We should retire “hipster” as a term without referent or political salience. Its zombie-like persistence in anti-hipster discourse must be recognized for what it is: an urbane, and socially acceptable, form of ideologically inflected shaming on the part of American elites who must delegitimize those segments of a largely white, college educated population who didn’t do the “acceptable thing.”
Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. [...]
The choice between a carcinogenic and garbage-strewn Williamsburg that is still economically available to the working class or an environmentally sound and “green” North Brooklyn predicated on city subsidized luxury development and working class displacement is a specifically capitalist dichotomy, which has nothing to do with the artists and wannabes who, through no fault of their own, are the first to go once they’ve provided a wedge for developers.
> "Hippies hippies hippieshippies hippies hippieshippieshippies hippies hippies hippies hippies hippies hippies hippies hippies hippies hippies hippies hippies. Hippieshippieshippieshippieshippies hippieshippieshippieshippieshippies hippies hippies hippies hippies hippies hippies: hippiesv hippies hippies. hHippieshippies hippies, hippies hippies hippies hippies hippies. Hippies."
-- Some idiot in 1977
Our study explores the identity investments that consumers make in the field of indie consumption, which has been culturally branded by the hipster marketplace myth. In the most direct sense, “indie” (short for independent) refers to artistic creations produced outside the auspices of media conglomerates and distributed through small-scale and often localized channels (e.g., nonchain local retailers, art-house theaters, DIY channels such as Web sites and zines, and other small-scale enterprises). However, the indie marketplace is embedded in a sociocultural system of collectively shared cultural knowledge, aesthetic tastes, social networks, and systems of social distinction and hierarchies (Fonarow 2006). Through these interlinkages, consumers' indie tastes and practices can also find expression in other aestheticized spheres of consumption, such as fashion and third-place servicescapes (e.g., cafés, clubs, bars, restaurants). As indie consumers build social connections and internalize the cultural logic of indie aesthetic tastes and standards, they also become increasingly aware that their consumer identities have been culturally framed by the hipster myth. For these consumers, the hipster myth is akin to a fun-house mirror that distorts and potentially devalues their cultural interests, aesthetic predilections, and social milieu.
Whether the persistence of hipster eulogies is a sign of the West’s cultural stagnation or merely the slipperiness of the term, I couldn’t tell you. What’s incontrovertible is the hipster has been dying for about five years now. It’s true because sensitive, trend-spotting journalists have said so. But as far as I know this is the first time its death has been studied gromatically by political scientists
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