Hipsters’ Campus

Origin of Hipsterism

The term “hipsters” commonly refer to a subculture of men and women in their 20’s and 30’s, living in urban areas that value and promote independent thinking, progressive politics, and enjoy things (clothing, music, food, activities, etc) not commonly found in the social mainstream. Hipsterism according to literature is a state of mind. Most hipsters are well educated, creative, and individuals who reject traditional attitudes, concepts, and norms. They often prefer to work in creative industries such as music, art, and fashion. Famous Hollywood actors Johnny Depp and James Franco including singer Miley Cyrus are hipsters.

The origin of Hipster subculture can be traced back in the 1940s when the English word “hip” was first used as an equivalent to “hepcat”, a stylish and progressive young person well aware of the latest trend in music and fashion. In the 1950s, hipsters were called “beatnik” or “hippie”, a person with strong sense of alienation from a traditional social norm. Study of African-American slang traces the origins of hip in Wolof (a language of slaves from Senegal and coastal Gambia in the 1700s) verb “hippie” or “to open one’s eye”.

The hipster subculture of the 1940s evolved from a group bored of mainstream routines and societal norms into trendy jazz lovers focusing on creating bonds with those of the same class and backgrounds through music. Today, although sharing a similar interest in music and bored of mainstream culture, modern hipsters are not necessarily members of the lower class, more independent, purposeful, and specific in the way they think, and determined to maintain the hip regardless of socio-economic status. They are more interested in fashion and appearance than ideology and societal issues. They express rejection of mainstream norms through clothing such as wearing an ironical expensive T-shirt made to look worn and ragged.

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The Hipsters’ Campus

Colleges and universities are “hotbeds” of hip seeking to practice and promote their diverse perspectives, ideas, and cultures. These hipsters commonly wear skinny jeans and fashionable clothes, outdoor oriented (skiers and snowboarders), liberal in their views, and vocal about their advocacy. Some college faculties are also hipsters in their trendy clothes, a liberal approach in teaching, and advocating eccentric academic practices.

A hipsters’ campus appears one that is located in easily accessible areas, having a reputable or multi-awarded campus radio stations, offering liberal and fine arts, and practically surrounded by a number of thrift stores and boutiques. Hipsters interest in liberal and fine arts according to a Forbes magazine article created an imbalance in the American economy due to under-employment and lack of college graduates with math and science related degrees.

For instance, since over ninety thousand Americans (mostly hipsters) graduate college with art degrees each year, the American workforce is dominated by artists rather planners, engineers, technicians, and others who can construct and operate machinery to boost economic performance and growth. In other words, America needs more nerds and fewer hipsters to ensure economic growth or “Up with scientist! Down with artists.”

In order to the so-called “Epidemic of Hipsters”, the American government according to this article will be providing college loans, scholarships, and grants to students in fields with significant spillovers such as engineering and computer science. Unfortunately, application of hipsters majoring in dance, sociology, and English will be ignored.



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