Beginning in the second half of the last century, a complex social phenomenon known as subculture began to emerge in the industrialized West as it transitioned to the post-industrial era. When it first emerged and in the early years of its development, this phenomenon, which had a social base of teenagers and youth and united within itself several systems of cultural values, attracted the attention only of sociologists. However, over time, as subcultures evolved in various ways, developed new types, and underwent transformations, they became a focus of research for culturologists, anthropologists, historians, art historians, psychologists, and even philosophers. The causes behind the emergence of subcultures, their history and stages of development, the role of one subculture in the transformation of another, and their relationship with fashion and music have been studied extensively by Western researchers and have been the subject of many monographs.

Unfortunately, however, the subculture phenomenon in Azerbaijan has not been studied in depth, whether in the Soviet era or since independence. A few culturological texts, academic articles, and monographs take a superficial approach to subculture, summarizing the topic in a few notes and never going into detail.[1] For example, in the answers to the colloquium questions on cultural studies published on the University of Economics’ website, there is a brief overview of the concepts of counterculture and subculture. However, although the information given is true in and of itself, it is not enough to fully understand the phenomenon of subculture.[2] The information given in the text under the heading “Counterculture and Subculture” is insubstantial, the ideas are only half-formed, the source of the information is not cited, and some sentences are disjointed. In a collection of articles published by the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences entitled From Ethnography to Ethnology: Modern Ethnological Research in Azerbaijan, the article called “Modern lifestyles and subcultures in Baku” contains relatively extensive information about subcultures in Azerbaijan and cites sources. But while some of the information is useful, the author presents as subcultures a number of social groups and classes that have nothing to do with subculture. For example, some religious denominations and sects, “the Russian-speaking community,” and avtosh (i.e. Azeri stunt drivers) are interpreted as subculture phenomena, which is incorrect, as the aforementioned social groups fail to meet several criteria of subculture.[3]

Representatives of subcultures are always different from the society to which they belong, they have decided to stand aloof from any kind of crowd, so any subculture, regardless of its type, is always a social minority. The main features that distinguish them from society are reflected in a specific fashion style (particular clothing and hairstyles that symbolize the subculture they belong to), the various accessories they wear (various jewelry and ornaments, special amulets, etc.), a unique system of behavior, their rhetoric and speaking style (jargon, argot, slang, etc.), a different worldview and way of life, and the genre of music preferred by each subculture. Almost every subculture prefers a particular genre of music which it considers symbolic of itself (punk rock for punks, rap in hip-hop, emocore for emos, reggae in Rastafari, ska and reggae for the first wave of skinheads, etc.). Never static, every subculture experiences periods of rise, stability, stagnation, collapse, revival and transformation. In addition, one type of subculture can create the conditions for the emergence of another, at which time the newly formed subculture replaces the one which it grew out of.

My purpose in writing this article is to inform readers about what a subculture is based on Western sources, to provide examples of the definitions given to it by various researchers, and to trace the development of the subculture phenomenon in the world from the early 1950s to today, as well as to show in what form this phenomenon existed in Azerbaijan in the Soviet era up to perestroika, and how it evolved or did not evolve. In addition, I will try to show the reasons for the emergence of the subcultures that exist in Azerbaijan, and to compare the features of several local subcultures with subcultures in foreign countries. To do this, I will first present how Western researchers define subculture, how subcultures emerged in Western societies, and I will describe some of the processes that took place there subsequently. Then I will share with readers information about some examples of subcultures in Azerbaijan.[4]

This article analyzes four main examples of subcultures that existed in Azerbaijan up to the mid-1980s — stilyaga, gadesh, meykhana, and hippie — and touches on just a few examples of Western subcultures for comparison. Of these four examples, the only type of subculture that survives to this day and remains relevant is meykhana, and therefore the discussion of it will cover the period up to the 2000s.

On the concept of subculture

The concept of subculture has gone through four periods since its inception, and in each period, researchers have analyzed it from a different perspective. In the 1920s, while studying teenage gangs involved in hooliganism and crime, researchers at the University of Chicago’s sociology department discovered that the gangs had their own particular behavioral patterns and speaking styles, and adhered amongst themselves to certain unwritten laws, which the researchers referred to as youth culture or subculture.[5] The first period, defined by the research of the Chicago school, lasted until the late 1940s.

The second period of research and analysis of the concept of subculture in sociology began in the late 1940s. In this period, researchers explored the phenomenon of subculture more broadly. Their research focused not only on petty criminal gangs, but expanded to encompass the lifestyles, behaviors, interests, and tastes of all adolescents. In this regard, in 1947, the American sociologist Milton Gordon gave for the first time a broader and more distinct definition of the concept of subculture.[6] His definition is in entirely line with that given by Nicholas Abercrombie in The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology: “A system of values, attitudes, modes of behavior and lifestyles of a social group within a larger whole, whether that is a whole society or an organization.”[7]

In his 1950 article “Listening to Popular Music,” American lawyer and sociologist David Riesman analyzed and compared the musical tastes of two social groups, which he called majority and minority groups. The former group was composed of the majority of young people who listened to popular music uncritically and unconditionally. (Responding to a question about the criteria for good and bad music, a 17-year-old girl interviewed by Riesman said, “if it is popular, we go for it.”) The latter group was composed of a minority of young people who saw music as a form of protest against the existing social structure, who had their own slang, system of values, ​​and particular worldview, were able to justify their taste and choice of music. In that article, Riesman claimed that the concept of subculture has its roots in the field of sociomusicology. For example, he called the listeners of hot jazz music protesters. According to him, the foundation of the cultural differences between minority youths and the majority could be found in their attitudes to music. In two books written in the early 1950s, Riesman analyzed the phenomenon of subculture in more depth, describing it as a group of young people in a minority who intentionally adopt particular styles, behaviors, and values ​​in their lifestyle.[8]

From the above comments and definitions, it can be concluded that the subculture phenomenon, the social base of which consists only of adolescents and young people, can be described as an autonomous culture acting as an alternative to the dominant cultural values of the society from which it emerged and in which it developed, and differentiated by its own system of traditions, norms, and values.

