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What Was the Hipster

To the Editor:

There is always some cruelty in social critique, and perhaps there should be, but I find this anti-hipster hysteria dehumanizing. I wonder if Mark Greif's essay on countercultural consumerism tells us anything about his own class interests, or perhaps about the status anxieties of the contemporary intellectual class. And when all this derision that suffocates us with its self-entitled superiority is lifted, what objective social, economic, psychological categories of hipsterism are we left with? Who are these people that we seem to hate so deeply? And what would we want them to do if they weren't acting like hipsters?



The Hipster in the Mirror
Published: November 12, 2010
Why do people get so agitated when discussing hipsterism? Pierre Bourdieu's "Distinction" provides some clues.

Mark Greif, was a founder of n+1 and an assistant professor at the New School, is the editor, with Kathleen Ross and Dayna Tortorici, of "What Was the Hipster? A Sociological Investigation," published last month.


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