The Explosion of Sub-Cults

The techno-societies, far from being drab and homogenized, are honeycombed with just such colorful groupings—hippies and hot rodders, theosophists and flying saucer fans, skindivers and skydivers, homosexuals, computerniks, vegetarians, bodybuilders and Black Muslims.

Today the hammerblows of the super-industrial revolution are literally splintering the society. We are multiplying these social enclaves, tribes and minicults among us almost as fast as we are multiplying automotive options. The same destandardizing forces that make for greater individual choice with respect to products and cultural wares, are also destandardizing our social structures. This is why, seemingly overnight, new subcults like the hippies burst into being. We are, in fact, living through a "subcult explosion."

The importance of this cannot be overstated. For we are all deeply influenced, our identities are shaped, by the subcults with which we choose, unconsciously or not, to identify ourselves. It is easy to ridicule a hippie or an uneducated young man who is willing to suffer 700 stitches in an effort to test and "find" himself. Yet we are all rodeo riders or hippies in one sense: we, too, search for identity by attaching ourselves to informal cults, tribes or groups of various kinds. And the more numerous the choices, the more difficult the quest.


We can see this phenomenon in online cultures, but I like how this passage ties it into the issue of personal identity. The cults/fandoms we choose are also a choice about how we are defining ourselves.

Folksonomies: identity specialization social networks cults

/society (0.667715)
/business and industrial/company/earnings (0.448360)
/religion and spirituality/islam (0.447811)

greater individual choice (0.979604 (positive:0.646976)), uneducated young man (0.977950 (negative:-0.467559)), hippies burst (0.807540 (positive:0.294792)), hot rodders (0.766475 (positive:0.308235)), saucer fans (0.760585 (neutral:0.000000)), online cultures (0.759973 (negative:-0.224744)), social enclaves (0.758384 (neutral:0.000000)), personal identity (0.746299 (neutral:0.000000)), subcult explosion (0.744866 (negative:-0.424377)), colorful groupings—hippies (0.734771 (positive:0.308235)), automotive options (0.733571 (positive:0.340496)), super-industrial revolution (0.733058 (negative:-0.671439)), cultural wares (0.730897 (positive:0.646976)), social structures (0.715764 (neutral:0.000000)), destandardizing forces (0.715556 (neutral:0.000000)), informal cults (0.714159 (neutral:0.000000)), various kinds (0.703929 (negative:-0.228666)), new subcults (0.697122 (positive:0.294792)), rodeo riders (0.690917 (neutral:0.000000)), tribes (0.542488 (neutral:0.000000)), theosophists (0.491040 (neutral:0.000000)), homosexuals (0.485663 (negative:-0.224226)), bodybuilders (0.482179 (positive:0.424659)), skydivers (0.481856 (neutral:0.000000)), vegetarians (0.479017 (neutral:0.000000)), passage (0.471775 (neutral:0.000000)), phenomenon (0.471180 (negative:-0.224744)), Muslims (0.469837 (negative:-0.385394)), stitches (0.469327 (neutral:0.000000)), identities (0.466221 (neutral:0.000000))

Sociology (0.897882): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Culture (0.860236): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Hippie (0.781678): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Choice (0.780464): dbpedia | freebase
Identity (0.780403): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Quest (0.777858): dbpedia
Flying saucer (0.760810): dbpedia | freebase
Rodeo (0.759279): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 Future Shock
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Toffler, Alvin (1990), Future Shock, Random House LLC, Retrieved on 2013-12-19
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: social science