A Conversation for Skinheads

Conformity

Post 1

Ormondroyd

This is a fine and well-balanced Entry, with implicit sympathy for it subject but frank about those skins who give the rest a bad name.
However, I think that line about the traditional skins with their credo of "friendship, family, unity, respect, balls and beer" sums up the elements of the skinhead ethos that I find alienating.
The skin look is a uniform. The cropped heads help to erase any kind of individuality, just as do regulation Army haircuts. (Note how football hooligans often identify themselves by chanting "red/blue/Town/City Army".)
The skinhead look is an image steeped in a very traditional kind of macho masculinity. Family, respect, balls and beer, indeed. No nonsense. No weirdos. No room for imagination or innovation, and little room for post-Stone Age sexual politics.
I know for sure that there are anti-fascist skins - I've met one or two along the way. But I still suspect that , in most cases, any skin who came out as gay or expressed an interest in art or poetry to his peers would almost certainly soon end up getting a kicking for being a "fsmiley - fishsmiley - fishsmiley - fishing weirdo".


The Bam Connection.

Post 2

Sick Bob. (Most recent incarnation of the Dark Lord Cyclops. Still lord and master of the Anti Squirrel League and Keeper of c

I find this page very interesting and informative if a little bit to generalising.

I come from Glasgow and we are plagued by what is known as the bam (or ned) culture. I was wondering if there is any connection with this and skins.

Bams tend to either have shaved or peroxide blond hair. They form their own rival gangs or mobs that cruise around their own territories commiting minor (and sometimes major) crimes which are usually fueled by alcohol, drugs, football hooliganism and racism.
Bams usually are working class (although there is a large subculture of spoilt middle class kids who want to be bams because they think it's cool) and are seen wearing bright designer label clothes that are covered in logos (hence the term "Kappa scum") and gold jewelerry.
There are some connections known with bams and right wing skins but the details are hazy.

I mean no offence to skins by comparing them (I have even known moshers -sworn enemies of the ned- to shave their heads as a conformist symbol) but I just wanted to know if there was any connection between the two groups that might clear up how the bam phenomenon started.

I don't know if the ned problem is a national one or if it is only in Scotland (esp Glasgow) but further information will be much obliged.


Culture expulsion - how?

Post 3

LL Waz

Interesting. Until now I just accepted the popular view that these days skinheads were right wing and racist. My question is how does a cultural group like this expel or throw out a section within it. They can't exactly take their membership cards off them or ban them having their heads shaved. Short of supergluing wigs on what can they do?
Wz


Culture expulsion - how?

Post 4

Ormondroyd

Good point. smiley - winkeye
BTW, after re-reading my earlier posting, I'd just like to say that my comments about football hooliganism are based on my own extensive experience as a fervent but non-violent footie follower.
When you've had skins spitting at you in a desperate, pathetic attempt to start a fight, it does tend to colour your view of them.


The Bam Connection.

Post 5

Killbot 856

I've never heard of Bams or Nads before. Is there anyway I can get more info on them?


Conformity

Post 6

mrtn

I have a friend who's a skinhead, and he has friends who has "come out" as gay, and they have not been beaten to a pulp, and, as far as I know, they're still skins. By the way, my friend is adopted from Thailand, a socialist, and, quite obvious, a SHARP.


Conformity

Post 7

Ormondroyd

Well, good for him! He does sound a pretty improbable recruit to the ranks of the crop-headed. Any idea why the skin look appeals to him?


Conformity

Post 8

mrtn

Well, he likes ska. I think the looks comes with the music. Maybe you don't know, but there is, in Stockholm at least, a fair amount of quite snobbish skins. They think it is important that you wear the right shirts and boots and so on. Some working class boys, eh?

mrtn


Conformity

Post 9

Mungo Jerrie

I've never heard of Bams before, but I do understand what you mean. BTW, it's unfair to blame someone for trying to conform to an image, I've worked in a lot of bars and clubs here in Cardiff, most people seem to dress in the following uniform. Shirt (either checkered or white) not tucked in, grey trousers (or smart dark blue jeans) and white name-brand trainers or polished black shoes. To make matters worse, they always seem to attack anyone dressed alternatively. We all conform to a certain image, weather knowingly or not, furthermore we tend to shun anyone else who is in some way dressed differently.


