Subcultural Theory developed out of the Social/Symbolic Interationist school of thought which stated that despite the extreme difference between country and city, those living in an urban setting are still able to find ways of creating a sense of community. So it seems logical that instead of allowing ourselves to remain anonymous drones, unable to form real connections with others, urban dwellers will find a way around our circumstances, or rather work within the environmental framework we are given, and form communities in new and different ways.
It was Sociologist Claude Fischer who developed the idea of subcultural theory in the early 1970's, which proposes that the size, population and heterogeneity of cities actually strengthens social groups, and encourages the formation of subcultures, which are much more diverse in nature compared to the general culture as a whole which they are a part of. Fischer defines a subculture as “a large set of people who share a defining trait, associate with one another, are members of institutions associated with their defining trait, adhere to a distinct set of values, share a set of cultural tools and take part in a common way of life” (Fischer, 544). In any other setting, the creation of such subcultures would be nearly impossible, due to lower diversity and number of people.
For Fischer “city life is relatively unconventional—a term that covers a range of behavior from artistic innovation, to expressions of dissenting values, to serious criminality,” and he adds “according to subcultural theory, cities do stimulate unconventionality, but not through breakdown,” as sociologists before Fischer would have us believe. "...The correlation between urban life and unconventionality (is) largely incidental: for various reasons particular types of people—ethnic minorities, the artistic avant-garde, professionals, and so on—come to live in cities and consequently, their lifestyles then typify cities” (Fischer, 544).
1995 The Subcultural Theory of Urbanism: A Twentieth Year Assessment. American Journal of Sociology 101(3), 543—577.