The emergence of subcultures in the West

The conditions for the emergence of subcultures began to arise after World War II, and the first examples of it appeared in the early 1950s. The main reason for the emergence of subcultures was the appearance at that time of teenage consumers in Britain and the United States. British sociologist Mark Abrams analyzed teenage consumer using the term teenager.[9] Although we use the term teenager only to refer to adolescents and young people of a certain age (14-20), Abrams interpreted the term more broadly as teenage consumers who long to be liberated from dependence on their parents and want to live a free life. These young people can be distinguished from those of previous decades by their opposition to Puritan morality, their rejection of the interests and tastes of the older generation, the intensification of intergenerational conflicts, and their desire to decide their own destinies. The American anthropologist Margaret Mead introduced the concept of generation gap and studied the interactions between generations according to family types and social development. In her interpretation of the concept, Mead explained that the active rise of subcultures and conflicts between “fathers and sons” coincide with periods of scientific and technological progress and active development of the social sphere, when the development of society is determined by the younger generation and they rarely refer to the experience of the older generation.[10]

One of the factors influencing the emergence of teenage consumers was the rapid growth of economic development in Britain and the United States after World War II. In particular, factors such as rising living standards, accelerating scientific and technological progress, and the establishment of liberal values allowed working class and poor young people to earn enough money to spend on themselves and to have free time to devote to leisure and entertainment. By working in production facilities and earning money, these adolescents were liberated from dependence on their parents. They also began spending more time with their friends.

One of the philosophers and sociologists who studied this factor was Talcott Parsons, the founder of the structural functionalism paradigm. Commenting on the consumer youth’s transition to a growth phase, Parsons stated that when there are young people in a society who earn enough money to spend on themselves and have free time to devote to leisure, social groups with certain values begin to emerge in that society.[11] Starting in the early 1950s, certain products were produced for young people to spend their leisure time (magazines and literature on fashion, music, dance, cinema, etc.), various food service facilities (cafeterias, dance clubs, etc.) began to open, and the combination of all these factors created the conditions for the emergence of subcultures.

In the early 1950s, young people emerged on the streets of London wearing clothes from the time of King Edward VII (1901-10) along with a particular hairstyle known as “the duck’s arse,” or D. A., and also differing from the majority in their manners and speech. They wore short, tight, cuffed Edwardian trousers, long, broad-shouldered, trim-waisted, double-breasted jackets, usually with a white shirt and a tight vest under the jacket, with a tie tied in a Western or Windsor style. Coming from working-class families, these teenagers preferred to listen to the latest fashionable music genres, such as blues, country, skiffle, and later rock ‘n’ roll. These teenagers, who were known for their rude and rowdy behavior, were called Teds or Teddy Boys.[12] The nickname, a reference to King Edward, was given to them in an article published in the Daily Express on September 23, 1953. The Teddy Boy subculture, which was not at all motivated by protest or revolt, was poor and deprived of many privileges because it represented the working class. At that time, since it was difficult to get a higher education, most of these teenagers had a hard time building a career in any field, attaining social status, or even joining the middle class. Therefore, the Teds were forced to play the role of imitators in society, mimicking aristocrats and the bourgeoisie.[13]

At that time, the greaser subculture emerged in the US, which corresponded in certain respects to the Teddy Boys, resembling them in some ways. The greasers, like the Teddy Boys, came from poor, working-class families and took advantage of the post-war economic opportunities to protest the luxury lifestyle of the rich. They usually wore blue jeans, t-shirts, leather jackets, sneakers or boots, and preferred to listen to rock ‘n’ roll music. Like the Teddy Boys, their behavior was aggressive, verging in some cases on hooliganism.[14]

In the early 1960s, Teddy Boy style fell out of fashion and gave way to another new subculture called mods. In the late 1950s, a group of young people in London were called modernists because of their preference for the latest trends in jazz music.[15] In reference to the mod subculture, the word modernism corresponds exclusively to the expression trad, which refers to traditional jazz performers and listeners, and had nothing to do with the social paradigm of modernism. The main features distinguishing mods from Teddy Boys were their clothes, which no longer had anything to do with Edwardian style, a tradition of motorcycle riding among the mods, and conflicts with fans of rock music, which escalated rapidly in the 1960s. This conflict is the first feud in the history of subcultures.[16]

In the early 1960s, in Jamaica, in the face of mass unemployment, a dire economic situation, and social tensions, the rude boy subculture became a widespread phenomenon. Romanticizing the criminal world they shaved their heads, and under the influence of American movies they wore black suits, ties and fedoras.[17] In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the rude boys began to be persecuted en masse. Many of them were arrested, some found permanent jobs and left the subculture, and some emigrated to Britain, where a new subculture called skinheads or skins emerged as the rude boys mixed with the mod subculture.

The skinheads, originally called hard mods, cultivated an aggressive attitude towards bourgeois society and capitalism, rejecting bourgeois values.[18] There was no nationalism, chauvinism, or fascism among the skinheads, who included black migrants and immigrant youths in their ranks, until the early 1980s. Nationalist ideas among skinheads began to emerge in the late 1970s as the economic situation in Britain deteriorated and the number of migrants arriving in the country increased. It should be noted that since the early 1960s, due to the difficult economic situation, rising unemployment, and poverty in Jamaica and the Caribbean, a large number of migrants from those countries came to both Britain and the United States to earn a living. and brought cultural patterns and traditions that were foreign to those countries. One of those cultural patterns was the rude boy subculture, which gave rise to skinheads and assimilated elements of skinhead culture. Migrants from the Caribbean in Britain have also made a large contribution to the emergence of the hip-hop subculture and its constituent elements, including rap, breakdancing, DJing, graffiti, and other arts.[19] Skinheads have incorporated many characteristics of mods and rude boys. Skinheads shaved their heads like rude boys, wore sweaters like mods, Levi’s jeans, classic coats, and mods’ boots.[20]

The similarities between the abovementioned subcultures include rude manners and behavior, hooliganism, and the regular involvement of adherents to these subcultures in criminal activities. In addition, Teddy Boys, mods, greasers, and rude boys were young people belonging to the poor and the working class of their society. In the first wave of rude boys and skinheads, their preference for Jamaican-style reggae, ska, and other music set them apart from Teddy Boys and mods who listened to jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, and rockabilly.

Subcultures in the Azerbaijan SSR

In this section, I will try to analyze the types of subcultures that existed in Soviet Azerbaijan, describe the reasons they emerged, explain relevant features and characteristics of the definitions of subculture, and compare the subcultures that existed in Azerbaijan over the past half-century with other subcultures both Western and local.

Cultural processes in Soviet Azerbaijan were determined by the ideology of the USSR. Since all cultural and artistic events, the activities of various youth associations, and other processes took place within the Soviet ideological framework, the cultural sphere was monotonous and grey in all the countries of the USSR. The reason for this was that cultural events took place within the framework set by the Politburo. Western subcultures could not possibly spread openly and fully in the USSR, including Azerbaijan, because most elements of Western subcultures were considered capitalist phenomena, destructive for the image of Soviet youth which had been formed in accordance with Soviet ideology. Moreover, since the USSR was a closed country, Soviet youth only had access to incomplete information, obtained unofficially and secretly, about the cultural processes, innovations, and trends in Western countries — literature, music, fashion, cinema, etc.[21] Therefore, with the exception of local subcultures specific to Azerbaijan (gadesh, meykhana), subcultures based on Western subcultures became a kind of imitation of them, manifesting themselves as semi-Soviet, semi-Western phenomena with elements of imitation.

