Is Irony Out of Style? Americans Down on Hipsters

Forty-two percent of people asked have an unfavorable view of the very hip, says a new poll.


A poll released by Public Policy Polling shows that a large percentage of Americans (42 percent) have an unfavorable opinion of “hipsters,”  a group of men and women “unusually aware of and interested in new and unconventional patterns,” according to Merriam Webster.

The Urban Dictionary says members of this subculture are “typically in their 20s and 30s” and “value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, indie-rock” and “witty banter.”

Locally, data from the 2010 Census shows that only 19 percent of Montgomery County’s population is between the ages of 20 and 34.

In Silver Spring though, nearly half of the residents in some parts of downtown—near the Metro (52 percent), between East-West Highway and Fenton Street (42.87 percent) and between 16th Street and East of Grubb Road (48.46)—are potential hipsters.

Bethesda, Germantown, Rockville and Gaithersburg were also in the top 10 of Montgomery County areas with the highest percentages of adults between 20 and 34, according to Greater Greater Washington.

In the PPP poll, only 16 percent of American have a favorable opinion of hipsters, with Democrats twice as likely (18 percent) compared to their Republican counterparts (9 percent). Unsurprisingly, 43 percent of voters aged 18-29 have a favorable opinion, while only 6 percent of voters over the age of 65 do.

When given a choice between thinking that hipsters have “made a positive cultural contribution to society” or taken “soullessly appropriate cultural tropes from the past for their own ironic amusement,” twice as many (46 percent) chose the soulless appropriation over positive contribution (23 percent).

Ironically, Montgomery County, at least, is interested in being more hip.

County Councilman Roger Berliner stated in January that the county's future depends on a new, hipper approach to development, including walkable, pedestrian-friendly living and working areas, Bethesda Now reported.

You can view the entire poll on attitudes toward hipsters, including the demographics of those polled here.


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