Monday, June 13, 2016

Microstory 341: Subculture Recognition

Click here for a list of every step.

I’ve been looking into this topic, and I see a lot of sources defining subculture in terms of their opposition to the practices of “normal” people; also known as the majority. They speak of a subculture’s tendency to be perceived as negative by this majority, which suggests the subculture’s own negative perspective. Okay, first of all, you’re not talking about a subculture, you’re talking about a counterculture. A subculture is merely a faction of a particular population composed of people who hold some kind of commonality. But not only that, they’re actively appreciating their shared interests. Lots of people like pizza, but that doesn’t make pizza-lovers a subculture, it’s really just recurrent character trait. Regardless of whether you distinguish counterculture from subculture, it’s important to remember that they are not inherently bad. Liking something that others don’t is not wrong, unless that thing happens to be wrong; rape, hunting for sport, killing gay people in a nightclub, etc. There are a few things you should know before joining or rejecting a particular subculture. Just because the majority of people act a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s right. Just because a small subset of people act a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s right. Also know that being part of a subculture does not mean people outside of that subculture don’t like what you like at all. I’m not a Trekker, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like watching the Star Trek franchise. It’s just not important enough for me to identify myself as such. And to that, subcultures are rather fluid. They are not clubs, or even tribes. They are an extension of a character trait defined by those who carry it with you. One final note: people like to say that you should “always be yourself” but this is a naïve and counterproductive outlook on sociological interaction. We all work to conform to, at the very least, a subculture. We sacrifice certain aspects of ourselves in order to showcase others that may be less essential to us. That’s quite all right.


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