There are obvious issues with marking these distinctions in ink rather than in pencil, as our culture is always moving faster and more fluidly than any social science can account for, but “From Core to Consumer” provides an interesting examination into the current distinctions, made for better or worse, within skate society.
It’d be interesting to hear what he has to say about the state of skate and corporate involvement in 2016. Even though it’s written for urban studies academia, it’s definitely approachable for skaters that read at a college level.
He explains the duality of his life at the time existing as an office worker during the week, eating lunch in the same plazas that are designed to keep him from skating there on the weekends.
The soft-core includes the random – that dude that can varial flip but can’t kickflip and probably won’t put in the effort to learn, and the grom – the annoying skatepark kid being pushed into trying 1080s by their father.
Lowest on the totem pole are the outsiders: girls and consumers.
He goes on to delve into the surveillance behind developing defensive architecture, designing a space that may not look like a fortress, but that subtly prohibits unintended activities like being used for homeless naps or nosegrinds.
It’s also interesting to hear his perspective on skateboarding being coopted via surveillance in 2001: He calls skateparks “theme parks,” saying that skaters “can have all the fun of contesting the commercialized city, with none of the fuss of social conflict.” The fruits of surveillance aren’t limited to architecture, he notes, pointing out and ESPN’s X Games as examples of private companies monetizing skateboarding by coopting the struggle between skaters and the property owners trying to exclude them.
” By embedding himself as a participant observer in the skate scenes of Phoenix, Arizona and Buffalo, New York, Tyler explored the ambiguous hierarchies that exist within our culture, and attempted to map out the blurry social distinctions so often argued about behind skate shop counters and message board forums.
Skaters have long known that , Tyler’s work attempts to delineate them.
Such introspection invariably leads one to question the very framework of the skateboarder’s identity: What is core and what is kooky, and who decides what is what?
Or, as Tyler Dupont asks in his article “From Core to Consumer: The Informal Hierarchy of the Skateboard Scene,” “where do skaters draw the ideological boundaries in and around their subculture, and how are they maintained?