Question: Is stretching a subculture? | General Discussion | Forum


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Question: Is stretching a subculture?
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
October 21, 2014
10:48 am
New Forum Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
October 21, 2014

I'm looking for people who can answer this question for me: -Is stretching a subculture? or in other words: – -Do you see yourself as a subculture (in the area of ear-stretching) ?

I'm writing a paper about ear stretching and it's origin (african/southamerican tribes have done this for ages) for this I'm researching if ear-stretching has become a subculture in the Western World or if it is still a copy of the african and southamerican tribes.

I'm very interested in all of your reactions/answers.


October 24, 2014
7:14 am
Forum Posts: 886
Member Since:
January 7, 2011

Hi Researcher, welcome to the forum.


I don't think lobe stretching is either a subculture or a copy of tribal cultures.


It is involved in some Western subcultures certainly, however if we define a subculture as a shared set of norms and values different from the mainstream culture, there no homogenous group which i feel this applies to lobe stretching, but likely many. Subcultures can of course have shared elements, and indeed i believe that it is possible that many, if not a majority, of people stretching their lobes are copying or identifying with Western influences rather than tribal groups now. Are there norms and values associated with the stretching? For some maybe, but for some probably not.

The 'Modern primitive' body modification movement is an interesting one to explore whether it is a subculture, especially given the internet and it's influence. My perception is that most people in the West who stretch their ear lobes would be unaware of that movement though, but may be of other subcultures who adopted it. In fact there is a strong argument that lobe stretching has become adopted by mainstream culture, in particular for certain age groups, and therefore is a representation of mainstream culture rather than any subcultural influence or tribal affiliation.


Personally i think i am part of a modification subculture, in terms of shared norms and values i identify with. This is a disparate group, and much communication is via the internet, or in fact no communication, simply a frame of reference i have adopted. Does that make it a subculture? I don't believe that any person with stretched ear lobes is part of that though, despite some shared experience potentially.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
November 5, 2014
8:01 pm
Senior Forum Member
Forum Posts: 27
Member Since:
August 28, 2014

I just wanted to say I agree with Oakbear on this.  Stretched lobes seem to have reached the mainstream.  Other stretches may be part of the Modern Primitive grouping, but I don't think stretched lobes would count as a subculture by itself.  There are youtube videos of 14yr. old girls stretching ears just because they think its edgy and hip.  Stretched lobes are more about suburbia now than tribal culture or modern primitive subculture.  I also think this drives some people to modify more and more as "mainstream" adopts some of the smaller mods.  

I personally identify more with modern primitive subculture because that is where I learned about body mods in the late 80s. However, I would qualify as "suburbia dad" in many people's opinion.  

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