The stilyaga subculture

If we examine the history of subcultures in Soviet Azerbaijan, we find that they appeared almost simultaneously with Western subcultures.[22] Shortly after the emergence of the Teddy Boy subculture in Britain, the stilyaga subculture emerged in Azerbaijan.[23] However, in the larger cities of the USSR, there were young stilyagas starting in the late 1940s. In 1949, an article entitled “Stilyaga” was published in the 7th issue of one of the most famous satirical journals in the USSR, Krokodil. The article was about young people who preferred to wear only American-brand clothes, dressing to resemble Westerners. In the article, the stilyagas were also referred to as shtatniki (‘States-niks’) because of their preference for US clothing brands. From the late 1940s to the 1960s, there were many stilyagas in almost all the capitals and other large cities of the USSR, including Baku, and they were considered the first representatives of subcultures in Soviet Azerbaijan, as in the rest of the USSR.

The first stilyagas appeared on the streets of Baku in the early 1950s, and this phenomenon reached the peak of its popularity among young people in the following decade. These people, who were mostly apolitical, disregarded certain norms of Soviet morality, differed from the majority in their dress, behaviors, particular speech patterns (slang, argot, special expressions they used only among themselves), and lifestyle. They wore tight cuffed trousers and long, broad-shouldered, trim-waisted jackets, listened to jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, and worshiped Western culture (fashion, music, cinema, etc.). These characteristics distinguished them from the majority. If we adapt these features to the above definitions of subculture, the stilyaga can be considered a complete subculture. The stilyaga subculture contained within itself a protest against the general behavioral stereotypes, monotonous clothing, lifestyle, and artistic taste accepted in Soviet society. The totalitarian ideological rules of the Soviet era created obstacles for young people to improve themselves and, most importantly, to express themselves. However, no matter how hard the government tried to block the flow of information, certain information about Western subcultures reached some Soviet youths, and some of them quickly and easily assimilated these new, colorful, and different traits.

The reasons for the emergence of the stilyaga subculture in the USSR, including Azerbaijan, were related to the conditions that emerged after World War II. Both during World War II and in the post-war period, the USSR’s international relations became more active and the number of its diplomatic staff increased. The ‘imported’ clothes, accessories, perfumes, cosmetics, various magazines, and musical instruments that diplomats secretly brought back with them from their travels to European countries spread rapidly among Soviet youth. In addition, Soviet soldiers and officers who had been in the German capital, Berlin, after the war returned with various jazz records that were not sold in Soviet shops. At that time, almost all genres of Western music were banned in the USSR. While Hitler banned jazz on the basis of racism because it was black music, it was banned in the USSR as “music of exploiters.”[24] A few years before the end of the war, while the UK and US were allies of the USSR, some films from those countries were shown in the USSR. The USSR’s Dynamo Moscow football team played four friendly matches in England during its first visit there in 1945. When the team returned, the players brought with them many examples of English fashion.[25]

After World War II, Soviet youth who were familiar with European arts such as cinema, music, and fashion, as well as Western youth lifestyles, saw that there were other things in the world apart from the Komsomol lifestyle and communist slogans. After the devastating war, Soviet youth no longer thought about war, but about the trends in the entertainment and tastes of the modern world — wearing the latest fashions, regularly getting together with friends, dancing, listening to jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, and watching foreign movies. However, in the Soviet era, stilyagas were not welcomed in society or in ruling circles, where they faced negative attitudes. In fact, although none of their characteristics were considered “anti-Soviet,” various journals and newspapers ridiculed stilyagas’ dress and behaviors, drew caricatures of them, and harshly criticized them at Komsomol meetings and events. They were accused of opposing Soviet ideology and traditions, damaging the image of the patriotic Soviet youth, and being slaves to the values ​​of capitalism.[26]

The memoirs of famous people who were stilyagas in their youth have appeared in the press, describing the lifestyle, the system of values and behaviors, and the clothing styles which were characteristic of the stilyaga subculture. One of those famous people, the People’s Artist and film director Vasif Babayev, who recalls being a stilyaga in the Soviet era, said of the clothes, outward appearance, and hairstyles of stilyagas in the 1960s: “Stilyagas usually wore checkered jackets, pointy shoes, and bright ties. In the [19]60s, most stilyagas in Baku wore a hairstyle called a ‘kok,’ and since not every barber could do it, Baku stilyagas would go to a barber shop in the Old City, near the Gosha Gala Gate. Because that barber was the best in Baku for doing a kok hairstyle. He actually had so many clients that you had to make an appointment two weeks in advance to take advantige of his services. The most popular gathering place for stilyagas, where they spent most days, was the Forum Cinema, located opposite today’s Nizami Cinema on today’s Nizami Street, which they called Broadway.”[27]

Composer Ogtay Zulfugarov, who used to be a stilyaga, described the public’s thoughts about and reaction to the outward appearance of Baku stilyagas thus: “When the first stilyagas of the [19]50s appeared on Torgovaya Street with their extravagant appearance, we encountered the emotions of the public out for a stroll in the city. These emotions were sometimes expressed in the eyes of young girls as admiration, or sometimes mockery, and in the faces of boys as jealousy.”[28]

The stilyagas had their own rhetoric and adapted words, usually taken from English, to Russian and Azerbaijani, and added them to their vocabularies. These expressions were used only among stilyagas. For example, stilyagas usually called the main street of the city where they lived “Broad” or “Broadway,” the USA was ‘shtatnik,’ shoes were ‘shuz,’ socks were ‘soks,’ father was ‘fazer,’ etc.[29] Another example of the stilyagas’ clothing style, outward appearance, hairstyle, and taste can be found in the character of the stilyaga Georgi Karpov in the novel The Diamond Affair by mystery writer Jamshid Amirov. The writer clearly described the clothing style, hairstyle, speech and manners of Baku stilyagas of the 1960s: “Georgi Karpov, known as George to his friends, had a truly ridiculous look. Like Tarzan, he did not let his hair down to cover the back of his neck, and he wore tight bottle-shaped trousers, a shirt with blue and yellow stripes like a clown, and a broad-shouldered, trim-waisted jacket. He had black suede boots with extremely thick soles. His head protruded like a goose from this masquerade. He was one of those idlers who called Nizami Street ‘Broadway’, called everyone by a nickname, and always added English words such as ‘okay’ and ‘all right’ to his sentences. He answered the investigator’s questions with a particular affectation, often chewing his polished nails like a woman.”[30]

In the novel, the Karpov character clearly depicts the metrosexual features of the stilyagas of that period. In addition, by showing the character in the following sentences as a parasite and an idler, the author is actually expressing the negative attitude towards the stilyagas of that time: “the captain was anxious because of the way this youth had disfigured himself, how he worshipped foreign countries, and how he didn’t work for his food like a parasite.”

