The level of rebellion within an individual can be measured by the way in which it is expressed. Particular alternative subcultures offer differing methods of expression and activity which greatly affect the level of rebellion against normal society depending on the protocol within them. There are various gradings of societal rebellion, and they are based on the choices made and the benefits received in the activity of associating with a subcultural trend.
What makes an expression of rebellion is a matter of individual perspective on what normality demands, however the respectable individual will always adhere to the major cultural and artistic pathways on offer. By remaining within a populist level of individuality, a person can be deemed as non-alternative. The definition of tolerable can be extended to encapsulate populist and main stream alternative branches, in which popular opinion is governed by the same entities as the more majorly commercialised cultures.
Taking a step away from culturally respectable, a rebellion can be in the manner of which media and cultural influences they choose to digest. This type of alternative scene is the least volatile, and the interests and activities are generally kept within the institutions on offer. Cultural rebellion of this form can mean actively seeking alternative media and literature to enjoy instead of what most people are talking about at the time. Many culturally rebellious people do not express adverse behaviour, and the majority are white middle class. The artists themselves tend to come from a much more diverse scheme of life.
Another stage of rebellious culture expresses itself in delinquency. This represents a new layer to the level of rebellious behaviour in which particular immoral or unproductive activity takes place as part of the lifestyle. This could mean drugs, violence, sexual promiscuity, benefit fraud, etc. When a person is in a delinquent lifestyle, their rebellious expression begins to adversely affect those around them, relationships, and ability to maintain working life.
The most extreme form of alternative lifestyle is with the militant and politically minded people who take part in actively disrupting normal proceedings in order to make themselves louder. The level of activism again has various degrees, and non-violent expression must be isolated from violent rebellion however, in the process of standing against a procedure or cultural norm the individual is self identifying as someone who is prepared to act on their opposing beliefs.
The reasons behind an individual's choice to adhere to a particular strain of alternative subculture can be complex, but they make up a large part of the eventual path and evolution of their persona within society. Pre-established alternative scenes offer a gateway to something immediate and other than what they were previously attempting to identify with. This quick fix principle is what attracts many, and it becomes a mental process within self to address the various differences to the alternative norm as time passes by.
An alternative culture offers a new story and a new meaning to being that people can identify with and use as a foundation to make choices and establish friendships. Those who don't feel they fit into the normal or suitable status quo can find themselves able to more easily latch onto a new culture and absorb the criteria required to fit in. Often a person looks for an escape from family, work, school etc, and the scene gives a new dimension that remains separate from the other side of things.
It is important to remember that alternative scenes offer a social life with people that instantly understand each other through nature of the scene, and when partaking in events aimed at members of one scene in particular, everyone there will have social similarities by nature of the event. This provides a large bonus for anyone who is looking to find friends or learn about the scene and eventually become part of it.
It could be said that the most attractive part of any alternative subculture is that when a part of it, the pains and troubles in life that would usually be ignored or made to be issues, are suddenly OK. The various degrees of inability to cope and conform with modern life are respected and given space to be a part of unique personalities. When a person finds themselves at home within an alternative scene, the major influences to that scene are likely to identify emotionally with their issues and life stories. The medicinal, therapeutic, and rewarding effects of partaking in a subcultural movement, rebelling in ways that suit the individual, and being found acceptable by peers in similar situations is the glue which allows people to feel comfortable in themselves even if society in general is not comfortable with who they are.
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