Definition of the Hipster

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Setting credibility aside, this selection of definitions for the subculture group of “hipsters” was chosen based on the fact that it is the top Google search when you type in “hipster”. I see due importance in this, and the following discussion will largely pertain to how the general public define “hipsters” as a subculture based on Urban Dictionary. This would not be based on how accurate a portrayal did the definitions paint, but instead, how they fare against the Sociology’s conception of subculture. I will pay particular attention to the very first definition listed on the webpage since it’s the one that has garnered the most attention with more than 100,000 votes from the masses. Based on the age (“20s and 30s”), geographical (“Williamsburg, Wicker Park, and Mission District neighborhoods of major cosmopolitan centers such as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco”) and class categories (“tend to be well educated and often have liberal arts degrees”) specified for one to be a typical hipster, the amount importance of demographic attributes attributed to categorising the subculture coincides with Cohen’s emphasis on the basic value systems of the members in a subsociety (Cohen, 1972). There are, however, several competing conceptualisations of what actually makes up a subculture. Apart from Cohen’s thesis, there’s the stance of Fine and Kleinman (1979) which centres upon symbolic interactionism. Fine and Kleinman stresses the importance of communication interlocks formed within a subculture. This was highlighted in the definition provided by Urban Dictionary in the form of digital media (“Because of the rise of various online photo-blog and social networking sites, insights into urban hipster culture is reaching sheltered suburban audiences at an exponential rate”) which aided in the proliferation of elements and “values” of the hipster subculture. When talking about hipsters, I feel that the media has done more than just transmitting the cultural items and...
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