In alternative scene communities, the social groupings tend to revolve around one or two particular elements of the micro-society. Everyone who is within a particular group generally has a shared interest in a certain aspect of the alternative subculture and enjoy the same thread of involvement as each other. That's what draws them in. When an individual wishes to express themselves in a unique way that allows them to reject unwanted social boundaries or fashions, they find themselves in need of an outlet for that expression which allows them to be themselves in a way that is acceptable. Niche subcultural movements do this job, and provide stomping grounds for all kinds of alternatively minded people.
Because everyone who gets involved with a particular subculture has a desire to express themselves in their own way, and to be a true individual among many, it is easily made difficult by clashing ideologies and personalities. The characters with the most social capital will generally define the themes and mentalities which prevail in any established community. Because of this, a new fashion or subcultural theme manifests and puts pressure on the individual once more. This paradox of intent can often result in members feeling rejected, left out, or ignored, simply because their natural personality doesn't fit the general outlook of the majority in their chosen subculture.
For media like music, it is the establishments that play the music which hold the social bubbles together. The artists themselves make the music they want to/are told to make and the people in the scene are then responsible for distributing it to the subcultures who enjoy it. The lyrics can often be instrumental in defining an audience, and if an artist sings mainly about one type of lifestyle, the music will naturally gravitate towards people who share that life.
In literature, the writers speak from particular angles and perspectives. These will be unique to their life position, and often do not alter from the natural and honest outlook of the individual. This will result in a natural gravitation towards like minded readers who share elements of personality with the author. There are not as many establishments who link literature with people in the same way music is linked. Similar to film, the media is made available and those with a desire for it will go and find it.
Because the artists involved are at liberty to define the perspectives and intentions behind the work, this becomes a factor in the social definition of the crowds who enjoy it. This reflection and projection can result in trend setting and alteration of ideals. What occurs is a social pressure to think a certain way, to look at life and things from particular perspectives. Because of the nature of people who wish to express their individual personalities, and the overhead messages coming from the shared media, the suggestion of conformity is perhaps stronger in alternative scenes than elsewhere.
This means that for many, they discover that they are unsatisfied with what their scene is offering, and feel that they too have something of value to offer. This is when an individual decides to begin creating media for themselves and their friends. It sends a clear message that people like this can be like that too, and it allows a new form of character to become acceptable in the scene. The likelihood of the media reaching further than the first social network is slim for anyone who just starts out in an effort to express themselves, but all artists begin in this way. After so long of contribution, the themes and ideas become firm within the given social networks. These go on to seed new media in other networks, and if an idea or theme is good enough, it will travel around many artists over a period of time.
Finding a niche for an audience cannot be faked, because the emotional passion has to be evident in the work in order for others to truly identify with it. Something has to shine through the art or media and reach people in a way that allows them to connect. Dry and soulless productions may look good on the outside, but if no-one takes anything away that manifests somewhere else in their life, then it's not made an impression.
Alternative Fruit is reader supported. You can support the production of quality online media with a small donation. Thank you so much.