home to his dinner about eight o'clock in the evening. He was married, and with him and his wife lived his wife's sister. At that somewhat late hour he walked in among the two young women, and another much older woman who was preparing the table for dinner. The wife and the wife's sister each had a child in her lap, the elder having seen some fifteen months of its existence, and the younger three months. "He has been out since seven, and I don't think he's had a mouthful," the wife had just said. "Oh, Harry, you must be half starved," she exclaimed, jumping up to greet him, and throwing her arm round his bare neck.
Lifestyles and subcultures are tools through which people say - to themselves and to others - who they think they are, who they think they are similar to, and who they think they are different from. Lifestyles and subcultures are ways which people adopt to look at their own lives, and to try to keep together different roles, different practices and different realms which they are involved in. Lifestyles and subcultures are lenses through which we, as observers, analyze society, and orientate ourselves within it, looking for similarities and differences among individuals and collectivities which allow us to understand their thoughts and their actions.
This book presents the main analytical approaches through which lifestyles and subcultures have been studied, and also proposes a new interpretative perspective. Today a growing panorama of social phenomena and processes possess intermediate characteristics with regard to those which in the past were identified either as lifestyles or as subcultures. The hypothesis is that consequently these phenomena could be explained and interpreted by means of an analytical framework developed by the intersection of these two perspectives, and the last part of the book is therefore devoted to the presentation of this innovative framework. This book provides new lenses and a fresh view to try to both grasp and understand a constantly-changing reality.
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