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Philosophical Thought

Social Phenomenon of the Informal Youth Subculture (the Case Study of the Rastafari Subculture: History and Sociocultural Importance)

Levikova Svetlana Igorevna

Doctor of Philosophy

professor of the Department of Philosophy at Moscow State Pedagogical University

117571, Russia, g. Moscow, prospekt Vernadskogo, 88, of. 812

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The informal youth subculture as the social phenomenon which held a firm place in structure of the modern industrially developed societies passing to post-industrialism step represents the self-organizing social groups producing own subcultures. Without knowledge and understanding of this phenomenon (detection of its intrinsic characteristics, laws of functioning, dynamics of development, etc. that it is obviously possible to make only by consideration it from positions of the social philosophy displaying a phenomenon in its integrity), adequate display of modern social reality is impossible. In turn the phenomenon of informal youth subculture includes a set of various informal youth subcultures (by the principle: "whole" both "part" or "general" and "private"). There is a lot of similar "private" informal youth subcultures in structure of the modern developed societies, and one of them exist a long time, and others very short period; one of them have the name, and others – no; one of them exist locally in any district (the country, the city), and others extend over many countries of the world and have the international character. One of the international informal youth subcultures is the Rastafari, existing already some tens years and come to Russia in the 1990th where she managed strongly to locate. This subculture is considered in article from the point of view of its historical roots, genesis, dynamics, intrinsic characteristics, the reasons of emergence and distribution on the world, and also her outlooks. And the author carries out accurate distinction between religious sect of the Rastafarian and the informal youth subculture of the same name thanks to what eliminates often practiced to a mistake, connected with an identification of religious sect and informal youth subculture. The social and philosophical analysis of informal youth subculture of Rastafari allows to understand the reasons of why this subculture practically didn't gain distribution to the USA, and, on the contrary, strongly took roots in Russia. The methodological base of research are philosophical methods and the principles of knowledge – objectivity, general communication, integrity and systemacity, causality and a determinism. The solution of the studied problems is carried out also on the basis of general scientific research approaches, first of all – system and general scientific methods: synthesis, the analysis, methods of the logical and historical analysis, induction, deduction, idealization, etc. Besides, dialectic, phenomenological, germenevtichesky, logical, historical methods, and also social and philosophical and comparative analyses are applied. The novelty of research is caused by the fact that the author carried out the social and philosophical analysis of the international informal youth subculture of Rastafari which in the 1990th entered life of the Russian society and strongly took its the place in it. The main contribution of the author to research of a subject is that it considered origin of Rastafari as the national liberation movement and tracked further transformation it at first in religious sect, and then in informal youth subculture, having shown, as meanings, both symbolics and many intrinsic moments of the previous stages of the Rastafarian were included into modern informal youth subculture of the same name. Having carried out the comparative analysis of informal youth subcultures of the Rastafarian, hippie and a gothic style, the author came to the main conclusion that in fact these subcultures are identical, and they differ only with subcultural features. Also the author drew a conclusion that for the best understanding of modern social systems it is necessary to study carefully their structural elements inludig informal youth subcultures such as Rastafari. 

Keywords: society, youth, Rastafarian, Rastafari, social phenomena, informal youth culture, culture, subculture, reggae, hippie
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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