Conformity

Post 10

Ormondroyd

From what I've seen of Cardiff City football fans I can well believe that, Renton! But I do think it's a bit depressing and negative to just take it as a given that anyone who looks slightly unusual will 'naturally' be physically attacked! There are plenty of places in the smiley - earth that aren't quite as intolerant as your Cardiff bars, and we don't ALL shun anyone who looks at all unusual. Include me out of that generalisation!


Conformity

Post 11

Mungo Jerrie

I have to admit to being an my own example. I too have just made a generalization about people on the way they dress and the way they act. I think the problem is that people always notice the stereotypes more simply because they are stereotypes. I suppose it would be more accurate to say that certain groups of people are more often (but not always) associated with certain types of behaviour.


The Bam Connection.

Post 12

Butler

Id like to hazard a guess that by 'bam' or 'ned' you mean what we down here call 'townies.' Traditionally sports brand wearing, agressive and usually aged between 12-20. The more 'modern townie' or atleast the social varient i am aware of is more likely to be distinguished by Burberry baseball caps pointed at the sky (or some cheap one,) big coats to fill out there usually slim physique, tight blue jeans and Rockports or some other type of brown shoe. Am i ringing any bells?

As for there link to Skinheads i couldnt be sure as im still reading into Skinheads. Id say that townies are derived from Skinheads, given there working class background. Gang rituals include 'getting wrecked' with a mixture of draw and cheap SPAR beer, which could also be applied to Skinheads?


The Bam Connection.

Post 13

TrojanSkin

We call them chavs here in Brighton. Fake Burberry caps, crap gold jewellery from Argos, Vauxhall Novas worth £150 with big wheels and add-on tail-pipes, tracksuit trousers tucked into white socks. You know the type. Some of them do resemble Skinheads, but only because some have shaved heads and Ben Sherman shirts (although their Ben Shermans are baggy, and ours are usually fitted.) I suspect that some of their parents were Skinheads in the early eighties, so there may have been some cross-over of culture. For a good view of modern Skinheads, have a look at http://www.papaskin.com or http://www.skinheads.net . These are both American sites, but we've got quite a few British Skinheads on them.


The Bam Connection.

Post 14

Ormondroyd

Speaking of Chavs, and speaking of links...

http://www.chavscum.co.uksmiley - whistle


Conformity

Post 15

chelsea2302

too right


Conformity

Post 16

morg_the_furry

why conform to any one look? i pull my wardrobe, as well as my attitude from so many different influences. and i'm 33!!!! i am trying to teach my kids this. when i was younger i didn't ever "fit in" with any one crowd. here in the states i hung out with skaters, punks, stoners, geeks, fags, everyone. i had friends in all circles. maybe that made me boring, maybe it made me "well rounded." but either way i learned to be more accepting, and patient with everyone. actually i moved to a pretty liberal thinking community in upstate ny, and have gotten into lots of political reasearching, and grassroots involvement. that has drawn me deeper into the punk music genre and finding all my angst and non conformity of my youth. i want to go and get a blue mohawk, and some docs. jeez. anyhow. just some ramblings from an opld fart in the states.


The Bam Connection.

Post 17

Nuerkchen

Bams, Chavs, we've got them in Germany too. Only we call them 'Gabbas', after the style of techno they're listening to. The UK description fits our breed as well, getting sloshed, throwing E-s, sieg-heiling for a while until someone gives them a beating.
Personally, I don't see any connection to the skins (apart from the shaved head, that is) and none of my skinhead friends does either.


The Bam Connection.

Post 18

The Iron Maiden

German townies throw the salute? That's funny in the sad way. I bet those kids can't even spell NS, they're one of the reasons the media finds it so easy to paint the movement in a bad light.

If those kids ever did that over here, I'd love to give 'em a hiding. I don't hate NS, just idiots (99% of people).


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