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The Extreme Gone MainstreamCommercialization and Far Right Youth Culture in Germany$
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Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196152

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196152.001.0001

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Trying on Extremism

Trying on Extremism

Material Culture and Far Right Youth

Chapter:
(p.24) 1 Trying on Extremism
Source:
The Extreme Gone Mainstream
Author(s):

Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691196152.003.0002

This chapter situates the empirical base of this book within theories of culture, nationalism, iconography, and youth extremist subcultures. It begins by describing two prevailing notions of how culture “works”—one that presents culture as a coherent meaning system and the other that characterizes it as a “tool kit” of actions and strategies. The chapter also addresses theories of extremism and youth subcultures, arguing that previous research on nationalism and extremism has paid more attention to political dimensions than cultural ones. Finally, it links far right commercial symbols to recent scholarship on visual symbols, arguing that attention to the aesthetic dimensions of far right subculture is particularly overdue in light of the recent “iconic” turn in the social sciences. As the chapter points out, sociologists' ongoing attention to Marxist understanding of economic objects and their relationship to class-based exploitation has led many scholars to overlook the potential for economic objects to have constitutive power for individuals' lives, identities, sense of belonging, or—in this case—the extremist participation of consumers.

Keywords:   material culture, youth extremist subcultures, extremism, youth subcultures, nationalism, far right symbols, visual symbols, economic objects, extremist participation

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