Because of the requirement to participate in order to achieve status within an alternative culture movement, and social capital is accumulated by manner of being at events, wearing the right clothes, and buying/enjoying the right products, in order to become independently significant within a crowd, a significant amount of sacrifice must be made. Dedication to the movement comes at a cost of time, energy, and money. Events are rarely free, and subculture requires that we dress appropriately when attending them. If we want to be recognised by our peers as part of an alternative scene, we must look right and be in the right places. We need to also know about the right things, and have a conversational back catalogue that allows us to take part in the social interactions that revolve around the scene.
Showing our face in the right clothes and at the right time and place is all a lot of work, and for those who take their artistic direction seriously, for many it is worth it. Finding a place within a subculture is rewarding for many reasons. Not only does it help an individual to feel validated in their reluctance or inability to conform to the demands of normal culture, but it also provides a way of channelling unwanted emotional energy into something that can be sociable and fun. Finding a place within a safe artistic community or alternative subculture is a healthy alternative to many other forms of coping mechanism to deal with the pressures of life in the modern world.
The paradox perhaps is in the creation of art and material for the subculture to draw from, a person has to work hard and for long hours, with very little return. This results in good thought-out and relevant products with real subcultural value, but come at the cost of social time on the scene. The knowledge required to put together media of any kind is substantial, and for artists and media producers, the time taken to master and hone their creativity into something of real significance is another form of sacrifice, and one that doesn't have the same social rewards as spending that time in the scene, participating in the art that others have created.
The almost geek status of the cultural creatives who take their time to produce literature and media, albums and films, means that these people find it difficult to relate directly with those who they're creating for. Almost a separate mindset to the scene participants, finding the methods and routines for the creation of art requires a professional and self validating, headstrong mentality that doesn't necessarily correlate to the group mentality found in crowds of like-minded appreciators. In the journey from appreciator to creator, at some point the artist must sacrifice appreciation directly for the indirect approach of adding to what is there to be enjoyed. This takes time to get right and to establish, and during this process the social capital dwindles as they work on their creations and techniques.
Finding a balance between being in the scene and creating for it needs to happen, and eventually an artist will rediscover the social side to their work, once it reaches a level that allows them to go to events as the artist and not the geeky fan. Of course, this is hypothetical, and it's known that many contributors to the subcultural scene are reclusive while working, but very outgoing on their time off. In the beginning, however, artists don't get a great deal of time off as their projects and creativity require a lot of attention and work in order to achieve the right standards required to make a noise in any scene.
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