Culture has the ability to define a group of people. That includes things like language, cuisine, ideologies, religious beliefs, and more. Culture tends to point to large groups of people within a certain geographical area.
A subculture is a group within a culture that differs from the general consensus. They have a unique set of beliefs and values that don't necessarily align with the wider culture. Explore some subculture examples, from beatniks to bodybuilders, and get a clear idea of what small groups of nonconformists look like.
Certain subcultures have survived for decades. They make for an interesting study in sociology. Here are a few groups of people who've stood the test of time:
Alcoholics Anonymous - a fellowship for recovering alcoholics. Members gather to discuss common struggles related to addiction. Together, they seek a Higher Power who can lead them down a pathway to recovery.
Bikers - people interested in motorcycles who often form groups that travel together
Fandom - fans of movies, a celebrity, or any shared interest
Freak scene - a subculture that started in the late 1960s with some hippie and punk elements
LGBT - an increasingly less-marginalized community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people
Military Brats - children of parents in the armed forces who move around the world a lot
Pachuco/Pachuca - Hispanic and Latino men and women known for flamboyant dress and behavior
Rockabilly - rock-n-roll music incorporating country music and rhythm and blues
Skinhead - early skinheads were not politically involved. However, this subculture has evolved to include those who are racially motivated, as in white power.
Survivalists - people who actively prepare for major, large-scale disasters
Zazou - a French subculture during World War II characterized by flashy clothing, and bebop and swing dance
You don't have to go far today to enjoy the company of a nonconformist. How many people did you see sporting rainbow-colored hair in the 1950s? Not many. Nowadays, people are expressing themselves in any number of ways. See if any of these modern subcultures catch your eye:
Afrofuturism - a future seen through an African-American lens, encompassing the arts, science, and technology
Bodybuilding - using certain exercises to train the body into a highly sculpted, muscular form
Cosplay - a group involved in full immersion into a fictional character
Cybergoth - a mix of goth and rave culture with energetic music and bright, futuristic clothing
Demoscene - a group of people who produce demos for play on a computer
Emo - short for "emotional," a movement directed at fans of emotional, expressive hardcore punk rock
Gaming - a group of people who enjoy playing video games, either individually, with friends, or through a virtual platform
Goth - people who find beauty in things others might find dark, including clothing and attire, decor, and more
Grunge - started in Seattle, fans of alternative rock that gained prominence in the 1990s
Hip hop - started in South Bronx in the 70s, a group of people who enjoy break dancing, graffiti, DJs combining songs and rap, and other artistic expressions
Hipsters - a merging of many identities, including retro styles, skinny jeans, artistic movements, urban living, and more
Hypebeast - a genre of fashion-lovers with a particular affinity for street fashion and collector items
Internet Subculture - a lifestyle that revolves around online connectivity, including gaming, memes, cosplay, dating, chat groups, social media, and more.
Metalcore - a genre of music that fuses extreme metal and hardcore punk
New Age - a spiritual and metaphysical movement including holistic health and parapsychology
Otaku - people obsessed with anime and manga
Rave Scene - characterized by wild parties with loud music and possibly light or laser shows
Rivethead - a group started in the 1980s with people who favor industrial dance music
Skater - a movement of teens and adults who enjoy skateboarding
Straight Edge - people who are drawn to the punk rock scene, but don't engage in drugs and heavy drinking
Trekkie - fans of the Star Trek franchise who enjoy the movies, attend festivals, and share their enthusiasm for a sci-fi existence
Subcultures are a great way to unite people in their common interests. People join together to celebrate their passions and learn more about their preferred way of living. Are you a member of any of the above subcultures? What's your preferred outlet for self-expression? Is it art? Or how about creative writing?
If you're looking to bring art to life in the form of a short story, check out Get Creative: How to Write a Short Story. You can use the artistic blueprint found in that article to bring any subcultural to life in a way that encourages others to join the movement.