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From Core to Consumer: The Informal Hierarchy of the Skateboard Scene.

In this article, I explore the characteristics of the informal social hierarchy within the skateboard subculture as well as how the elite members maintain their power and status within the subculture. Drawing from Fox’s detailed mapping of the punk subculture and Thornton’s reworking of Bourdieu’s cultural capital, I investigate how skateboarders distinguish themselves from the “mainstream” and from one another. The informal social hierarchy of skateboarding is a continuum that stretches from the outsiders to the core, and various identities mark distinctive statuses or levels of “authenticity” along this continuum. Focusing on how one gains status within the subculture, I argue that through socialization elite skateboarders are able to reproduce beyond their finite numbers, reproduce the dominant understanding of “authenticity,” and maintain the current hierarchical structure within the subculture.