One can witness a reemergence of scientific interest in youth subcultures in this last decade of the century. However, it is important to stress that resarchers usualy do not move beyond the descriptive level of analysis towards more elaborate answers on what is the essential question here: what the subcultures are? The author of the article tries to ovecome this vagueness with a thesis, deveolped from Weber's notion of "irrationality of rationality' and Bataille's critique of the modern societies' obsession with accumulation. According to this thesis subcultures represent one of many "gaps in modernity". These are understood as spontaneuous reactions against the pressures of modern life through the denial of ascetic work ethics which is preupposed in the contemporary advanced societies. Identification of this kind of phenomena, which do not follow the modern logic of action, and yet emerge at the very center of modernity in contemporary urban metropolises, leads to the conclusion, that modernity as such is not an uniform, one-way process.