The Hipster Economy: A conversation with Alessandro Gerosa

Loop

1 May 2024

Join Alessandro Gerosa in a conversation about his provocative new book, The Hipster Economy.

Alessandro Gerosa examines the rise of authenticity as a value in modern consumerism. This focuses on the craft dimension of production, including locally made with artisanal skill. However, the consumption of these products can be viewed as an elite pursuit. How did the hipster culture emerge as a middle-class aspiration? To what extent can it be seen as a phenomenon of wider value, beyond its use as a tool for gaining status?

Join us at the Knowledge House for Craft for a discussion on Wednesday 29 May at 0800 GMT (register on Zoom)

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Some quotes from The Hipster Economy:

“Overall, the backbone of the neo-craft economy analysed in this chapter can be defined as a force for good: it sustains alternative production chains favouring other small producers, keeping local traditions alive; proposes alternative, more authentic and sustainable consumption practices; represents – in most cases – a more ethical alternative to mass-market industrial companies, known to cover their massive environmental and social negative externalities through cunning, deceitful ‘greenwashing’ marketing campaigns.”

“…for Morris, craft production was a way to elevate the alienated manual labour of the mass of proletarian workers into meaningful labour (through the addition of artistic value), in a step towards the overthrowing of capitalism and the accomplishment of a socialist society; the neo-craft economy imaginary instead points at reintroducing a deeper relationship with the material and manual dimension in the life of the middle class alienated by industrial society, in order to achieve a more meaningful, authentic life experience.

“The subversive potential of the hipster economy can only be considered jointly with wider societal movements.”

Gerosa, A. (2024). The Hipster Economy: Taste and authenticity in late modern capitalism. https://doi.org/10.14324/111.9781800086067

Alessandro Gerosa is a researcher in Cultural Sociology at the University of Milan. He has also been an Adjunct Professor of Sociology of Consumption at the Catholic University of Milan (2020). During his PhD, obtained in 2020, he has been a Visiting Researcher at the Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies (CAMEo) at the University of Leicester.

 

See also:

Hipster capitalism explained

 

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