A wave of change swept over the era of modernism, people began to question and scrutinize the norms of society. This change Is referred to as postmodernism (Megs & Purses, 2006:466). Postmodernism gave birth to different subcultures, groups of people who behave and believe differently than the norm of society, this as a result makes them stand out from the crowd and at times also are the cause that they are not accepted into society (Andersen & Taylor, 2007: 48). The following essay will analyses the Biker subculture.
It will comment on the history, characteristics, reminisces and ideals and the lifestyle of the subculture. The alma is to form conclusions from the subculture and use these conclusions to create a Neo subculture. 2. Research 3. 1. History Since 1885, inventors experimented in creating the motorcycle. In the beginning the motorcycle was a crude and unreliable vehicle but as It developed, It gained more interest and by 1937 became an accepted part of the overall transport system (Walker, 2008:35). As the motorcycle became more popular, motorcycle clubs were born and the love for the machine flourished.
After WWW these clubs seemed to grow even more as soldiers returned to their ordinary life still yearning for adventure and the thrills of war, not completely ready to return to their previous life. These men needed a way to escape and biking was there portal (Wheeler. [S. A]). All these clubs had to be registered but after the sass’s incident in Hollister, California where the small percentage of biker society was blamed for the terrible and violent disturbance, many of these registered clubs broke away and made their own outlaw clubs, the most notorious being the Hell’s Angels (Wheeler, [S. ]). In their wan way they rebelled against authority, acting out to shock people. An example of this type of behavior can be seen in Figure 1, where two bikers are locked in a passionate kiss, something not deemed appropriate in those years. All their acting out and the rumors about these clubs being part of illegal business gave the biker subculture quite a negative reputation. Even though this was the case, there was still this alarm of mystery and fascination affixed to It. The whole Idea of them being free and not caring about anything became alluring to those who viewed them from afar.
People looked at them with as much fear as awe. Pop culture itself was most likely the mall culprit for this viewpoint. It portrayed this Image of the “American dream Biker” in movies such as The Wild One and Easy Rider (Walker, 2008: 161). I Nils can De seen In Hogue 2, Witt a snot AT one AT ten snatchers out AT I en w In this shot of the biker, that he has a no care attitude. The way in which he poses also gives the viewer the idea that he is a real bad boy. On the other hand, Figure 3, a shot from the movie Easy Rider, depicts the craziness of bikers and there tendency for rule breaking and standing out. Hose image of bikers remained with society even Hough there were movies made to try and remedy this. Such a movie was On Any Sunday, starring Steve Macaque, a film that paid tribute to motorcycling (walker, 3. 2. Characteristics The biker subculture is a very complex culture; therefore it would be best to first look at how they are set apart visually from society. One might start of by mentioning the most obvious of facts, that they own a motorcycle but yet even that will not be truly helpful.
There are many people who own and enjoy riding a motorcycle who will not call themselves a biker and neither would be recognized as one by fellow bikers. It is also true that bikers have tattoos done, as part of their culture or piercing as can be seen in Figure 4, however not all bikers have tattoos and vice versa. Long hair and scruffy beards, leather clothing and protective gear is seen as part of the biker style, (Figure 5), but that still does not mean for a fact that seeing someone who matches that description is a biker.
Neither does the fact that people associate them with songs such as Cad’s Highway to Hell (Biker Culture, 2013). If one has to truly choose one aspect of a biker’s visual appearance that might lead you to a truer conclusion, it will be a biker’s colors. Biker Colors is a patch that are worn at the back of a biker’s vest, it is a graphic symbol that shows with who he affiliates himself (Figure 6). Furthermore, it also signifies something about bikers and what they stand for (Grant, [S. A. ]). These colors are normally earned and show the club’s acceptance of the person in question.
The designs of these club colors can be elaborate and colorful or even plain but still graphic in a sense. Either way, each has its own personal meaning which only the members will know. However, it must be noted that these colors through the years has mainly passed to men, women ere not seen as deserving of such an honor although it has started to change slowly over time. (Allah’s, [S. A]. ). In addition, if one has to look at bikers and what they might deem as an art form, motorcycle customization would most definitely be it.
A biker sees his motorcycle as an extension of his being; therefore it is only natural that he will express himself through it, customizing it to suit his personality. These customizations can either be subtle changes like changing the color of the motorcycle or can go to the extreme as seen in Figure 7, 8 and 9, where the whole motorcycle is turned into a piece of art or ewe creature. 3. 3. Ideas, Principles and Lifestyle As a group Ana slice ten roller AT tons cultures, Dickers nave always level near e by an unspoken code, it is this code that bonds and transcends between them.
