Rave is one of the first distinct and significant youth subcultures to emerge since the early days of punk rockers and skinheads. A middle-class culture renowned for drug use, computer-generated techno music, and all-night dance parties, rave has been described as everything from a drug cult to a neo-hippie community. Brian Wilson researched rave culture during in the 90s to discuss the ways in which young people participate in social and cultural life at the turn of the millennium.
Fight, Flight or Chill: Subcultures, Youth And Rave Into The Twenty-First Century explores the extent to which raver youths’ experiences are constrained or determined by individualistic, high-tech, mass-mediated Western culture in which alienated and unfulfilled youth are apparently more at-risk for escapist and thrill-seeking behaviours. Wilson considers how raver youth creatively and proactively subvert these constraints in novel and empowering ways – from political activism to symbolic and stylistic expressions of resistance to community-building efforts. He also discusses the globalization and political economy of rave and youth culture and examines the ideologies that underlie simple solutions to the complex concerns over young people today.