What Are Some Examples of American Subcultures?

There are many subcultures in the United States, with punks, who are characterized by spiked, colorful hairstyles, ripped clothing, and close association to punk music, and survivalists, who are characterized by isolationist living alone and a focus on self-sufficiency, being two examples. Some subcultures are ongoing while others change and evolve in reaction to wider influences in the culture.

Subcultures often, but not always, form as a result of disillusion with wider society. Many are also formed in response to popular culture, with subcultures developing from musical, literary and film movements.

Subcultures have become more of a global phenomenon since the introduction of the internet, with some being exclusively based online. Some examples of U.S. subcultures include:

  • Otherkin – Otherkin believe they are more than human, normally a fantastical creature such as a vampire, elf, or werewolf, and often alter their outward appearance through make-up, cosmetic surgery and clothing to appear more like their chosen being.
  • Bronies – This subculture is built around a love of the “My Little Pony” animated series, and has a strong online presence where bronies share art, commentary or simply socialize with like-minded fans.
  • Cosplayers – Another subculture influenced by animation, although this time focused on Japanese Anime shows. Cosplayers often attend exhibitions and events dressed as their favorite characters, with the best costumes gaining the most respect and admiration in the community.