Alternative scene media is a niche market, each generation of each genre and its evolutionary siblings and spouse has its own list of cultural labels and associated media, brands, and artists who figurehead the subculture. The cross-overs are very specific, and so particular crowds will be generally more exposed to particular themes, of which their personal identity is represented as a part of it. This validation of self among the whole allows individuals to feel at home and be rewarded for taking part with a particular strain of alternative scene. This inspires them to carry out their own expression of it for themselves.
Specialist media began as fan-zines, which although still exist, are now majorly influenced by online media, and take the form of blogs more than physical magazines. However, the physical media holds the most value in all cases because of its material and cultural worth. A well kept fan-zine from a previous era is always an antiquity of interest, for many academic and cultural reasons. Fan-zines are often started by a group of like-minded individuals who ascribe to a particular edge of subculture and wish to put more energy into the validation of expression of their particular emotional and artistic themes. Perhaps under-represented in the world of media, or in their local area, a 'hole in the market' is found which can be filled by any number of publications.
Like the crowds who follow the alternative scene, the specifics are static and stable, with very little shift from season to season. Only the underlying themes brought in by each artist serve to alter the flavour of the fashion, which unlike the main stream trend, does not change rapidly but more or less stays exactly the same. Fan-zines and artists who make music, images, and films, tend to all follow the same suit for the culture they are working within. This is because the crowds themselves are very precise about what works and what does not work for them, with neo-tribalism having unspoken but obvious rules, trying to influence a market with unrelated expression is difficult to achieve.
Social status within alternative scene crowds is a matter of ability to conform to not only the mind-set required of it, which relates to dress-sense, conversation topics, music taste, and type of life-style, but it also is a matter of how much a person invests in their social capital. Wardrobes of the right clothes, along with all the correct music, books, and artwork, all tie into how much time a person spends within the scene itself. By going to events, clubs, gigs, and meeting people within the scene, social capital is increased. It must be maintained, and individuals who drift away from a sub-culture will find their social capital fades fast as new faces and different shared experiences replace the previous ones. This dynamic diffusion of people within a scene keeps the turn around high and ensures new ideas and concepts are continually brought into play.
It does however mean that friendships and bonds within groups are fairly easily broken, as they are dependent on taste, life choices, and methods of personal expression. If an individual no longer validates the cultural trend as a whole they become disconnected or even the subject of validating conversation about what not to do. This is how the alternative culture fuels itself and remains static, by the nature of comparison to the different, the individual characteristics of each sub-culture are reinforced and solidified in their fixed way of thinking. Making a predictable market for commerce, the alternative scene generally responds by only buying into small name brands and artists, and large corporate interests tend to target the whole in a much more broad sense, with their watered down version appealing to a shifting trend rather than a sub-cultural ethos.
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