The Road to Understanding “Hipsters”

When hipster?describing someone as “hipster” one would most likely revert back to the newly-fabricated stereotype of an oxford wearing, thrift shopping, coffee drinking, free thinking, Bukowski enthusiast and “counter-culture” individual.  According to Paul Mullins article, “Authentic Cool: Global Hipsters and Consumer Culture” many people have taken the culture of a “Hipster” and deemed it is as fake and ironically shallow. Wampole and her New York Times essay How to Live Without Irony , which is mentioned in Mullins article, serve to emphasize this idea that hipsters strive to gain an unique identity through overused and recycled aesthetics from past generations, discrediting their originality and rendering them as ironic.

So what makes a hipster and why are we so eager to label individuals as them? I listen to a fair share of less popular bands and have enough over-sized flannels to keep a small town warm, but does this alone group me into the hipster culture and discredit the things I enjoy? While many would agree with Wampole and decide to scoff at the idea of a hipster and label them just from face value alone, Mullins decides that this outlook doesn’t benefit the anthological view point. Mullins acknowledges the fact that the Hipster fad is in fact a global phenomenon and that it would be in anthropologist best interests to go about studying hipsters with an open mind to understand and “a willingness to listen.” Maybe then we can gain a better understanding of why this fad has rapidly spread and how it affects our society as a whole