This is a broad issue for discussion, and there are totally opposite opinions about it. There are some that try to understand this movement as the result of a fusion between the many urban cultures that have been living together in the cities since the second half of the twentieth century, while others think they are just materialistic and superficial young people. Who are the hipsters?
Far from the hipsters of the mid-twentieth century, the current ones began to be known as such around the 90s, often personified in the figure of a young middle class individual, living in a big city, who felt attracted by the alternative. Something like an anti-modernity model, a XXI century spleen wearing some Chuck Taylor All-Star. But, apart from giving us a vague outline of the modern hipster, there was not a clear rule to define them, you could not tell a hipster down the street with the same ease with which you would identify a rapper or a heavy; they were not an urban culture as such. Well, this is exactly the opinion you have today. Nothing seems to have changed. Their role within the urban area is unclear, they have defined their tastes as a movement, though it is certain that anything independent is more likely to be of their taste.
For these reasons, it is not a bad idea to recall the different theses that both sides have declared on the movement . On the one hand, we could mention Julia Plevin, who explained that for her, although the definition of hipster could be confusing since the hipsters themselves flew away from her, they actually behaved the same way, labeling themselves by their actions more than by their words. According to Mark Greif, the word is a term used by the youth of different socio-economic contexts who seek to be equal in some way, thereby forming a small pseudo-bohemian subculture eager to prove its authenticity. Others say it is simply a union of capitalist techniques seeking assimilation of various underground trends formed since the second half of the twentieth century and that they were composed mostly by groups of people unhappy with the world, from the hippies of the 60s and 70s punks to the call of the X Generation in the 80s and 90s .
The typical labels are far away from what seems to be this hipster thing, but what is clear is that it is a unifier of social trends. The Chilean sociologist Raul Zarzuri believes that hipsters belong to the most affluent sectors of society, but with an open mind. Zarzuri tells us that they are not within the so called hipster subculture, since that is what differentiates them from other subcultures, the failure to opt for any urban identity.
What is clear is that the hipster phenomenon has arisen only, or at least initially, in the Western world, so their social characteristics have much to do with capitalism. Without the latter might not have appeared the subcultures we know today, which since the 60s are transforming the social landscape in the West. Democracies, little restrictive at first with alternative youth movements compared with totalitarian communist regimes, and the growth of purchasing power were clear triggers for the emergence of urban subcultures. But as we know, despite being initially tolerant, capitalist democracies end up exerting almost total control over anything that could be considered dangerous, harmful or contradictory to their system, and in this course we should include spontaneous movements of protest. Perhaps because of this, hipsters could appear, not as a tool directly created by the governments, but as a spontaneous result of a deep capitalist penetration into the lifestyles of these subcultures.
Anyway, maybe we are suggesting too many definitions of something that, in my opinion, is nothing more than a modern lifestyle of young people in large cities whose only crime is to try to place themselves outside of what is meant by fashion, though this leads to their following another type of fashion. They are the result of an eclectic society which has mixed all the cultural and aesthetic proposals of previous decades, and in which the only way of being different is to side with little details that make us unequal.