United Kingdom

The Meaning of Style

. . . for our purposes we must limit the definition of the mods to working class teenagers who lived mainly in London and the new towns of the South and who could be readily identified by characteristic hairstyles, clothing, etc. According to Melly (1972), the progenitors of this style appear to have been a group of working class dandies, possibly descended from the devotees of the Italianate style; known throughout the trad world as mods who were dedicated to clothes and lived in London. Only gradually and with popularisation did this group accumulate other distinctive identity symbols (the scooter, the pills, the music). By 1963, the all night R and B clubs held this group firmly to Soho and central London, whilst around the ring roads the Ton up boys thundered on unperturbed, nostalgically clinging on to rock and roll and the tougher working class values.

Dick Hebdige, “The Meaning of Mod” from Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain (edited by Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson), 1975

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