Definition by Association
Due to the projection of definition by media examples and word of mouth, it often arises that those who do not consider themselves affiliated with a particular sub-culture will be labelled as such by their friends and people around them. An individual's choice to wear a certain coat or style of t-shirt can lead to others defining them on a much more acute scale by assigning one of the many alternative scene genres to their personality.
In some cases, those who choose to consciously express themselves in a unique and artistic manner do not wish to be associated with a particular movement of style, and claim total individual authority over their own sense of how they ought to appear. It can be also that one or more of the specific sub-cultural themes becomes more generic slang for anyone who chooses to dress differently, saturating the perception of the community in an unbalanced view of the way each person identifies self.
This two way topographical actualisation of identity within groups will perhaps influence each other, in the communication of perception from one to the other via ideas that are counter validating to the opposing view, this will re-balance any false standard that may temporarily arise. New words and new definitions find their way into the main linguistics of the crowd and replace those that fail to mean what they say.
Once associated and defined by an outside party, it could be that an individual decides that they like it and would gladly follow that road. Perhaps identifying with the crowd they were previously defined as feels rewarding, or they discover that when researched, they like the scene for themselves and because of this, their flare for independence is given a foundation of community that allows them to self-express within a larger grouping of individuals.
Marketing is the key route for the delivery of new ideas within specific sub-cultural groupings, and the new music and media presented within them plus the imagery and ideas used to advertise and describe them will enter the expressive consciousness of the collective scene. Crowds who are exposed to the projection of sub-culture and its associated definitions of taste will express this cultural trend in their perception of those around them, and with themselves. The talking circles will spread the ideas in verbal interpretations and some will then experiment with the artistic concepts for themselves.
Having a common interest within a sub-culture is a key element within the reasoning why individuals gravitate towards them. By having a cornerstone conversation topic within groups, bonding and friendships become easier to form. The behaviour of the perceived icons and stereotypes offered by the media will become the virtue for the crowd. Those who identify with particular themes offered by the various bands, artists, and films will find they can appreciate these things within their friendship circles which validates their sense of belonging.
On the route to individuality, breaking away from the common desire to match the current trend can leave a person on the edges of their social community and with a sense of isolation within their peer groups. So when a projection of self-identity enters their vocabulary but continues to express their differences in positive ways, and provides them with icons and images that validate the way they feel about themselves and the world around them, it allows a sense of re-connection to an otherwise isolating experience.
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