From criminality to creativity: how studies of surfer subcultures reinvented invention
Journal article, 2014
This article explores the shifting context within which surfing subcultures have been surveyed and discussed. Once construed as paradigmatic examples of ‘deviant’ youth cultures, these subcultures have recently been lauded for their creativity, innovativeness and entrepreneurialism. The text shows how contemporary management theory, which aims to ‘reinvent invention’, fits into a genre previously established by criminological studies of surfers. This article also argues that the field of sports studies has mediated between these two social scientific disciplines: sports studies scholars have contributed to the reappraisal of surfing subcultures, being early in explicating the enterprising potential of the ‘subterranean’ values they espouse. Studies of surfing can thus be construed as instrumental in bringing about recent mutations within contemporary capitalism.