Social logic behind hipster trend revealed

Updated: Jan 19, 2012, 18:14 PM IST

London: Youth inspired by the latest trends generally tend to set themselves apart from their peers by doing something no-one else does in their urge to become a true hipster, researchers say.

The study revealed that being socially distinctive in terms of having vintage-inspired fashion sense and cooler-than-cool attitude, is the answer to eternal hipness.

The study by Harvard University researchers analysed Facebook pages of 200 college students over a four-year period.
The team found that when your friends start getting into something you really rate – say an indie band – the hipper you are, the more likely you are to stop liking it, the Daily Mail reported.

“The meaning of an indie/alternative taste rests not just in the taste itself - but also in being the only one among one’s friendship circle that expresses it,” Kevin Lewis, lead study researcher and a PhD candidate in sociology said.

“If I like The Decemberists, and suddenly my friends start liking them too, suddenly I’m no longer socially distinctive.

“So this taste loses much of its appeal and I will run off in search of some new band to express my “hip” identity,” he added.

The study has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.