A skinhead is a member of a subculture that originated among working class youths in London, England in the 1960s and then soon spread to other parts of the United Kingdom, and later to other countries around the world. Named for their close-cropped or shaven heads, the first skinheads were greatly influenced by West Indian (specifically Jamaican) rude boys and British mods, in terms of fashion, music and lifestyle. Originally, the skinhead subculture was primarily based on those elements, not politics or race. Since then, however, attitudes toward race and politics have become factors by which some skinheads align themselves. The political spectrum within the skinhead scene ranges from the far right to the far left, although many skinheads are apolitical. Fashion-wise, skinheads range from a clean-cut 1960s mod-influenced style to less-strict punk- and hardcore-influenced styles.
In the late 1950s the post-war economic boom led to an increase in disposable income among many young people. Some of those youths spent that income on new fashions popularized by American soul groups, British R&B bands, certain movie actors, and Carnaby Street clothing merchants. These youths became known as mods, a youth subculture noted for its consumerism and devotion to fashion, music and scooters.
Mods of lesser means made do with practical clothing styles that suited their lifestyle and employment circumstances: work boots or army boots, straight-leg jeans or Sta-Prest trousers, button-down shirts, and braces (called suspenders in North America). When possible, these working class mods spent their money on suits and other sharp outfits to wear at dancehalls, where they enjoyed soul, ska, bluebeat and rocksteady music.
Around 1966, a schism developed between the peacock mods (also known as smooth mods), who were less violent and always wore the latest expensive clothes, and the hard mods (also known as gang mods, lemonheads or peanuts), who were identified by their shorter hair and more working class image. These hard mods became commonly known as skinheads by about 1968. Their short hair may have come about for practical reasons, since long hair can be a liability in industrial jobs and in streetfights. Skinheads may also have cut their hair short in defiance of the more middle class hippie culture.
In addition to retaining many mod influences, early skinheads were very interested in Jamaican rude boy styles and culture, especially the music: ska, rocksteady, and early reggae (before the tempo slowed down and lyrics became focused on topics like black nationalism and the Rastafari movement). Skinhead culture became so popular by 1969 that even the rock band Slade temporarily adopted the look as a marketing strategy. The subculture gained wider notice because of a series of violent and sexually explicit novels by Richard Allen, notably Skinhead and Skinhead Escapes. Due to largescale British migration to Perth, Western Australia, many British youths in that city joined skinhead/sharpies gangs in the late 1960s and developed their own Australian style.
By the early 1970s, the skinhead subculture started to fade from popular culture, and some of the original skins dropped into new categories, such as the suedeheads (defined by the ability to manipulate one's hair with a comb), smoothies (often with shoulder-length hairstyles), and bootboys (with mod-length hair; associated with gangs and football hooliganism). Some fashion trends returned to the mod roots, with brogues, loafers, suits, and the slacks-and-sweater look making a comeback.
In the late 1970s, the skinhead subculture was revived to a notable extent after the introduction of punk rock. Most of these revivalist skinheads reacted to the commercialism of punk by adopting a look that was in line with the original 1969 skinhead style. This revival included Gary Hodges and Hoxton Tom McCourt (both later of the band the 4-Skins) and Suggs, later of the band Madness. Around this time, some skinheads became affiliated with far right groups such as the National Front and the British Movement. From 1979 onwards, punk-influenced skinheads with shorter hair, higher boots and less emphasis on traditional styles grew in numbers and grabbed media attention, mostly due to football hooliganism. There still remained, however, skinheads who preferred the original mod-inspired styles.
Eventually different interpretations of the skinhead subculture expanded beyond Britain and continental Europe. In the United States, certain segments of the hardcore punk scene embraced skinhead styles and developed their own version of the subculture.
· · RACISM, ANTI RACISM, AND POLITICS
Unidentified white power skinhead. His badge says "Skinheads - Weiss und stolz" ("Skinheads - White and proud").
In the late 1960s, some skinheads in the United Kingdom (including black skinheads) had engaged in violence against South Asian immigrants (an act known as Paki bashing in common slang). There had, however, also been anti-racist skinheads since the beginning of the subculture, especially in Scotland and northern England. In the Netherlands, the skinhead fashion was adopted by the Gabber youth culture of the Hardcore techno scene during the 1990s. However, the scene also suffered backlash from the Dutch media, labelling it as racist and neo-facist. To combat this, many Hardcore producers and event organizers spoke out against racism.
These early skinheads were not necessarily part of any political movement, but by the early 1970s, some skinheads aligned themselves with the white nationalist National Front. As the 1970s progressed, racially-motivated skinhead violence in the United Kingdom became more political, and far right groups such as the National Front and the British Movement saw a rise in white power skinheads among their ranks. By the late 1970s, the mass media, and subsequently the general public, had largely come to view the skinhead subculture as one that promotes racism and neo-Nazism. The white power and neo-Nazi skinhead subculture eventually spread to North America, Europe and other areas of the world. The mainstream media started using the term skinhead in reports of racist violence (regardless of whether the perpetrator was actually a skinhead); this has played a large role in skewing public perceptions about the subculture. Three notable groups that formed in the 1980s and became associated with white power skinheads are White Aryan Resistance, Blood and Honour and Hammerskins
Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP) logo
Also during the late 1970s and early 1980s, however, many skinheads and suedeheads in the United Kingdom rejected both the far left and far right. This anti-extremist attitude was musically typified by Oi! bands such as Cockney Rejects, The 4-Skins, Toy Dolls, and The Business. Two notable groups of skinheads who spoke out against neo-Nazism and political extremism—and in support of traditional skinhead culture—were the Glasgow Spy Kids in Scotland (who coined the phrase Spirit of 69), and the publishers of the Hard As Nails zine in England.
Red and Anarchist Skinheads (RASH) logo
In the United States, anti-racist skinheads countered the neo-Nazi stereotype by forming organisations such as the Minneapolis Baldies, which started in 1986; Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP), which was founded in New York City in 1987 and then spread to other countries; and Anti-Racist Action (ARA), which was formed in the late 1980s by members of the Minneapolis Baldies and other activists. On the far left of the skinhead subculture, redskins and anarchist skinheads take a militant anti-fascist and pro-working class stance. In the United Kingdom, two groups with significant numbers of leftist skinhead members were Red Action, which started in 1981, and Anti-Fascist Action, which started in 1985. Internationally, the most notable left-wing skinhead organisation is Red and Anarchist Skinheads, which formed in the New York City area in 1993 and then spread to other countrie.
real skinheads are not racist, not racist, and not influenced by politics. Because the roots of skinhead culture in England as well as the influence of Jamaican immigrants. Pure skinhead sub-culture of the English working class, which was born because of competition with the lifestyle of the nobility and the upper middle class. Who make racist, fascist, and the political side is the persons who use abusive behavior and violent skinhead and then used to perform a particular emphasis to the party.
· REFERENCES and CREDITS
http://reject2301.wordpress.com/2008/05/03/skinhead-sebuah-jalan-hidup-part-1/ (part i till vii)
Spirit of '69: A Skinhead Bible by George Marshall Published January 31st 1994 by ST Publishing