“Urban Tribes” micro-groups of the past, present, future

Social tribes have been defining generations since long before a Frenchman gave them the enduring moniker in the 80s. From mod to grunge these collectives have grown like truffles in the shade of the mainstream, waiting to be sniffed out and exploited by trend pigs. Social tribes are the subcultures around which modern societies evolve. Tribal identity, from interests, rituals and lifestyle preferences distinguish them from the mainstream, challenging the status-quo and pushing our species forward. Certainly we can all cringe in unison as we reflect on what can only be considered the awkward adolescent years of the human race. Let us now reflect on the current state of our development and where our next social tribes are setting up camp.

 

 

Originally published in the denizen magazine

In the 1980s, professional people watcher Michel Maffesoli coined the term “Urban Tribes” to describe the micro-groups of people sharing interests, rituals and lifestyle preferences; The subcultures that grow in the shadow of the accepted standards of the time and around which modern societies evolve. Tribal identity, from behavior to fashion, distinguishes them from the mainstream, and births new trends faster than you can say Cara Delevigne.

 

The Dead
Right now we’re in the literal wake of an entire social tribe, the death of The Hipster. Everyone agreed they had it coming. For a collective more concerned with overtly hoppy-beers than harming his fellow man, the hipster made a lot of enemies. They kept their egos warm developing hives at whichever new local café was serving the coldest science lab coffee, or the type of bar that serves popcorn with truffle oil and smoked butter with bread and gherkins. Lumbersexuality, beards, sailor tattoos, check shirts, retro glasses and fixed-wheel bikes; the hipster tribe developed such a breadth and complexity of character it became a target. Traditionally, hipster was a label for people with discerning (or pretentious) tastes who wore über-trendy clothes and populated edgy (or affordable) localities in the early Noughties. But unless you were living in Portland Oregon to be termed a modern day “hipster” made people (even hipsters) inordinately angry. It is rarely used by anyone to describe themselves, and is almost always double-edged. Happy to be part of the tribe or not, an interior design ethos of kitschy controlled chaos that spreads to your wardrobe is a tell tale sign you were, are, or want to be one. Hipster signifiers are now everywhere. Pizza Hut serves cocktails in jam jars. Premier League footballers have sailor tattoos. Every retail outlet ever has roughly painted stacked recycled crates. Your dad has his hair cut in Murdock. No tastemaker can survive that kind of ubiquity. The insiders have conducted their own postmortems and decided the realm of hipster has subtly dissolved into the normcore movement, where people no longer want to look accidentally the same, they want to look deliberately the same.

 

The Now

In recent times the domains of health and wellbeing have undergone something of a transformation, expanding so far as to include everything from triathlons to meditation. There was a time bikram yoga and a macrobiotic diet were labeled hippy at best, quasi eating disorder at worst. Now they are doctrines of a new healthy and hip lifestyle revolution, to be both measured and published with the help of your i-watch. This movement evolved from the heaven sent match of yoga pants and nike rogues. Eventually, dressing as though you’d been exercising for a public flat-white actually evolved into publicly excising, which evolved into actually enjoying it. The fitsters led us on a rediscovery of our personal health from the inside out. The super foods movement has been gaining speed for as long as the former hipsters have been adding gears to their quickly outdated and terrain-challenged fixed-gear bikes. For your new-aged diet or café menu to gain momentum all you need are a mixture of the following key words and buzzfoods; Chia, raw, goji, paleo, wheatgrass, buckwheat, celeriac, *(anything other than a cow) milk. Today, where you train and what you eat says as much about you as the handbag you carry and the music you listen to. To be healthy has become its own card-carrying status symbol; a cultural semaphore for discipline and success, and this tribe is successful! Members of this well-oiled fitness tribe give each other kudos when they’re on a roll and they pick each other up when things get rough. Where their predecessors shied away from public displays of…anything, Fitsters are incredibly connected by social media technology. Bonding over the wins, woes and general networking that make this tribe stronger, as well as incredibly marketable. Model subscriber and Instagram star Gigi Hadid has famously been quoted as saying “Eat clean to stay fit, have a burger to stay sane”. It’s this kind of relaxed approach to their own cultural structure that makes Fitsters so accessible to outliers. The difference with this new generation? Tribe development takes place entirely in the spotlight, with a group of subscribers who are mature self-marketing experts, raised under the supervision of Social Media. Where social tribes of the past were quite exclusive the Fitster is the opposite, welcoming the chance for global culture domination and encouraging fellowship.

