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"For The Culture"

I appreciate everyone allowing me to introduce myself in the last post. It is with that foundation that I will begin the “For The” blog series. I will explore why people do it “for the (insert word here)”. It could be for cultural purposes, fame, fortune, love or other reasons. The first concept I will tackle is “for the culture”. 

 

Now let’s get to chopping this fable. What does it mean to do something for the ‘culture’? My definition is someone performing an act to gain perceived value by others who share common interests. Often, people want more credibility or validation. For others, they have been so influenced that they are following along to keep up with the in-crowd. I would encourage people to do what they want but keep in mind that doing things “for the culture” can influence people to ride the wave and act out of character.

Think about sneaker culture for a second. Instagram helped expand sneaker culture because it’s a visual medium. I even remember back in the early 2010s when I began seeing people eating cereal out of sneakers as not only a way to showcase the shoes, but also as a way to expand the utility of shoes beyond wearing them. Clearly, this was an effort to be more popular within the culture. As this approach grew in popularity, it’s a logical assumption that interest in sneaker culture grew and invited new observers. In its purest form, people are having fun and enjoying their shoes. On the other hand, for some people IG was the worst
thing to happen to shoe culture. The gift/curse of individuality is that two people can look at the same thing and have opposite perspectives.

What are some of the outcomes of “doing it for the culture”? For one, the sneaker business has grown exponentially during the last 10 – 12 years. Also, the supply/demand aspect has created an exclusive club mentality. The scarcity of sneakers makes shoe purchasing a commodity game for a lot of people. There are far more people nowadays living with angst by not being able to get all the shoes that they want. Couple this with a “fun” way of showing off shoes and you started to develop a group of people who disliked the IG and Facebook postings
of sneakers. Some shoes were being wasted and degraded while there are people who would love to have and wear the shoes. There are different perspectives and a lot of debates whether or not the culture actually benefited by the growth. Many older sneakerheads, for example despised the IG sneaker movement and didn’t believe this phase was uplifting to the culture.


Ultimately, does one benefit from doing it from the culture? From my perspective, it depends on what your motivations and expectations are. Are your actions coming from a genuine place? Are you expecting a particular outcome? Are you okay if you don’t get the outcome you expect? The phrase “for the love” is often substituted in place of “for the culture” and that is what I want to get into next.

 

By K Miles II

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