Russia’s Skinheads: Exploring and Rethinking Subcultural Lives provides a thorough examination of the phenomenon of skinheads, explaining its nature and its significance, and assessing how far Russian skinhead subculture is the ‘lumpen’ end of the extreme nationalist ideological spectrum. There are large numbers of skinheads in Russia, responsible for a significant number of xenophobic attacks, including 70 deaths in 2007 alone, making this book relevant to Russian specialists as well as to sociologists of youth subculture. It provides a practical example of how to investigate youth subculture in depth over an extended period – in this case through empirical research following a specific group over six years – and goes on to argue that Russian skinhead subculture is not a direct import from the West, and that youth cultural practices should not be reduced to expressions of consumer choice. It presents an understanding of the Russian skinhead as a product of individuals’ whole, and evolving, lives, and thereby compels sociologists to rethink how they conceive the nature of subcultures.
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