Only 10% of Americans Think They're Hipsters

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We thought hipsters were dead!

Not quite, according to the latest headline-grabbing survey from Public Policy Polling, published on Monday afternoon under the headline "Americans so over hipsters." The still reliable polling group reports that just 10 percent of Americans identify as hipsters — that ill-defined category of urban, overeducated youth — while 50 percent of citizens between the ages of 18 and 29 say they wear the label with pride. The poll reports a bunch of amusing findings — e.g., "27% of voters said they thought hipsters should be subjected to a special tax for being so annoying" — but really stands out for contradicting the latest literature about Americans hipsters. New York and n+1 began talking about hipsters in the past tense more than two years ago. Three years before that, Time Out New York openly welcomed their annihilation. Hipster godfather Gavin McInnes sired his third child in January 2013. We were supposed to be living in a post-hipster world.

Maybe we are living in a post-hipster world. In his 2010 "sociological investigation" of the hipster phenomenon, New School intellectual historian Mark Greif observed something called "hipster accusation," whereby hipsters flung the term around to identify anyone they deemed insufficiently cool. Within an identifiably hipster culture, no one was a hipster, or would dare call herself one. Indeed hipsters' "obsessive interest in the conflict between knowingness and naïveté" helped define the entire movement. But when half of 18-29 year-olds tell a progressive, Raleigh-based polling firm that they identify as hipster, well, perhaps the term no longer signifies anything special or specific. Maybe it means nothing at all.

Someone should tell The New York Times.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.