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An alternative lifestyle is a lifestyle diverse in respect to mainstream ones, or generally perceived to be outside the cultural norm. Lifestyle is a media culture term derived from the concept of style in art. Usually, but not always, it implies an affinity or identification within some matching subculture (e.g. hippies, goths and punks). Some people with alternative lifestyles mix elements from various subcultures (grunge musicians were often influenced by a mixture of the punk, hippie, emo and heavy metal subcultures).
Not all minority lifestyles are held[by whom?] to be "alternative", so the term tends to apply to newer forms of lifestyle, often based upon enlarged freedoms (especially in the sphere of social styles), or a decision to substitute another approach, or to not follow the usual expected path in most societies.
Alternative lifestyles and subcultures originated in the 1920s[better source needed] with the "flapper" movement, when women cut their hair and skirts short (as a symbol of freedom from oppression and the old way of living). Women in the flapper age were the first large group of females to practice pre-marital sex, dancing, cursing, and driving in modern America without scandal following them.
- Alternative child-rearing, such as homeschooling, coparenting and home births
- Restrictive dieting, such as veganism, vegetarianism, freeganism, or raw foodism
- Living in unusual communities, such as communes, intentional communities, ecovillages, off-the-grid, or the tiny house movement
- Traveling subcultures, including lifestyle travellers, housetrucking, and New Age travelling
- Simple living Bohemianism, Punk rock, Emo, Identity dixie, antiquarian steampunk subculture and hippies.
- Body modification, including tattoos, body piercings, eye tattooing, scarification, non-surgical stretching like ears or genital stretching, and transdermal implants
- Nudism and clothing optional lifestyles
- Non-normative sexual lifestyles, such as BDSM, polyamory, swinging, and certain types of sexual fetishism or paraphilia
- Alternative medicine and natural methods of medical care or herbal remedies as medication
- Adherents to alternative spiritual and religious practices, such as Ordo Templi Orientis, Thelemites, Neo-pagans, Satanists and New Age spiritual communities
- Certain religious minorities, such as the Amish who pursue a non-technological or anti-technology lifestyle
- Secular anti-technology community called Luddites
- Special interest groups into collecting
- Bernstein, J. M. Introduction, in Adorno Culture industry p.35 quotation:
Diversity is more effectively present in mass media than previously, but this is not an obvious or unequivocal gain. By the late 1950s the homogenization of consciousness had become counterproductive for the purposes of capital expansion; new needs for new commodities had to be created, and this required the reintroduction of the minimal negativity that had been previously eliminated. The cult of the new that had been the prerogative of art throughout the modernist epoch into the period of post-war unification and stabilization has returned to capital expansion from which it originally sprang. But this negativity is neither shocking nor emancipatory since it does not presage a transformation of the fundamental structures of everyday life. On the contrary, through the culture industry capital has co-opted the dynamics of negation both diachronically in its restless production of new and ‘different’ commodities and synchronically in its promotion of alternative ‘life-styles’.
‘Life-styles’, the culture industry’s recycling of style in art, represent the transformation of an aesthetic category, which once possessed a moment of negativity [shocking, emancipatory], into a quality of commodity consumption.
- Bland, Lucy (2013-09-30). Modern women on trial: Sexual transgression in the age of the flapper. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9781847798961.
- Makai, Michael (September 2013). Domination & Submission: The BDSM Relationship Handbook. Createspace. ISBN 1492775975.