Greg Philo • Glasgow Media Group – Left-leaning Media Studies university department
• “Hoodie cinema” reflects bourgeois anxiety about the threat posed by the underclass to their dominance
Angela McRobbie • British cultural theorist • Specialist area: Youth culture; Cultural theory and Politics; Gender • Key studies: Rave culture; Punk; teen girl magazines; Fashion, youth and politics
Angela McRobbie, professor of communications at Goldsmiths College "The point of origin is obviously black American hip-hop culture, now thoroughly mainstream and a key part of the global economy of music through Eminem and others. Leisure- and sportswear adopted for everyday wear suggests a distance from the world of office [suit] or school [uniform]. Rap culture celebrates defiance, as it narrates the experience of social exclusion. Musically and stylistically, it projects menace and danger as well as anger and rage. [The hooded top] is one in a long line of garments chosen by young people, usually boys, and inscribed with meanings suggesting that they are 'up to no good'. In the past, such appropriation was usually restricted to membership of specific youth cultures - leather jackets, bondage trousers - but nowadays it is the norm among young people to flag up their music and cultural preferences in this way, hence the adoption of the hoodie by boys across the boundaries of age, ethnicity and class.â€œ McRobbie says reactions to the hooded top only increase its popularity. "Moral panics of this type have only ever made the item, and its cultural environment, all the more attractive to those who prefer to disidentify with establishment figures and assorted 'moral guardians' and who enjoy the outlaw status of 'folk devil'."