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although popularly associated with white power (because the style was unfortunately appropriated by KKK members trying to recruit new members) skinheads are typically just working-class folks with a strong sense of pride, work ethic and a somewhat nostalgic, highly anti-fashion style.

Person with short hair (not necessarily bald) who subscribes to a set of beliefs that includes pride, hard work, and hard play. Standard skinhead dress is combat boots (often Doc Martins), tight pants, and braces (suspenders). A common misconception is that all skinheads are racist or Nazis, in fact the majority aren't. It is unfortunate that the most visual of the skinhead crews are always the bad ones.

"Skinheads, originally, come out of the same *working class* culture as ska. Just look at early Sixties pictures of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer -- they have no hair! Skinhead culture spread more widely in the late Sixties as more and more Jamaicans went to the UK and influenced the White youth culture there. These old UK bald-heads were rude boys. Yesterday's and today's skinhead fashion has a legacy from Black Jamaica. Since the first skinheads were trying to look like shave-head rude boys, it makes all those Nazi skinhead types seem pretty ignorant, eh? It's a good thing they are in the minority." From the alt.music.ska FAQ.

Skinhead culture developed in the first half of the twentieth century when working class young English men would dress in their finest on weekends and go to the local dance halls, largely owned by West Indian immigrants. It has been proposed that the shaven head is due to the fact that many of them were employed at loading docks, and sacrificed their hair to protect against lice. The mixture of rough-and-tumble middle class men and the reggae music resonating from the dance halls gave rise to a population of tough, shaven-headed ska fans. The young men were inspired by songs about the Jamaican rude boy lifestyle. Many people are surprised to know that at one time, there was a large population of black skinheads. As time progressed, skinheads have developed factions, including neo-nazis and anti-racist sharps.

Skinheads were originaly working class kids, growing up in the early Ska era. They started cutting their hair and shaving their heads because they got into alot of fights at local soccer games and long hair was getting in their way. The fights got bad enough that anyone wearing steel-toed work boots was not alowed to watch the games. The boots were a large part of Skinhead fashion, which also included tight work jeans and braces (suspenders).

Skinheads picked up a reputation for racism long before nazi's and neo-nazis were around, starting with National Front Skinheads, who got upset about immigrant workers taking factory jobs. Neo-Nazis picked up on skinhead fashion because of the skinheads being well known for their ability to fight, and to target working class kids for recruitment. There are still groups of skinheads that call themselves "hammerskins" today that are racist and very elitist, and continue to give skins a bad reputation. I believe racism and skinhead values to be contradictary because of the background in working class and unity, and the fact that all cultures or races have some sort of lower or working class.

Oi music is another strong part of skinhead culture, and is the skin version of punk rock. The music is often slower and more melodious. The term Oi comes from a traditional Greek greeting "oi polloi" and from the cockney adaptation to mean simply "hey". Skinheads are another big part of English and Jamaican ska history, as seen in songs like "Skinhead Moonstomp".

Skinheads are also rather well known for their love of drinking, as "Work is the Curse of the Drinking Class" - Oscar Wilde.

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