Youth Choosing Bad-Careers for Social Success:Youth Subcultures Referenced in Gyaru and Gyaru-o Tribes

Monday, July 14, 2014: 11:00 AM
Room: F204
Oral Presentation
Yusuke ARAI , Hitotsubashi University, Tachikawa, Japan
This paper clarifies the social perspective of youth subcultures with a focus on members of tribes formed by youth referred to as gyaru and gyaru-o.

The author spent 5 years participating as a member of a gyaru/gyaru-o tribe that conducted club events held in the streets. Afterwards, through 10 years of participation-based observation as a researched, the author conducted quantitative research to form the following opinion.

These tribes practice heterosexual lifestyles, committing anti-social acts to the extent that will not result in arrest. They life lifestyles based on “bad” values and seek to gain attention through provocative means. They view these “bad-values” as a career that will lead to future self-realization.

They believe that establishing both the “bad” career gained through their activities and an official career will lead to future social success.

And they hold dramatic, story-like image for self-fulfillment wherein embracing these careers will lead to success in normal society.

The youth observed in this research have been deemed to be passive towards what is generally considered success in normal society. However, this research has shown that these youth are proactive towards self-fulfillment in terms of forming careers that will lead to future social success.

In previous research into youth subcultures where it is has been shown that youth believe their “bad-careers” will benefit them in the future, this was defined merely as phase to which the individual would progress or as an internal phenomenon of the same subculture.

However, this research brings a new view to youth subcultures research in showing that these youth view their “bad-careers” as something that will benefit their success in general society, thus as something that transcends the framework of any phase or subculture.