Posts Tagged ‘social change’

Generation X and the role of subculture

July 9, 2008

I think theres been a broad shift in social process, at least in the west. A shift from counterculture as temporal slice (a generational set of trends/fads in thought and style that grow in reaction to previous ones, take over mainstream and become marketing tool, then die out) – to counterculture as ongoing minority identity (a set of ideas, values and style that become a sort of modern tribe/identity that continues indefinitely – deadheads, crustypunks, etc – somewhat like the gypsies, who’ve apparently been around for millenia and originated as a specific ethnicity but are now more differentiated by lifestyle)

If true, this idea might partially explain why it was so hard to “peg” Gen x (giving rise to its name) unlike the hippies, beats, big band, flapper and other waves in the past – we seem to have been the fulcrum of this deeper splintering into various social flavors – punks, goths, hippies, ravers, techno-geeks, gearheads, modern primitives – some of whom have taken their place along with the gay scene and traditional ethnic minorities and economic classes.

a comparison could be made to the caste system that grew in India in response to the need to facilitate peaceful, stable interaction between many disparate ethic/economic groups without attemting to homogenize & erase their identity (as was done in early American history).