NPR reports on the state of American hipsterdom

NPR sums up the state of the American hipster scene:

On the streets of Franklin and Nashville and almost every town throughout America now, hipsters scuttle by on scooters, zip around in Zipcars or Smart cars, roll by on fixed-gear bikes or walk about in snazzy high-top sneakers and longboard shorts. They snap Instagram photos of each other — in black skinny jeans and T-shirts with funky epigrams like “If You Deny It, You Are A Hipster” — and turn the pix into iPhone cases. They buy cool-cat snuggle clothes at American Eagle and down-market monkey boots at Urban Outfitters. They drink cheap beer, listen to music on vinyl records and decorate their lairs with upcycled furniture.

They follow indie bands and camp out at Occupy movements. They work as programmers and shop clerks, baristas and bartenders. They are gamers and volunteers, savvy entrepreneurs and out-of-work basement dwellers.

In case you haven’t noticed, hipsters — and those who cater to them — are everywhere. And that really galls some hipsters…

You might think that as hipsterism ripples out, in concentric (and eccentric) circles farther and farther from its big-city epicenters, the ultra-coolitude would lose its authenticity, Furia says, “but the opposite may be true. Cities are known for setting trends; hipsterism is about anti-trends. It sounds funny, but hipsters in Omaha may actually be cooler than hipsters in New York City — everyone knows about New York City.”

I don’t know that this report adds much to what has already been noted about hipsters – see an earlier example here. Here is the question I would really love to hear people answer: what comes after hipsters? How long until hipsters are no longer cool and another group takes over? What’s the next “cool” group?

Michael Bay putting together new TV show about sociology professor who studies subcultures

There are not too many sociologists in television shows or movies but producer Michael Bay is currently working on a show that has a sociologist in a prominent role:

Michael Bay is on board to exec produce an hourlong drama for the CW.

Net has bought the script “Outsiders” from writer Adam Glass, who most recently was a writer and supervising producer on “Supernatural.” He was also on staff on “Cold Case” and “The Cleaner.”

Storyline involves a quirky sociology professor with an almost savant-like expertise in subcultures. He is partnered with a young but uptight female detective and the pair solve crimes involving youths and subcultures in Los Angeles…

New CW topper Mark Pedowitz has said he’s interested in expanding the net’s reach beyond the core 18-34 female demo. A Bay series would likely bring along a male audience, and potentially tap into the international market.

Who knew that young males wanted to watch television about quirky, savant-like male sociologists? And how many odd subcultures could a show like this display?

Sorting the good from the bad statistics about Evangelicals

Sociologist Bradley Wright talks with Christianity Today about his latest book: Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites…and Other Lies You’ve Been Told: A Sociologist Shatters Myths From the Secular and Christian Media. Here is CT’s quick summary of the argument:

Young people are not abandoning church. Evangelical beliefs and practices get stronger with more education. Prayer, Bible reading, and evangelism are up. Perceptions about evangelicals have improved dramatically. The data are clear on these matters, says University of Connecticut sociologist Bradley Wright, but evangelicals still want to believe the worst statistics about themselves.

One question to then ask is why Evangelicals buy into these negative statistics. The subculture argument, when applied to evangelicals, might suggest that these numbers help keep people fired up by reminding them that the group could lose its distinctiveness if drastic action is not taken.

Wright suggests his goal is to encourage Evangelicals:

This is not a call for complacency but for encouragement. Why not say, “We’re reading our Scriptures more than most other religious traditions; let’s do even better”? Instead, what we hear is, “Christianity’s going to fail. You’re all a bunch of failures. But if you buy my book, listen to my sermon, or go to my conference, I’ll solve everything.” These fear messages demoralize people, hinder the message of the church, and hide real problems.

I would like to see exactly what statistics he looks at and debunks. Wright is not the first to suggest Evangelicals have some issues with statistics.