Cultural and Psychological Transformations of Modernity in Light of the Methodology of Latent Changes: Subcultures



The idea of subcultures arose in connection with the understanding of the heterogeneity of society and the need to differentiate lifestyles within a certain culture. Thus, it reflected the tendency of complication, individualization, and diversity of human life. During the twentieth century researchers’ focus of attention shifted from cultural theories to subcultures; from the phenomenology of subcultures to the study of informal movements, “urban tribes”, small cultural traditions and finally — to the transformation of values. Today the analysis of mobility and the multiplicity of identities which are developing in a fluid and transitive sociocultural environment are at the forefront of study. All this required a different conceptual language and the search for new methodological strategies. The concept of “subculture” is often criticized both as an analytical construct and as a fading reality due to the expansion of globalization, mixing of traditions, values and different lifestyles; and the study of identity is increasingly taking place in the framework of transdisciplinary and polyparadigmatic approaches. A new look at the transformations of modernity develops a methodology of latent changes that focuses on the lability, inconsistency and ambiguity of identity and subculture. The forms and ways of organizing subcultures today are changing. Subcultures can be represented in the social space by small patches, dispersed, virtual and therefore not visible, not obvious, difficult to recognize. These transformations are referred to as the phenomena of transitive and dispersed subcultures.

General Information

Keywords: methodology, modern psychology, subculture, identity, socio-cultural movements, latent changes, transdisciplinarity

Journal rubric: Theory and Methodology of Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The article was prepared on the basis of a report at the international conference “The Psychology of Subculture: Phenomenology and Modern Development Trends” on April 22–23, 2019. The study was supported by a grant from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project 17-06-00077-OGN/18 “The problem of linguistic identity in a multicultural space”.

For citation: Guseltseva M.S. Cultural and Psychological Transformations of Modernity in Light of the Methodology of Latent Changes: Subcultures. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2019. Vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 229–242. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2019.301. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Marina S. Guseltseva, Doctor of Psychology, Leading Researcher at the Adolescent Psychology Laboratory, Psychological Institute, Russian Academy of Education, Leading Researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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