After reading the assigned essay on the history and nature of countercultures, let’s think about contemporary countercultures – groups of people who define themselves in opposition to mainstream culture.

I’m thinking about 1990s “hipsters” (the concept has changed far too much to still be considered a counterculture – hipsters as we used to define them are extremely mainstream now).

The 1990s hipsters identified themselves in opposition to mainstream popular culture – so lots of “obscure” music and films – in fact, “mainstream” became the ultimate Hipster Insult for film, music and television.

The thing about 1990s hipsters was that there wasn’t much to be in opposition to. The US was relatively economically stable, it was pre-9/11, we weren’t at war… so as opposed to earlier counterculture movements (which were heavily politicized), hipsters were kind of boring, in retrospect.  If the only thing you’re opposing is cultural media, you’re not much of a counterculture movement.

What contemporary counterculture and subculture movements can you think of?  What were they in opposition to?  What did they represent?


6 Responses to “Countercultures”

  1. This is the only thing I can think of when you say “counter-cutlutre”

  2. kimbahena Says:

    “Emo” is an example of a counterculture. Usually, they represent dark clothes and dyed hair with asymmetrical haircuts and lots of makeup (even if you’re a guy). This type of counterculture sometimes makes parents worried since it is usually teenagers who are considered “emo”. The type of music that they focus on is sad music and makes teenagers relate it to their feelings. They usually dress from thrift store clothes and have lots of piercings and this usually just explains the way that they feel. However, there are some people who are “emo” and because they feel depressed they hurt themselves and find it pleasureable. Not all “emos” are the same but that is why parents get worried. Here is a video on how to become “emo”:

  3. I think counterculture would be like grunge music and garage bands. Punk rock music and people who don’t really care about the main stream. A lock of these bands and people would reject everything that popular culture would want.

  4. Well, I thought of “Goth” when I read the article.

  5. People who wear cat ears and cat tails.. i guess they are called weeaboos…

  6. jaysal2010 Says:

    hippies would be my example of counter culture, this video better explains it.

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