A Hipster isn’t just your ordinary trend for young adults. It is acting as a social movement, it carried the idea of eco-friendliness around urban areas. Hipsters value not only the environment but education and equality. Hipsters have the characteristics of a subculture; they share symbols, language, values, beliefs and norms but they are potentially a counterculture. Compare them to other countercultures; such as punks and hippies. Hippies were trendy, young, fashionable and all valued freedom and self-expression, all traits that are not far off from Hipsters. Hipsters share values of sustainability, eco-friendliness, independence and self-expression, and they generally consider themselves “not normal” like the rest of society. There may be a large population of Hipsters in Portland, and it may be popular to dress like them, but they are in opposition of the dominant culture, making them a counterculture despite their popularity of style in Portland.
Hipsters all across the states are in Urban areas, they hold the philosophy of “green” and eco-friendliness and they like wearing big framed glasses and plaid (for whatever reason.) What is it about the Portland Hipsters that makes them special? Agriculturally, we can support the “Hipster diet” well in Oregon, we have great organic resources, from the farms to the New Seasons Market the organic food is sold at. We even have the Farmer’s Market right in the middle of Portland State University’s campus. The Portland Hipster also has great options to be eco-friendly with transporation, from public transit to the bike. Portland’s bicycle subculture can be linked heavily to the Hipster subculture, even though they can stand separately. Portland is a great place to bike despite the rain.
Another trait of Portland Hipsters is joblessness. A lot of Hipsters are considered youth, and with unemployment being high in Oregon, Hipsters and Unemployment go hand in hand. This leads to a variety of wealth among Hipsters; some shop at thrift stores because it’s all they can afford, others shop at thrift stores instead of high-price places because they prefer the style from a thrift store, but all Hipsters from poor to rich shop at Goodwills because they think it’s cool. This is a unique trait about this subculture; it is shared by all classes. Some high class citizens strive to be like the low class Hipsters.
So even if Hipsters are mocked, so were the the Hippies, but they made a difference and the world changed for the better. I think Hipsters are going to help us out in the end, maybe they can’t save us from unemployment but they have bigger thing to worry about, like saving the earth and maintaining our health. My vote is that they keep doing what they’re doing, one recycled sweater and bicycle at a time. Let’s just hope that they don’t get bored of caring because it gets too “mainstream.”