This code is as follows, in no particular order. * Never ask to ride someone else’s motorcycle In a biker community, sharing is no problem when it comes to sharing a meal, a drink or warm campfire but sharing another person’s motorcycle is like wanting to share his woman, which is not right in any terms. However, one can indirectly ask by offering the person a ride Cones, 2012). * Do not touch someone else’s motorcycle This rule links directly with the previous, if one might think asking to ride another person’s motorcycle is bad, touching it without consent is worse. Doing such a misdemeanors can land a person in deep trouble.
As much as bikers love to boast about their motorcycles and want people to admire it, they prefer it to be done visually (Seeming, [S. A]). * Bikers always stand together A biker community is a very close knit group, not in the sense that everyone knows one another but rather that each shares a bond of responsibility and respect with one another. Therefore, even if the other biker is a stranger, he would be helped in a mime of need to the best of the other biker’s capability (Seeming, [S. A]). * Respect for one another As mentioned above, bikers share a respect for one another.
As a result, bikers will show their respect to another when meeting on the open road by greeting with a wave of the hand or any hand gesture possible while driving at high speeds or shifting gears (Seeming, [S. A]). This hand signal is also a way of thanking motor vehicle drivers for giving them space to pass on the highway. * Do not take any nonsense As a biker one must be kind to women, children, animals and other people but do not sake any unnecessary nonsense from others either. This mainly has to do with respect and honor, anyone can be quick tempered and hot headed, rather stand tall and back up ones words with action (Biker Culture. 013). * Never lie, cheat or steal This links directly with the concept of having honor and respect, these actions are more than Just frowned upon. It is despised and unforgivable and will be dealt with in a severe manner (Biker Culture. 2013). * Do not snitch or snivel If a wrong is witnessed or experienced, it must be dealt with personally. It is believed that if one has honor, one will never feel the need to snitch on another. He same goes Tort smelling, In toner words Dealing nuns up on small Insignificant things. Ratter live it through with dignity than grumble and moan (Biker Culture. 2013). Never say die and Never give up The following is another important part of being a biker. One should have strength and endurance no matter how hard life might hit one at times. After all in the biker word and also in society it has always been the strong that survive (Biker Culture. 2013). * Live life This out of all the previous parts of the unspoken biker code might sound the easiest but indeed it is not. One of the main reasons being that one always has the tendency o use the excuse that there is not enough time. A biker believes that there is always time, even if one has to make time (Biker Culture. 013). Life is short; one must make the best of it. 3. Neo Bikers After analyzing who bikers are, what they stand for and the origin of the biker, I as a biker myself in this new day and age have come to the conclusion that a Neo Biker culture is forming. This new culture is not that much different from the previous biker culture, instead one can almost say that it is an improvement instead – it can be seen as a sign of growth. We as bikers in a modern society, still live up to the same yep of code, with the same type of adventure seeking and freedom spirit.
Another notable thing that has began to change is the fact that woman have finally been noted as deserving enough to be a main part of a biker club. Not only in the sense of Just riding as a pillion (a passenger) but also as owning their own motorcycles (Custom Choppers Guide. [S. A]). Myself as a female, being able to be part of a club myself is proof enough. In addition, bikers are becoming more of a family type tradition than ever before. Going to rally such as the Buffalo rally, which is one of the biggest rally in South Africa this is evident.
Youngsters Join their parents, learning about the culture from a young age and experiencing it. There are still people who only Join it at a later stage in life but it is becoming something that is passed on to the younger generation by the parents. Which I believe is a good thing, because as romantic as the biking culture might seem to some still it will lose its authenticity if not brought over correctly. In other words, it will die out and become nothing more than Just a fascination with motorcycles rather than a lifestyle. Lastly and most notably is the change in the appearance of a biker. E rough, long haired and tattooed and leather clothed biker is a vision of the past. Instead in a way bikers have become a bit more ordinary looking in a sense. Meaning that the style has become a bit toned down. For example, looking at Figure 10, one might never guess Tanat ten man In question Is a Dicker Decease en lo Ks Like any toner person In society that one will meet in the street but looking at Figure 1 1, it becomes more apparent because of the leathers and colors he is wearing. However, it is true that one does still get those bikers that sport full leather attire, with metal and tattoos everywhere.
Just as it is also true that some of those dressed like that are not true bikers but people bikers refer to as posers, that pretend to be a biker but does not know anything about it. 4. Conclusion This essay analyses the Biker Subculture in terms of history, characteristics, principals, ideals and lifestyle. It aimed at forming conclusions from the analyses and in turn creating a Neo subculture from it. It can be concluded that it has been successful in its aims and that it has been founded that a Neo Bikers subculture has been formed in modern society and that it will not die out soon but rather grow and evolve over time.