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Is fashion/pop cultural change grinding to a halt?

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posted on Feb, 7 2010 @ 09:45 PM
People are always talking about how fast things are changing. Permit me to lay out the opposite case for a moment, at least in what I will call "pop culture" or fashion terms.

Not too long ago I was in New York City, wandering around and observing people. I find myself in Manahattan every handful of years. This time it struck me...people look and act pretty much the same as they did in, say, 1990. They dress the same. The same "ironic" hipster garb for the young people, the same kinds of suits (or jeans, kahakis, T-shirts, etc.) for the old stiffs. The bars seemed to be playing very similar kinds of music. The cars don't look all that different. (maybe slightly less boxy).

It struck me that with a few exceptions, most of the scenes I saw hadn't changed in 20 years.

Now roll the clock back 20 years before that: you have a much larger amount of pop-culture change (it seems to me) from 1970-1990. You have the shift from hippies to punks to glam rock to yuppie to grunge. It seems to be a time that saw many more more obvious and distinctive pop-cultural shifts.

Look at it from an even broader scale and the slowing of change seems even more remarkable. 1970-2010 is 40 years. 1930-1970 is also 40 years. Now, a guy in a model-T and late-20s/early30s-garb (pocket-watch, straw fedora, corncob pipe, etc.) from the year 1930 would have looked decidedly like a time-traveler in 1970. But a long-haried beareded guy in a Led Zeppelin T-shirt from 1970 could walk around today and not warrent a single comment.

Am I just "old and in the way" and missing something, or does it seem that this kind of cultural change is slowing rather than speeding up?

[edit on 2/7/10 by silent thunder]

posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 09:38 AM
reply to post by silent thunder

Contemporary American cultural anthropology has also been an interest of mine; Primarily because at one time I was involved in the fashion industry and now I'm working in the entertainment industry, film, and spotting trends was/is paramount to success.

And here in the Southwest fashion and attitudes are much slower to change than on the coasts. Here people adopt a style and stay with it, ex.
cowboy, jock, hippie etc. The ladies however are much more amenable to change, which has always been the case.

But to address your premise that fashion pop culture has ground to a halt;
yes it has. Fashion and trends are driven IMO by market forces. The R&D people realize that people just can't afford new "stuff" like they could in the past so their new lines are smaller with little change that would require retooling.

Also I think people are more connected with their media/www/gamer toys and tend to stay in more and interact with people less.

However one of the big changes I have noticed is that people still aren't buying and driving fuel efficient vehicles. I see more and more BIG pickups and SUVs than cars.

Noticeable fashion/pop culture change comes from events that affect the, wars, space races, revolutions, blockbuster movies. "Avatar" could spark something.

Change is the hallmark of a dynamic society; perhaps we are in a period of "chill".........

[edit on 8-2-2010 by whaaa]

posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 11:18 AM
reply to post by silent thunder

IT is because the 80 scene is back. There is a lot of 80s influence.
Not that it hasn't changed, but what is old is new again.

See I live outside DC. Not exactly the fashion capital of the world. But the largest selection of grey, black, and navy power suits you will ever see.

So when I went to NYC, it looked extremely trendy.

All the pop girls on the Disney channel dress like I did in the 80s.

What I think is fashion has done everything it can without
1) looking sci fi
2) without going back to hoop skirts and 20 layers of pantalones and corsettes and powdered wigs.

Just remember the rule:

If you old enough to wear the first time it was fashionable, then your too old to wear it the second time.


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