The "hipster" sensibility is defined not just by specific cultural props, but by broad tendencies: hyper-ironic self-presentation; an obsession with cultural trivia and/or blank nostalgia; the romance with neo-bohemia, neo-collectivism, neo-tribalism. "What Was the Hipster?" offers some interesting thoughts on the underpinnings of these things, mainly from n+1's articulate editor Mark Greif. The social basis of hipster culture, Greif convincingly argues, is the mass of young people who are "overeducated and with a psychic investment in hipness to compensate for their inferior real capital." Further, this white faux-hemian subculture is wholly inauthentic, little more than middle-class bad consciousness about gentrification: "every micro-generation will be surprised by the number of its members who have been secretly preparing law-school applications while making fun of rich people who wear suits."
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