This information about the Teddy Boy and stilyaga subcultures living in different societies at the same time show that there were both similarities and differences between them. The most important of these features is the fact that the social base of both subcultures consists of imitative youth. However, it should be noted that since the Teddy Boys were imitating the bourgeois youth, the stilyagas were considered to be imitating an imitative subculture. The young members of the aristocratic class, the rich, and the elite whom the Teddy Boys imitated and wanted to resemble, were called the golden youth (Fr. jeunesse dorée, Az. qızıl gənclər), a concept which appeared in the USSR in the 1980s and was denoted by the Russian term majory. Another difference was that in Britain and other Western countries, due to the liberal economic conditions, special food service facilities — dance halls, small bars, cafeterias, etc. — were opened by entrepreneurs to cater to Teddy Boys, music records, various journals, and literature were released for their consumption, and other conditions were provided for them, while stilyagas, living in a closed totalitarian country like the USSR, were deprived of these privileges. In the USSR, there were no special places for stilyagas to meet, to gather, or to spend their leisure time as a group, and music records, specialized literature, and journals were not published. Also, while in the 1950s and 1960s the fashion industry in Britain and the United States was renewed and developed year by year and a variety of clothes were created, the clothes produced in the USSR were monotonous and there was no production of alternative clothing for one to stand out, because in the republics of the USSR there were a number of state-owned knitting factories, and there was no competition in the clothing industry, as private entrepreneurship was banned. In the absence of competition, there was no variety in fashion, and young people across the USSR dressed in almost the same style. In addition, neither the stilyagas nor the Teddy Boys and mods were treated positively in their societies. At the root of the negative attitude towards Teddy Boys and mods was their rowdy behavior, often fighting amongst themselves and with other subcultures, and their penchant for causing trouble. However, street fights, arguments, and hooliganism were not characteristic of the stilyagas, and the negative attitude of society towards them was based on their unenthusiastic attitude to Soviet ideology and their preference for Western values ​​over their own national and moral values.

The gadesh subculture

Since the 1950s, there were two subcultures in Azerbaijan that stood at opposite poles. While one of them was the stilyaga subculture of which representatives imitated the Western lifestyle, opposed conservative values, tried to adapt to the modern world and look fashionable, the other was the gadesh subculture, representatives of which promoted conservative values, masculinity, and national traditions. The gadesh subculture was characteristic only of Baku and its suburbs, but today it can be found only rarely in rural areas of Baku. Stilyagas and gadeshes, who did not like each other, were members of two different subcultures in terms of their appearances and lifestyles. One of the distinguishing features of these subcultures was that while the stilyaga subculture was widespread in the capitals and major cities of almost all the Soviet republics, the gadesh subculture was a local subculture unique to Azerbaijan, especially Baku.

Several sources state that the word gadesh originated from gardash (Az. ‘brother’), which exists in all Turkic languages, and is an adapted version of gardash to the Absheron dialect.[31] Gadeshes were conservative people with their own behavior, rhetoric, and rule of conduct, who preferred a classic style of dress, usually in two colors (white shirt, black classic pants and black classic style shoes). They considered western-style clothes such as t-shirts, jeans, and Soviet-era sabo shoes signs of femininity. Most of them wore oversized hats, also known as aerodrom (airfield), and and were always fiddling with prayer beads. Aerodrom hat and prayer beads were considered their main symbolic attributes. They spoke in a distinctive jargon, used swearing expressions, and were often engaged in disputes, brawls, street fights, and even in some petty crimes. One of their peculiarities was that they preferred to listen to blatnaya pesnya, a music genre that glorified the hard life and traditions of criminal gangs, as well as chanson music and the poetic-musical genre meykhana.

Representatives of the gadesh subculture were considered minorities in the Soviet era because of a number of characteristics that set them apart from the majority. The society as well as the state perceived gadeshes as individuals that did not engage in any socially useful work and opposed the Soviet intelligentsia and aristocracy, and these negative attitudes can be considered similarities between gadeshes and stilyagas. If we look at the clothing styles and attributes such as aerodrome hats and prayer beads, special jargons and other aspects of gadeshes, based on the abovementioned definitions of subculture we can say that gadeshes can be classified as representatives of a separate subcultural group.

Journalist Khazar Akhundov’s comments on gadeshes are noteworthy: “Gadesh [subculture], whose representatives were originally from Baku and Absheron suburbs, is a local phenomenon specific to Baku. Gadeshes had their own code of conduct and morality. They were psychologically trapped between urban and rural environments.” Akhundov also notes that this subculture has already disappeared, and now they exist only in memories.[32]

The following opinion was expressed by Tahir Abbasli in his article about Vagif Mustafazadeh, composer, pianist and the founder of the jazz-mugham style, about the existence of gadeshes as members of a social group, and the name of stilyagas is also mentioned in the article: “With his (Vagif Mustafazadeh’s) birth, an international term jazz was added to Baku Old City’s local jargons such as dardalan [alley], tin [corner], bichaq [knife], gadesh, jayil [respected gadesh / young man], zorkhana [martial art] and so on.”[33] Abbasli adds that the people of the Old City did not want their neighbourhood to be influenced by the ideas and worldviews of stilyagas and newcomer intellectuals of the Outer City. However, they suddenly woke up to the fact that the Outer City had already affected one of the children in their neighborhood, namely, Vagif Mustafazadeh.

These views confirm the belief existing at that time that gadeshes were members of a quarrelsome social group, with its own jargon and hooliganism tendencies, who spent their days on the streets. At the same time, their confrontation with jazz shows that gadeshes were opposed to Western music.

Some gadeshes who were especially respected within the gadesh circles because of their strict adherence to the gadesh code of conduct were called jayil (bloke). A poem called “In Memory of Sabir Ahmadli,”[34] written by Hamid Herischi, mentions this unofficial social status:

My pain went to hell and back
Took the lightning pistol out
of breast pocket of clouds
Turn’d towards to a Sovietski jayil
Assuming a K-9 saw that…

The poet, who introduces the old Sovietski district of Baku as a place of gadeshes and jayils, points to criminal tendencies among them by describing the transfer of a pistol to a Sovietski jayil as a symbol of crime as well as an insult to the police. Jayils were committed to a set of unwritten rules during the Soviet times and they considered it wrong to appeal to the police in cases of disputes; instead, they preferred to settle their disputes, quarrels, and fights among themselves. This group, which considered it wrong to obey the laws of the state, referred to the representatives of any state body with degrading names and used various insulting expressions about them.

