Before the internet allowed global communication with email, forums, and social media, niche alternative cultures existed in local communities and the individual influences that fuelled them were limited to the talking circles of those who participated in them. The deeper meanings, and emotional reasoning therefore, were isolated within the individual proto-subcultures within specific communities and these often tied in to like-minded daily influence, such as a common workplace or school, a common place of recreation or nightlife, or even a local legend or story which residents in the area are proud of and feel an affiliation to.
As the media was the only source for new ideas for the collectives of like-minded alternative scene people before the internet, it was typically music and film that allowed the growth of new concepts within the movements. Music T.V. during the 1980s revolutionised the amount of exposure we had on artistic dress-codes, novel mind-sets and sounds of music that inspire particular emotional ambience. Before this, magazines were the most able to deliver a continual influence of ideas. Now, as well as magazines and music television, the internet has become a main source of inspiration for evolution within style.
As each separate community would work on a given set of ideas and principles in their dress-sense and style, with the internet, these people were now free to openly discuss their ideas and reasoning within a global community. Forums quickly became available for like-minded alternative scene people and the individual sub-cultures began to flourish with a lot more vigour once this happened. Dedicated sites to various neo-tribes became established and allowed participants to fully engage with their passions, and the validation from international communities solidified the rules, regulation, and schemes that fit in with the movements. Due to the large numbers on a global scale, and the continual push of commerce, the standardisation of themes became a large factor, which made it easier to fit in but also stripped away much of the individuality members craved. This was responded to by a further splitting down of culture, from the neo-tribes of large numbers sprouted variants and fusions of the old with the new, once again establishing personal uniqueness.
Identity is important, finding it in a crowd is difficult, and social bonding is also hard to find when we are uniquely expressing ourselves, so a happy medium is found between the two where like minded sub-trends fit together in their similar need to express particular elements of themselves which don't conform to the general stereotypical normals of society. As individuals change and evolve within their own personalities, the movements they took part in continue on, as if a separate entity to the person who once identified, and in this way, the label or sub-culture classification is a stable mental destination within a larger community but the units of people within this destination are unstable, and diffusion occurs regularly as each person moves in and out of various themes of dress-sense and lifestyle. The internet has made this more possible as defining ourselves into subcultural classes according to art and media is very easy with so much of it around.
There is a hard-core element to these fashion styles, and there are certain members who take the model very seriously. By emulating music and film stars, alternative scene members can become fixed in their mindset for their entire life. The emotional attachment to the label and style, the lifestyle portrayed by it and the experiences enjoyed in the spirit of the artistic expression make it worth while holding on to. The further and more available validation offered by the web makes this more sustainable, and with the planning of events and joint ventures via this mode of communication, many more roots are able to be laid in order to establish a personal sense of belonging. It is this strength within the scene that perhaps allows us to think of it as a sub-culture in the more distinguishable way, as the religious elements of ritualistic dress-sense and mind-set along with particular behaviour types and archetypes do not appear in other forms of trend.
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