Konstantin Valkov, How skateboarding is influencing the social transformation and the construction of identity of South Africa’s youth

The proposed PhD study is organised around the theme of South Africa’s youth development and transformation in recent years based on the influence of the subculture of skateboarding. Given all the worldwide attention to skateboarders there is a need to take account of the past and present in the field of skateboarding-related subcultural studies while carefully examining the current developments. Konstantin Valkov will focus a on variety of topics, from sociological traditions and identity to modern developments.

Valkov's interest in various intersections of the influence of skateboarding has led to several focal point in his research:

1. Social: how did the skateboarding subculture create a community of belonging, a social group that in a way is becoming a “home”, a “second family” to the youth?
2. Economic: exploring the lines of commercialisation and mediatisation that are turning skateboarding into a viable prospect for some youth to make a living.
3. Status: how does skateboarding help youth in creating a new status in life. In particular the skateboarders’ subcultural style, their societal reaction, identity and authenticity.

He will try to explore conceptual frames and discuss several significant topics on the development of skateboarding in South Africa as a young-subcultural phenomenon with rising popularity. 

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