In his article “Serenade of Sovietski Street,” Kamil Afsaroghlu beautifully describes behavior, code of conduct, lexicon and style of speech that were characteristic of the gadesh subculture:

It makes me happy that my new friend appreciates art so much. I think it’s worth making friends with such a person, we’ll get along well.
– How about ballet? – I asked.
It seems that he didn’t like my question. He frowned.
– Gadesh, what are you talking about … don’t ask such questions in Sovietski. Dude, how can a man take his wife and children to ballet? It’s shameful.
I didn’t stop talking.
– I’m talking to you. I see that you are interested in art. Ballet is a form of …
Beybala interrupted me:
– Gadesh, I’d rather go to the beach – Shikhov. I swear the real ballet is the beach – besplatny [free] ballet. Watch it as much as you want …

My new friend’s accent was different; I didn’t quite understand what he was saying. Nöş [why], yedinka [the only], alayı [other than], gadesh… I asked the meaning of words I did not understand. There were a lot of such words, not one, not two… It seems that Beybala was fed up with my curiosity – or more precisely, my endless questions. He said, gadesh, you can’t cope with things in Sovietski like that, prepare a dictionary for yourself.
It was a great offer, I admired my friend’s acuteness. I took a pen and paper out of my pocket. Beybala took the pen and thought.
– It [the pen] is Chinese, – he said, – zolotoe pero. Gadesh, why did you wrap it? – he asked.
– Its edge is cracked.
– Really? Alas! Its price dropped automatically, no way. – he returned the pen.
He said, I wrote.
nöş [short version of why] – nöşün [dialect version of why]
nöşün – niyə [why]
yedinka – yeganə [the only]
yaxçı – yaxşı [good]
cayıl – oğlan [boy]
qədeş – qardaş [brother]

As Beybala said, the lesson of urban studies does not end here. I learn a lot from our conversation. In what pocket should you keep your money when you get on the tram so that you don’t get robbed, how should you hold your hand so that they can’t take your watch. In short, the street is full of surprises.

– Gadesh, think about it, – Beybala said. – From one part of Sovietski, you can see the other part. It’s perfectly straight. It is straight but its life is winding, Sovietski is sinuous, even a devil can’t deal with it. Like it says in the movie, this is Bombay, gadesh, Bombay. Those who fell are laughed at here …

– This is not Bombay, this is Baku, – I corrected him.[35]

In this text, the fact that going to a ballet performance with family members is perceived as unacceptable is a sign of gadesh conservatism. The expressions typical of Baku dialect in the presented dictionary also confirm that gadesh is a local subculture.

In a Southern City, a movie directed by Eldar Guliyev based on a screenplay by Rustam Ibrahimbeyov, was able to clearly reflect the way of thinking and negative attitudes of Baku people towards novelty.[36] The movie focuses on how the remnants of the past take root in persons’ minds and how difficult it is for a person to reach spiritual freedom. The struggle between novelty and antiquity, the process of freeing people from the bondage of outdated customs lie at the heart of the movie. In other films, we can also see gadesh characters: for example, The Last Night of Childhood (character named Davud) and Baladadash’s First Love (character named Baladadash).

Gadeshes were attached to the old, traditional lifestyle, while stilyagas preferred a modern way of life. Antagonism between them was mainly due to bullying and violence by the former against the latter, which was due to the conservative worldview of gadeshes. For gadeshes believed that stilyagas did not adhere to Azerbaijani national moral values and they denied their own roots. Gadeshes believed that stilyagas were somewhat metrosexual and they were not masculine enough due to their latest fashionable western clothes; gadeshes considered stilyagas’ modern lifestyles as well as jazz and rock ‘n’ roll music frivolous and banal. There was a special stereotype of a ‘man’ in the gadesh mentality that stilyagas did not conform to at all and this was considered unacceptable for gadeshes.

Gadeshes treated hippies and rockers in 1970s Baku the same way. In particular, certain streets and settlements in central Baku – Sovietski, Kubinka, Yasamal, etc. –  were considered especially dangerous zones for the Azerbaijani representatives of Western subcultures. The similarities between gadeshes and rude boys, greasers and mods were their rude behaviors, hooligan lifestyles, and their involvement in petty crimes. In general, the only subcultures that existed systematically in Azerbaijan from the Second World War to the mid-1980s (until perestroika) are believed to be stilyaga, gadesh, and meykhana, which is somewhat similar to gadesh.

The meykhana subculture

In this section, meykhana, which existed underground until the late 1980s, will be analyzed from a different perspective, as a type of subculture. I would like to note that meykhana has only been presented as a form of folklore or musical and poetic art, however, by some of its features, meykhana can be seen as a subculture phenomenon throughout its existence and one of the elements it is associated with is its namesake art. Sometimes subcultures have the same name as a music genre, or a certain subgenre of a music genre. For example, punk is associated with punk-rock, emo is associated with emo / emocore rock. Meykhana is also the name of an art and a subculture.

Before analyzing meykhana as a subculture, I would like to emphasize that meykhana as a music genre can be compared with minority music as described by David Riesman. Similarly, khiridars and meykhanachi, as the representatives of both music genre and subculture, have many similarities with minority groups. (A meykhanachi is a musician who performs meykhana, and khiridar is a meykhana fan who is as knowledgeable about the genre as the performers). However, given that Riesman emphasizes the concept of music in the expression of minority music, I think it is more appropriate to determine to what extent meykhana is a music genre before making any comparison.

First, I would like to note that one of the features that distinguishes meykhana from other genres is that it is performed in recitative-declamatory form. Declamation, considered to be one of the branches and artistic forms of public speaking, is the recitation of poems and prose works, or a certain part of a drama or tragedy. In his article “Percussion Instruments in Azerbaijan,” Fuad Azimli states that meykhana is performed in the recitative-declamatory form while the soloist and participants are clapping.[37] From the point of view of musicology, meykhana is a recitative-declamatory music form with three vocal types – secco and accompagnato; tempo (harmonious); and arioso. Therefore, since meykhana combines poetry with declamation and some recitative elements in the form of music, it can be considered a musical as well as a poetic genre. In most monographs, meykhana is also presented by researchers as a musical-poetic genre.[38]

During the Soviet era, especially under Stalin’s rule, meykhana was severely persecuted and banned, even thought it was not a mainstream genre. Although from time to time the Communist Party used meykhana for its own political purposes (some meykhana songs were written during World War II against fascism, Hitler, imperialism and capitalism), this genre was again persecuted when it was no longer needed. It was also forbidden to record or publish meykhana battles in media outlets. Meykhana battles were secretly performed while battles were secretly recorded and listened to. Nizami Taghisoy and Zulaim Zakariyya wrote about it: “The word meykhana was banned during 1950-1970s. And when it was mentioned in cinema, on the stage, on the air (anniversary celebrations, spring holidays), it was not called meykhana. It was simply called musical verses. For example, when Ahmad Anatollu performed meykhana at the Philharmonic Hall, it was written as ‘comic musical verses’ in concert programs.”[39]

Riesman’s concept of small cultural protest groups that exist within the popular culture can be fully applied to the art of meykhana. In the first half of the last century, meykhana performers such as Mammadali Shafai, Atababa Hijri (the poet Atoppa), Aghahuseyn Afsun, and Aliagha Vahid secretly performed their battles and their khiridars were minority groups. Usually lyrics of meykhana songs focused on socio-political issues, emphasized the problems of the time, and expressed its harsh criticism in rhymes.

