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Title: Bad boys' toys : motorcycle subcultures and moral panics in Singapore, 1957-1985
Authors: Chen, Joshua Yanrong
Keywords: Humanities::History
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Chen, J. Y. (2021). Bad boys' toys : motorcycle subcultures and moral panics in Singapore, 1957-1985. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: Throughout the 20th century, motorcycle subcultures have emerged in societies that achieved rapid economic development, rising youth affluence, and urbanisation. These subcultures, each with highly distinct and visible identities, have typically gained associations with delinquency, antisocial behaviour, immorality, and a general deviance from social norms, triggering sensationalised responses from the press and public that can be characterised as moral panics. Such subcultures include the “outlaw” motorcycle groups of the United States, who came to public attention following World War II, and in 1950s-1960s Britain, “ton-up boys”, Mods and Rockers, with the former stirring public outrage by speeding and racing on public roads, and the latter two groups notorious for violent clashes between them. In 1980s Japan, bosozoku, a motorcycle subculture formed in the 1950s by returning World War II veterans, gained notoriety for their disorderly behaviour in large numbers. This paper contextualises and traces the development and identification of a uniquely Singaporean motorcycle subculture in the early 1970s, from their initial characterisation by the local press as imitators of decadent “Westernisation”, to their literal demonisation in moral panics as bands of “hell-riders” who symbolised youth delinquency, criminality, and a generally immoral threat to law and order.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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