Sxe: A Feminist Subculture

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Youth subcultures are commonly linked to promiscuity, and drug and alcohol use (Irwin, 1999). Subcultures are seen to be formed due to resistance to dominant culture, and deviance is often considered prevalent in youth subcultures (Becker, 1963, in Irwin, 1999). Straight Edge, also known as sXe, is based on the idea of clean living (Aron, 2016). Despite this, sXe is commonly labelled a deviant subculture (Irwin, 1999). SXe is supplemented by a fashion and music sense similar to that of Punk (Aron, 2016). It is believed sXe emerged as an offshoot of Punk in Britain in the 1980s, largely as a response to drug and alcohol-related deaths within the subculture. SXe is renowned for being intolerant of the punk movement, or as referred
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SXe spread across the US throughout the 1980s, with the most prominent scenes in Washington D.C, Boston, New York, and San Francisco (Helton & Staudenmeier, 2002), eventually spreading across the world (Haenfler, 2017). Originally just about abstaining from drugs, alcohol and promiscuity, sXe has become more aligned with particular political movements and lifestyle choices. Vegetarianism and veganism have become common in sXe (Irwin, 1999), and it has become a place where people can challenge oppression, such as homophobia, sexism and racism (Haenfler, 2004). SXe adherents are mostly white, middle class, and between the ages of 15 - 25 (Haenfler 2004). SXe is mainly dominated by cis-males, though there is a population of women who identify as sXe (Haenfler, …show more content…
It also provides a supportive community for people whose families struggle with addiction (Haenfler 2004). Concerts are main gatherings of sXe people, providing a place to promote the ideologies of the movement through leaflets, fanzines, and music (Helton & Staudenmeier, 2002). ‘X’ is a symbol of Straight Edge which adherents draw on the back of their hands before a concert (Helton & Staudenmeier, 2002). It originates from when bouncers would draw an ‘X’ on underage people’s hands before a concert, signifying they are not to be served alcohol, and sXe adopted this to symbolise they have no intention of drinking alcohol (Haenfler, 2004). It is often seen on tattoos and clothing. (Irwin, 1999). As sXe emerged, it became somewhat of a counterculture within Punk, as it rejected significant aspects of Punk (Haenfler, 2004).

This subject was selected for analysis as sXe is a unique subculture as it can be seen as a counterculture to Punk, though the two are similar, and sXe emerged as an offshoot of Punk. To collect information for this study, journals on the topic have been analysed to understand the sociological perspective on SXe, as well as to look at data collected by researchers on the topic to be studied. Books

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