Meykhana, a local musical and poetic art originating from Baku and Absheron, operated underground until the late 1980s due to Soviet-era bans, making it a minority genre.[40] Even in the late 1980s and early years of independence, meykhana’s entry into the mainstream was delayed due to certain elements. Members of the meykhana (meykhana performers and khiridars) and the gadesh (gadeshes) subcultures shared some peculiar behaviors, codes of conduct, rhetorical rules, styles of speech, and dress codes. Among meykhana performers, as in the case of gadeshes, Western-style clothing was considered a sign of femininity, and both meykhana performers and khiridars preferred to dress in a classic style. Factors such as conservatism, a propensity for traditional codes, and especially masculinity can also be considered common features of the members of these two subcultures. Women were not allowed to perform meykhana or participate in meykhana meetings. For instance, we can see from the Soviet-era meykhana recordings that only men were present there. The main rationale behind this was that one could often hear vulgar words called lantarani in meykhana battles and meykhana performers believed that such places were not suitable for women. Some of these stereotypes began to disappear regularly only in the 2010s. Since then, some changes (the clothing and hairstyles of meykhana performers, and their attitudes towards the participation of women in meykhana meetings) have occurred in the meykhana subculture.

One of the signs that meykhana is a subculture is that its members are grouped into different meykhana schools, usually named after villages or districts such as the Mashtaga school, the Ahmadli school, and the Yasamal school. Each school has its own form of meykhana subculture along with its own khiridars and meykhana performers. At the same time, there were certain hierarchical rules in the meykhana schools at the level of master-student and old generation-new generation. There have even been cases of antagonism between these schools, which will be discussed below.

A few years ago, Mehman Ahmadli, one of the distinguished members of the Ahmadli school, expressed a controversial opinion which is a good example to see the code of conduct of meykhana performers: “A man grows up in two ways. Either he becomes a mama’s boy or he grows up in the streets. Mama’s boys are not involved in fights, they take their bags and go to school while listening to Beethoven, they run home before dark and are afraid to go out at night. These children cannot come close to meykhana.”[41]

There are several issues that need to be analyzed in this opinion. First, members of the meykhana subculture do not accept classical and various Western music genres, they believe in the superiority of meykhana. Second, meykhana performers appreciate street behavior, and street rhetoric is reflected in both their art and daily lives. These signs are indicative of the similarities between gadeshes and meykhana performers. Moreover, as mentioned before, the fact that gadeshes preferred to listen to meykhana in every period of their existence is also consistent with my observation that these two subcultures shared many similarities. The differences between the meykhana and the gadesh subcultures are that, unlike the members of the first group, gadeshes were not associated with any art form and they were separate individuals rather than members of some schools, unions, or organizations. If we compare these features with the definitions given to subculture by the above-mentioned sociologists, we can see that meykhana is a form of subculture.

In the 1990s, meykhana performers were associated with internal antagonisms, crimes, drugs, alcoholism, and other negative events, all of which contributed to the belief that meykhana performers and khiridars were inclined to hooliganism. Thus, the meykhana subculture also shares some similar features, at least in terms of the negative public attitude towards its members, with some Western subcultures of the 1950-1960s such as rude boys, greasers, and mods. Despite these similarities, however, since the meykhana subculture, like its gadesh counterpart, was characterized by conservatism and masculinity, the attitude of its members towards those who imitated the Western subcultures was not positive. This poem, for instance, written by ghazal poet and meykhana performer Aliagha Vahid in the middle of the last century, most likely criticized stilyagas of that period:

Black antler shaped eyebrows
Mustache shaven like the French
Akin to ladies, wears a blouse
The man dedicated himself to wench
What kind of a dandy type!

Powdered face is brighter than flour,
Like a girl, wears his beret wry
Haunch wide, pants necked narrow,
Where is he hailing from?
What kind of a dandy type!

He dances in an American way
No way seems Azerbaijani
He stands in no man’s way
If anyone calls him a hooli,
No way we are gonna believe
What kind of a dandy type! [42]

The dress style, musical taste, and lifestyle described in this poem, written in 1960, is meant to point to stilyagas. Narrow-necked pants were the style of clothing that stilyagas inherited from Teddy Boys. In the language of conservative class of his time, Vahid criticizes stilyagas in the image of a young boy who dresses like a girl and dances like Americans. He aims to show the femininity of stilyagas by emphasizing their metrosexual traits such as using cosmetics and shaving their moustaches, and then Vahid strongly condemns stilyagas and compares them with girls in a derogatory way.

The transition of meykhana from underground to mainstream began in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In the mid-1980s, during perestroika, because the ban on meykhana was lifted, it began to find its way to media on a regular basis. In 1991, Gorkhmaz Alilijanzadeh organized the first festival at the Baku State Circus, which was the first large-scale event in the history of Azerbaijani meykhana. In addition, an innovativeness brought to meykhana music by performer Nizami Ramzi modernized the genre, and thanks to him, meykhana was aired on television for the first time. From dress style to aesthetics Ramzi made great changes in this subculture. In the image of Ramzi, for the first time, people saw a new meykhana performer who differed from his predecessors in terms of his appearance and behavior: Ramzi wore suit and tie, he had a clean face, he was polite and elegant, and he spoke eloquently. Ramzi, who brought a kind of intellectualism to the genre, performed meykhana accompanied by musical instruments. Thanks to these innovations, he was able to make revolutionary changes in the meykhana subculture. Together with his two partners, Kabir Azeri and Tahir Ravan, he presented this subculture to the audience in a completely different way.

Although these innovations in meykhana, the popularization of this subculture, and its presentation to the audience in a new form were successful, two major antagonisms of the 1990s resulted in great losses for the meykhana subculture and damaged its image. One of these incidents was the stabbing and death of performer Elchin Atakishiyev by another performer Mashadibaba Aydamirov during a meykhana battle in 1994, and the other was an enmity between Ramzi and Aghasalim Childagh (Salimov) who was considered the master of the Mashtaga school. When Ramzi died in a car accident with his partner Kabir Azeri in 1997, there were rumors in Baku villages that the incident was deliberately masterminded by Childagh.[43] Such incidents were detrimental to the meykhana subculture. For while the performers were trying to bring meykhana to the mainstream by presenting this subculture in a positive – intelligent and noble way, criminally motivated events undermined their projects and the subculture was still associated with criminality.

