|dc.description.abstract||This thesis traces the history of what I call the 'commercialisation of rebellion'. It contextualises commercialised rebellion in the economic, social and political changes of the last 30 years. The most significant economic change in the last three decades has been the shift away from Fordism, a rigid system of mass consumption based on mass production, to a flexible post-Fordist system. Post-Fordism accelerated the development of niche markets and specialised consumption and helped nuture a new Zeitgeist, or social mood, based on individualistic ways of thinking and behaving. The styles, music and activities of grunge youth, punks, ravers and snowboarders all followed these economic and social changes. The Zeitgeist also ushered new political values, attitudes and aspirations, expressed, in the 1960s, by the counterculture, in the 1970s, by punk, and since the late 1980s, by grunge and rave.
The broad social appeal of these youth styles instantly attracted the attention of big business which recognised their commercial potential. The political response, however, was seemingly contradictory. On the one hand, the do-it-yourself philosophies of punk appealed to the newly emerging New Right's social agenda; on the other hand, the New Right was less enamoured with the social tastes and economic independence of the counterculture, punk, grunge and rave. Thus, despite commercial tolerance, governments continue to repress youth groups who express different views to the New Right's social vision. This repression takes many forms: legislation, police surveillance and brutality, and law suits.
Change is a process of resistance, negotiation, opportunism, compromise and adaptation. Hence, this thesis focuses on the reactions of Western youth to the ransacking and looting of their culture by big business and the dilemmas that economic, social and political change poses for youth's vision of the future. Snowboarders reflect these dilemmas perhaps better than any other youth group. Forged by the counterculture, punk and grunge, and co-opted by big business and traditional establishment sporting bodies such as the IOC, snowboarding is, in many respects, the archetypal face of twentieth century youth.||