 

The Next
What does our future hold? In 2015 as a new social tribe emerges to take the throne it feels like we are caught between two worlds. Strides in technology have impacted every front of our present existence, from going for a run to running a business. As a species we march on handing out scrolls for job roles that may not exist in a decade, clinging to the structure of the office block. Meanwhile in the shadow of the nine-to-five a new tribe is forming. They feed on the distaste that has grown from deep within the most bohemian of fitster types, whose phrases such as ‘JOMO’, ‘conscious uncoupling’, and the ‘digital leash’ are creating opportunities for a new breed of impresarios. That tingling sensation of discomfort you feel when you look at Auckland’s ‘new society scene’ is not nausea, not even jealousy (although it is close to old age). That stir is the very human response to threat, yes threat, as a tribe of new age, well presented, entrepreneurs rises…literally slashing the competition, and having more fun than you are. Creative Director/ DJ/Blogger/Photographer/Financial Controller; the job titles of this next generation will slash on as their “rent me” approach to employment buys out the “buy me” market place of old. The next social tribe may head a change in business culture, but the growing rich/poor divide will put the class structure back in social structure. Appearing laid back, this group is actually incredibly strict in its constantly shifting parameters to include the rising, the greatest and the latest (often parallel to the most expensive). With the optimism and tenacity early colonial settlers believed in the “American dream” this collective believes firmly in “the new rich”. They adhere to the latest “it” fashion, enjoying freedom of time and location. Their playlist and inclination toward exclusivity is defined by hip-hop “intellectuals” and the constantly shifting strictures of “it” artists, that only they can seem to find or follow. The only property that this tribe is bound to? Their image, coveting experiences and adventure above all else (as clearly displayed on their Instagram/tmblr page/official website). You’ll often find them at obscure festivals and filter perfect locations, orchestrating highly manicured and entirely manipulative photo shoots that aim to project and protect their business interests/identity. As this future tribe grows in strength and numbers it will be to the disdain of its genuinely talented founding members. The aforementioned expansion of the rich/poor divide will have continued to grow as the King (formerly known as) George’s hairline continues to recede. The by now old “new rich” will be breeding (through a series of medical advancements in perfection). New additions to the aging group are likely the lost pampered trophy kids of successful “/parents”; those power couplings who slash on a child and hire a team to pamper it on their behalf. Under intense pressure to succeed these private school “/graduates” (/event planners) will become “brand sluts” who inevitably end up on the same trend tip as the leading elite tribe. Like their parents before them their affinity to the relics of Hip-Hop prose and further reliance on technology will see language change entirely. The new nu-tribe will seed words and phrases from our urban dictionary of old right into the oxford dictionary. Sentences will be made out of hyperlinks to online content, words like “turnt” and the phonetic equivalent of emojis. Couplings in this next clan will often live as Dinks (dual income no kids) until the day they go on a virtual sex holiday to Keplar 3 (as sponsored by Virgin) and order their spawn straight from the internet; Engineered infants that could do away with the pesky free will that started this social mess in the first place.

 

R.I.P

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0 0

39 thoughts on “Kirsteen MacKenzie : The Dead, The Now, The Next

  1. Just wish to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your post is simply cool and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Tracey Husain Rafaelia

  2. A person essentially lend a hand to make seriously articles I might state. Alyse Abbie Ferree

  3. Thank You for watching our site, You can also see our videos on our you tube Channel- Leadersin making. Meggy Car Schofield

  4. For many bloggers, putting ads on their blog is the quickest and most reliable way to derive some profit from their efforts. Oralia Gaspard Grani

  5. There is evidently a bundle to know about this. I consider you made certain good points in features also. Cassie Aurthur Chirlin

  6. Having read this I thought it was extremely informative. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this information together. Loralie Johann Gunas

  7. I think you have remarked some very interesting details, regards for the post. Alma Markus Wildee

  8. Your means of explaining everything in this article is in fact fastidious, all be able to effortlessly know it, Thanks a lot. Noelani Andreas Xenia

  9. Hi to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more from this web site, and your views are pleasant in favor of new visitors. Lorene Dall Tiebold

  10. I really like looking through an article that will make people think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment. Amberly Tripp Erikson

  11. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this
    topic to be really something that I think I would never understand.

