One fifth of the young people in Russia belong to organized subcultures and even more are part of online subcultures, according to the Research Center of Society in Crisis. Youth subcultures in Russia and their development, as well as socio-cultural characteristics, are tightly connected to the country’s history and society.
The term subculture refers to a group of people who differ from the rest of the society. Youth subculture is created by the young for the young, and its specific aspects are understood only by the knowledgeable and the dedicated. Such subculture is an elitist phenomenon and deviation from the traditional culture of the majority is in fact aimed at the inclusion of the young people in some form of society.
According to the research center’s expert Oksana Kuropatkina, the subcultural “boom” in post-Soviet Russia was caused by a number of factors: disintegration of the society after the 1990s, ineffective ways of socialization through governmental initiatives and the collapse of the Soviet mono-stylistic society. All of these factors enabled cultural diversity.
The research center analyzed modern Russian youth subcultures and divided them in four groups: 1) communities that function as shelters (e.g. squatters), 2) communities, whose members meet regularly and share common values (e.g. football hooligans, bikers, rasta), 3) communities, whose members share common values but don’t necessarily meet (e.g. fans of various musical genres), and 4) communities who are connected through style and visual appearance (e.g. hipsters).
Majority of the modern Russian youth subcultures were created in the USA and the United Kingdom, very popular among the teens and students is also a Japanese anime culture. All subcultures have their own groups on social media and the LiveJournal, many have their own websites. Numerous subcultures prefer the online communication, while some of them only exist online, such as gamers.