Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Quantitative Approach to Studying Subculture
by Hunt, Pamela M., Ph.D., Kent State University, 2008, 120; 10631011
Abstract (Summary)

I examine the factors contributing to within-subculture variation in the affective meanings (evaluation, potency, and activity) associated with roles and behaviors central to the jamband subculture belief system. The jamband subculture is a group somewhat like a contemporary version of the subculture surrounding the rock music band the Grateful Dead. The analyses are divided into two studies.

In the first study I use two continuous measures of subculture involvement (ideological embeddedness and behavioral-relational involvement) to examine the relationship between involvement in the jamband subculture and the affective meanings associated with eighteen roles. I find that the two continuous measures of subculture involvement are related positively to the evaluation of subculture roles, yet only ideological embeddedness is associated with the potency of subculture roles. Both measures are negatively to the evaluation of authority roles. However, neither ideological embeddedness nor behavioral-relational involvement is related significantly to the potency of authority roles. Thus, jamband subculture members are not a homogeneous group.

In the second study I use differential association theory to explain the distinctive affective meanings associated with six behaviors that are relevant to the jamband subculture. The findings suggest that although differential association theory does in part explain the development of unique behavior meanings, the theory may not be suited to fully explain distinctive behavior meanings that develop in this subculture. Further findings suggest that the relationships between the modalities and behavior meanings may be more complex than differential association theory proposes. Specifically, there may be mediating and suppressing relationships among the modalities.

This dissertation makes methodological contributions to studies of subcultural meaning socialization and the general subculture literature. First, whereas past studies of subcultural meaning socialization use bivariate statistics to examine subcultural meaning variation, I use multivariate methods to do so. Second, whereas subculture studies generally use qualitative methods to investigate attitudes and behavior, I provide a quantitative measure of ideological embeddedness and behavioral-relational involvement in the first study. Third, I measure behavior definitions with affective behavior meanings in the second study. Measuring definitions with affective meanings provides a universal, unintrusive, and parsimonious way of measuring attitudes within subcultures.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kroska, Amy
Commitee: Carlson, Robert E., Kalkoff, Will, Kroska, Amy, Lee, Matthew, Updegraff, John
School: Kent State University
Department: College of Arts and Sciences / Department of Sociology
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Music, Social psychology, Sociology
Keywords: Affective meaning, Jamband, Subculture
Publication Number: 10631011
ISBN: 978-0-355-01319-1
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