However, in the early 2000s, the meykhana subculture began to be rapidly promoted and popularized. This process began with De Galsin (Go Ahead, Say Something), the first meykhana TV contest in Azerbaijan, organized by ANS TV in 2000. This contest lasted for many years, as a result of which dozens of new performers were introduced to the public and the subculture became mainstream, albeit with changes.

The hippie subculture

Since the 1960s, the cultural sphere of Azerbaijan has been remembered for its innovations and changes, which differed from previous decades. A number of cultural processes, which began in this decade, acquainted the youth of the time with unprecedented innovations and played a major role in changing their thoughts, tastes, and lifestyles. The 60s generation, which brought new life into the Soviet literary environment, addressed topics that were considered bold for that period, created new artistic aesthetics, and played a major role in changing readers’ tastes. (The members of the 60s generation are now severely criticized by contemporary writers and poets, especially by self-described postmodernists).[44] At the same time, local rock bands formed in the 1960s breathed new life into the musical atmosphere of the time. Although some rock bands such as Eksperiment OK, Xürrəmilər [Khurramites], Eskulap, Üç alov [Three Flames] imitated popular bands like The Beatles and Rolling Stone, the existence of a new music genre was unprecedented at the time. In addition, due to the softening under Khrushchev, to some extent the Western cultural wave spread in the USSR through Western movies on television, various concerts and foreign songs on radio stations, news about, and interviews of, foreign actors and musicians in the media. Such factors played an important role in changing the clothing styles, cultural tastes, behavior and lifestyles of the Soviet youth.

Rahman Badalov commented on the 1960s atmosphere in the following way: “The ‘cultural explosion’ that took place in Azerbaijan during these years, in particular, did not go unnoticed in urban life. The culture of the 1960s is considered to be the last ‘golden age’ of Azerbaijani Soviet culture. Those years were a period of strong protest across the Soviet Union, an explosion within Soviet isolation, and that protest created the last real Soviet cultural space. It seemed that Baku was revived and renewed, the place where we were living had changed, it became colorful, people’s clothes became free.”[45]

Hikmat Hajizadeh also said that the cultural revolution, which began in the West, had a great impact on the lifestyle of Soviet as well as Azerbaijani youth. These signs were especially evident in the clothing styles, hairstyles, behavior and actions of Azerbaijani young people. He emphasized that rock music had a significant role in these changes.[46]

However, these changes were not always welcomed by society and the ruling circles. In a short interview with me, writer and poet Rasim Garaja said the following about the general attitude towards the new style of clothing at that time: “In the Soviet times, everything that came from the United States was banned. I remember that the Soviet system was very uncompromising in its opposition to young people, especially high school boys, having long hair. Growing long hair was considered a symbol of protest against the values of the system, thus, they insisted on haircuts as soon as someone’s hair grew a little. Wearing jeans was also unusual.”

Those whose adolescence and youth were in the 1970s and 1980s say that a few hippies lived separately in Baku, and, as in the case of stilyagas, the general attitude towards them in society and in ruling circles was negative. Media, literature, some videos and photos of that period give us a little information about Azerbaijani hippies, but this information is not enough to describe them in full detail. However, it is possible to get an idea of Baku hippies by referring to the information about Soviet hippies in Moscow, Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Kyiv and other larger cities of the USSR at that time. For most of the events and processes that took place in the center were repeated in all the other republics.

The most complete description of the Soviet hippies is reflected in the documentary The House of the Sun (2010), directed by Garik Sukachov based on a story by Ivan Okhlobystin. The film depicts a hippie rally in front of the US Embassy in Moscow on June 1, 1971, against the Vietnam War and its aftermath. At that time, there were rumors throughout the USSR that the action was organized as the result of a provocation by the KGB. About 150 young hippies were arrested during the protest were taken to various police stations, some of whom were charged with hooliganism, and some were released. However, after a while, those released were expelled from higher education institutions and drafted into military, and some were sent to psychological clinics for treatment.[47]

Information about hippies in the USSR could be obtained from critical articles published in various media outlets. In those articles, Soviet hippies were portrayed as idlers, drug addicts, and drunkards. In a short interview, Azad Yashar, a poet and and one of the founders of the Free Writers Union, expressed similar views on the hippies of Baku in the 1970s and 1980s: “Hippies read banned literature, which was reproduced by typewriters. They mostly imitated the Americans, most of them had a scruffy and drunken lifestyle. But when you interacted with them, you saw that these people of the ruins could see life’s progression, they had insight, and in that way they stunned people. In other words, they were not just drunkards, they understood the meaninglessness of the world and drank in despair. Hippies were more common among artists and musicians. The KGB kept them under control because they could do unexpected things. Most of them hid their names and used code names.”

The untidy appearance of Baku hippies and the style of clothing associated with sloppiness were also discussed in Niyazi Mehdi’s interview with Farid Huseyn in the newspaper Kaspi. Mehdi analyzed the language of sloppiness in the following way: “The fact that those torn jeans are worn by stylish girls is an example of the use of aesthetics of untidiness in modern fashion. These torn pants do not represent untidiness, that is, if those trousers led to the belief that the girl was homeless, then Azerbaijani girls would never wear those. Those pants represent hippiness.”[48]

In a short interview with jazz musician Javan Zeynalli, he said that hippies in 1970s Azerbaijan resembled members of foreign rock bands more than the hippies in the West, and imitated rockers in their clothes, behavior, and lifestyle: “In Azerbaijan, hippies existed in small numbers, mainly in Baku and partly in Sumgayit. There were no hippies in other regions of Azerbaijan. İn everything, from their lifestyle to their clothes, the Baku hippies were an imitation of the West. In the 1970s, the rock and jazz music that spread in Azerbaijan was understood not by everyone, but only by people of refined musical taste. Since only the fans of foreign music could enjoy these Western genres, only they were inclined to Western subcultures. Just as rock and jazz music were preferred and accepted by a minority, those who preferred non-traditional and fashionable clothes, including hippies, were also not understood by the public. Thus, the public attitude towards them was not positive.”

In his novel When Conscience Remains Silent, Vidadi Babanli described the appearance of Baku hippies in the image of one of the heroes of the work – Ismet: “When [Vugar] returned from the village, he did not meet [his stepbrother] Ismet. He had something to tell him about his stepmother Shahsanam. He did not see anyone around. The sidewalk was empty. But two young persons were walking twenty or thirty steps ahead. They were both wearing jeans. At first glance, it was not clear which was a girl and which was a boy, they were dressed in the same way. Even their shoes were the same color (…) [Vugar] couldn’t believe his eyes. The only thing that had not changed was his stepbrother’s eyes. [Ismet’s] mustache and long hair, which extended to his lips, completely changed him.” [49]

In this passage from the novel, the negative attitude towards hippies is obvious. The fact that a young man wears jeans and uses the same style of clothing as the young girl next to him shows that Western subcultures were not welcomed by conservative people in the 1970s.