    It seems too complicated and extremely broad
    for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of
    it!

  12. Gotta agree 100%. The BATMAN box is classic. Also my first figure added to my collection. Elle Tanny Kirtley

  13. Can’t wait for Portlandia. Please tell me where I can get leopard print tights, I saw Cassie on Skins wear them once and they’re pretty amazing. Zahara Giraud Lois

  14. Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this page. Aleen Arman Yurt

  15. You sir, are a lifesaver. I decided to do away with my Xenserver install in favor of straight CentOS 7. I was pretty much relying on a post like this to help me mount the old Xenserver VHD images. Shawna Wain Bard

  16. I truly wanted to jot down a small comment to appreciate you for those great ideas you are giving out on this site. My incredibly long internet look up has now been rewarded with useful ideas to go over with my family members. I would believe that many of us readers are rather fortunate to exist in a perfect website with very many special people with very helpful plans. I feel extremely fortunate to have discovered your webpages and look forward to tons of more fun minutes reading here. Thank you again for all the details. Carlin Rufe Sedgewick

  17. Hello! I’ve been reading your website for a long time now
    and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from
    Dallas Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the
    excellent work!

  18. It’s hard to come by well-informed people on this subject, but
    you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  19. The road seemed to stretch on endlessly before us, but Alexis assured me that our journey was near an end. We’d turn before long into thick woods and travel through narrow, winding roads until we reached her family’s cabin. I had no choice but to trust her as GPS had given out nearly 20 minutes ago.

    “There’s good wifi and okay reception at the cabin,” she’d told me, “but you can’t get there unless you know the way.”
    https://lynn422442916.jimdofree.com/
    So here I was, driving alone in the middle of god knows where with a girl who was my student just a couple of weeks ago. Her and her four best friends had been together from first grade all the way through high school and now they had graduated with very different futures ahead of them. They had decided to kick off “the best summer ever” with a week long stay at Alexis’s family cabin. Alexis and I were heading up before everyone else, the four other girls and four guys.

  20. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright
    violation? My website has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but
    it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over
    the internet without my permission. Do you know any solutions
    to help reduce content from being stolen? I’d
    genuinely appreciate it. asmr 0mniartist

  21. The road seemed to stretch on endlessly before us, but Alexis assured me that our journey was near an end. We’d turn before long into thick woods and travel through narrow, winding roads until we reached her family’s cabin. I had no choice but to trust her as GPS had given out nearly 20 minutes ago.

    “There’s good wifi and okay reception at the cabin,” she’d told me, “but you can’t get there unless you know the way.”
    https://notepin.co/shared/yptminr
    So here I was, driving alone in the middle of god knows where with a girl who was my student just a couple of weeks ago. Her and her four best friends had been together from first grade all the way through high school and now they had graduated with very different futures ahead of them. They had decided to kick off “the best summer ever” with a week long stay at Alexis’s family cabin. Alexis and I were heading up before everyone else, the four other girls and four guys.

  22. The road seemed to stretch on endlessly before us, but Alexis assured me that our journey was near an end. We’d turn before long into thick woods and travel through narrow, winding roads until we reached her family’s cabin. I had no choice but to trust her as GPS had given out nearly 20 minutes ago.

    “There’s good wifi and okay reception at the cabin,” she’d told me, “but you can’t get there unless you know the way.”
    https://rentry.co/hsbaw
    So here I was, driving alone in the middle of god knows where with a girl who was my student just a couple of weeks ago. Her and her four best friends had been together from first grade all the way through high school and now they had graduated with very different futures ahead of them. They had decided to kick off “the best summer ever” with a week long stay at Alexis’s family cabin. Alexis and I were heading up before everyone else, the four other girls and four guys.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>