So, in the previous article we said that people considered themselves exceptional if they were attached to culture or science.
However, in this system of achieving greater legitimacy and consistency the seeds of destruction are always laid. The rich can legitimize inheritance of their position in many generations by saying the following: "By inheritance we give our children not only money. Our children receive better education, thereby proving that they are smart. And in general, they do not inherit as much money as they earn by themselves, completely independently of us."
Sociologist will say that there was a conversion: an elite university was very expensive, and a school education needed to enter it was even more expensive. So, in fact, inheritance occurred, yet it was not direct but mediated as if through a masking operation.
For the masking operation to work, it was necessary that not only the children of the rich but a certain number of especially talented children of the poor entered that wonderful university. Then the rich could say: "Look, my boys had studied with slum boys who received the Nobel Prize." This shows once again that education was, in fact, open to everyone. Not only money but also talent was a pass to university.
The information about the significance of the role of money and talent is usually unavailable. And everything works fine, but there is a group of slum children here who often become university teachers and form their own culture that is opposed to aristocrats.
Aristocrats use high culture and science in order to legitimize their position, but this creates a group of specialists in high culture and science who have even more signs of aristocratic status than aristocrats. Teachers who teach to dance, play music, fence, etc. are able to do it all better than not only their ordinary students but also than aristocrats, who also take their lessons. They could teach you how to write a dissertation correctly, but if they did it by themselves, they would do it better than you.
This group inevitably appears in most European countries. We clearly see its presence already in the first half of the 19th century, and it becomes one of the main opposition forces. The main measure of inconsistency of the class status in European societies is polarization between those who have more economic and political capital than the cultural one, and those who have more cultural capital than economic and political ones.
The former turn to the latter for the legitimization of their position, while the latter, although they provide this legitimacy to some extent, undermine it at the same time. They develop their own culture. They say that these bourgeois just pretend that they are actually cultural, but they are far from the true understanding of science and art. In the end, they are just dealers, they are just philistines, they do not understand anything in pictures that hang on the walls in their houses.
It is this environment that develops and maintains avant-garde trends in science and art, as well as in leftist and anti-bourgeois sentiments. The subculture that arises in it has very recognizable features. We will find it in any industrialized country.
People called hipsters are its heirs to some extent, and they are very typical in many ways. For example, the central physical marker that shows belonging to this social type, with an amazing permanence in history of many countries, is a man’s beard.
The beard, as something opposite to shaven cheeks of an official or businessman, showing informality, willingness to rise above bourgeois conventions, characterizes bohemia, artists, and the intelligentsia. In many counties the beard on the man’s face is such marker.
Or it can be baggy, worn, vintage, or artificially aged clothes, showing contempt for the showy brilliance, for the desire to cut a wide swath. This subculture translates certain well-recognized and very constant history signs that have accompanied European intellectuals for a century and a half.
Depending on other processes taking place in society, this culture can be more or less politicized. When it is politicized, it is usually extremely left. When it is depoliticized, it is rather immersed in the search for personal perfection, Zen, and yoga. But whatever its concrete historical embodiment is, some of its basic features are preserved, and it does not disappear anywhere.
In our days, interpretation has changed. Now the concept of "hipster" refers to young people aged from 16 to 25 who follow the latest fashion trends. Hipsters’ interests are quite wide. They are interested in modern art house films, foreign culture, fashion, alternative music, and contemporary literature. By the way, they are recognized as a "generation of soap bubbles". This is the generation of "deniers", who express it in everything: behavior, style of clothing, slang, musical preferences, etc.
Now hipsters do not imagine themselves without modern phones, tablets and laptops. They are ardent admirers of modern social networks, such as Instagram and Twitter. So, if you notice people photographing food at a cafe, they are 100% hipsters.
As in the forties, this is a subculture that floods onto the streets of a modern city. But this youth is formed by a modern glossy magazine, by the latest trends of fashion, because the brand is always in high esteem for a hipster.
These people place themselves outside politics in life. They are completely far from riots, rallies, and other "noises" of the public. They are absolutely apolitical, neutral, and do not take any positions. They are not interested in such things.
What is more, they have creative natures. They are designers who are able to invent and submit new trends. Hipsters often choose the profession of advertisers: bright slogans are their second nature. They easily perform creative assignments at university and are ready to share their ideas with the desirous. Brightness and creativity are their elements. You can often meet marketers and photographers among them, and this is not surprising. In this environment it is the easiest for them to realize their creative abilities.
New hipsters are no longer marginalized. No doubt, they are light and bright, like soap bubbles, which are able to evoke delight in children and adults. Today, they represent lightness, brightness, and fashion. They are no longer solitaries, and not those to whom society says: "You are an informal person!". They are a subculture that represents our interesting and difficult time.
It is just better to beware of pseudo-branches that perceive only the external differences of this subculture. These "bubbles" burst very easily, and nothing remains after them, except for the strong smell of soap and the unpleasant sensation of a deceived hope.