From the information about hippies, we see the negative attitude of society and the KGB against them. Hippies, who did not fit the image of Soviet youth, were considered anti-national, and their appearance, behavior, and lifestyle became the target of criticism. Baku hippies, who were as apolitical as stilyagas, were a community that ignored Soviet values and lived a non-Soviet way of life. Baku hippies, who lived in a kind of indifference to any social events around them, were inclined to alcohol consumption. Since they did not have living conditions like Western hippies, they acted as blind imitators of this subculture and lived separately rather than as members of various hippie communities.

In Lieu of a Conclusion

As a result of the analysis of the four subcultures which existed in Soviet Azerbaijan, it became clear that meykhana and gadesh were local, while stilyaga and hippie were imported from the West. I described specific characteristics of these subcultures as well as the clothing and life styles, thoughts, tastes, and behavioral elements of their members. I also tried to briefly compare the similarities and differences of the local and Western originated subcultures in Soviet Azerbaijan. Of the four subcultures discussed, only meykhana still exists. However, in rare cases in the villages of Absheron one can find some individuals who look like gadesh in terms of their behavior and appearance.



[1] As examples of such texts see: Fuad Məmmədov “Kulturologiya, mədəniyyət, sivilizasiya” (“Simurq” Azərbaycan Mədəniyyət Assosiasiyası, Bakı, 2016), Azərbaycan Respublikası Təhsil Nazirliyi “Mədəniyyət tarixi və nəzəriyyəsi” (“Sabah” nəşriyyatı, Bakı, 2008),  Anar Həsənli “Müasir şəraitdə Azərbaycanda dini-mədəni dəyərlərin inkişaf xüsusiyyətləri” (Bakı, 2014),  Azərbaycan Milli Elmlər Akademiyası “Etnoqrafiyadan etnologiyaya doğru: Azərbaycanda müasir etnoloji araşdırmalar” (Məqalələr toplusu, Bakı, 2013).

[2] Official site of the Azerbaijan State University of Economics –

[3] Azərbaycan Milli Elmlər Akademiyası “Etnoqrafiyadan etnologiyaya doğru: Azərbaycanda müasir etnoloji araşdırmalar” (Məqalələr toplusu, Bakı, 2013).

[4] In the course of my research for this article, I used various books and articles, online resources, media interviews and other articles, works of literature, and videos on subcultures. The information taken from newspapers about Azerbaijan was checked in the archives of the National Library. In addition, given that there are very few sources on subcultures in Azerbaijan, I have cited several short interviews I personally conducted with various cultural figures — writers, poets, musicians, and artists.

[5] Frederic Milton Thrasher, “The Gang: A Study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago, University of Chicago Press” 1927. Frederic Thrasher was a member of the Chicago school and was one of those who defined the concept of subculture based on his research of criminal gangs.

[6] Milton Myron Gordon, “The Concept of the Sub-Culture and Its Application” (Social Forces, vol. 26, No. 1, Oct., 1947).

[7] Nicholas Abercrombie (co-authored with Stephen Hill and Bryan S. Turner), “The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology” (Penguin. 1984).

[8] David Riesman, “The Lonely Crowd” (1950); “Faces in the Crowd: Individual Studies in Character and Politics” (1952).

[9] Mark Abrams, “The Teenage Consumer” (London: London Press Exchange, 1959).

[10] Margaret Mead, “Culture and Commitment” (1970).

[11] Talcott Parsons, “The System of Modern Societies.” Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall (Foundations of Modern Sociology Series, 1971).


[13] Shirley R. Steinberg, Priya Parmar, Birgit Richard, “Contemporary Youth Culture: An International Encyclopedia” (Greenwood Press, 2006).


[15] Dick Hebdige, “The Style of Mods” (University of Birmingham, 1974).

[16] Cohen, Stanley, “Folk devils and moral panics: the creation of the Mods and Rockers” (London New York: Routledge. 2002).


[18] Александр Тарасов, “Порождение реформ: бритоголовые, они же скинхеды” (2000).

[19] Səid Riad, İntro: Repin Tarixi (Başla nəşriyyatı, Bakı, 2017).


[21] Татьяна Михайловна Горяева “Политическая цензура в СССР. 1917-1991 гг.” (Издательство: РОССПЭН, ISBN: 978-5-8243-1179-2, 2009).

[22] Bəhram Bağırzadə, “Mənim gəncliyimin şəhəri” (“Şərq-Qərb” nəşriyyatı, ISBN 978-9952-34-768-5, 2012)



[25] Владимир Козлов “Стиляги” (нон-фикшн, Амфора, 2009).

[26] İbid.


29 Владимир Козлов “Стиляги” (нон-фикшн, Амфора, 2009).



[30] Cəmşid Əmirov, “Brilyant məsələsi” romanı (Bakı: Azərnəşr, 1963).

[31] Gülsüm Hüseynova, “Tat dili leksik fondunun genealoji təhlili (Azərbaycan tatlarının dilinin materialları əsasında)” “Elm və təhsil”, Bakı, 2013.


[33] Tahir Abbaslı, “Mədəniyyət” newspaper (March 16, 2011). Emphasis added.

[34] emphasis added. The poem is translated by Cavid Aga.

[35], emphasis added.

[36] Eldar Quliyev, “Bir cənub şəhərində” filmi (1969).

[37] Fuad Əzimli, “Zərb alətləri Azərbaycanda” (B.: R.N.NOVRUZ-94, 2008).

[38] For an example, see Azərbaycan Milli Kitabxanası, “Azərbaycanın görkəmli şəxsiyyətləri – Üzeyir Hacıbəyov: Biblioqrafiya (1905-2015)” (M.F. Axundov adına Milli Kitabxana, 2015).

[39] Nizami Tağısoy, Zülaim Zakariyya, “Meyxanənin poetikası” (Çaşıoğlu nəşriyyatı, 2011). Emphasis added.

[40] ANS TV, “Deyib gələnlər” (Meyxana haqqında sənədli film, 2001). Əzimli


[42] Əliağa Vahid, “Seçilmiş əsərləri” (Lider nəşriyyatı, Bakı, 2005), emphasis added. The poem is translated by Cavid Aga.


[44] It is believed that the term 60s generation was coined by Soviet literary critic Stanislav Rassadin. He first used this term in an article he published in Russian journal called Youth (Юность) («Юность» (№ 12, 1960, 58-62)).

[45] Rəhman Bədəlov, “Bakı yaşadığımız məkan” (“Avrasiya” gazeti, Bakı, 20 aprel, 1997).

[46] Hikmət Hacızadə, “Rok-n Rol dünyanı necə dəyişdi” mövzusu ilə AFU mühazirəsində (2011).

[47] Garik Sukachov, The House of the Sun, 2010.


[49] Vidadi Babanlı, “Vicdan susanda (I-II kitab)“ , Baku, Yazıçı, 1978).


11 May 2020