So I am pretty much back to normal. Tomorrow I throw my two cents into the academic world for the first time.
Recently I have been trying to take my limited knowledge of how people work and apply it to larger social structures in order to understand and predict those. Naturally, I am starting out small with sub-cultures. However, the problem I have already uncovered is that sub-cultures bleed into one another.
Well, you might say, “Duh!” However, I assure you that it is not as trivial as that. For example, one can be fairly specific and say “well I am only going to study myspace or how people comment on youtube.” That is a pretty distinct subset of people and their time in the US. However, especially online but in the real world as well, there is so much corollary information availible about each individual user that further connotations can be readily applied.
For example, if you look only at people who have camwhore pictures on OKC, this website provides tons of extra information and trends may be followed other than their implicit photogenic smuttiness. In person, clues like dress, gait, and of course speech patterns are revealing.
So here is my point, inside of a specific regime, using peripheral information additional subcultures can be identified that both exist outside of and within the regime. E.g. Reading someone’s craigslist personal ad, you can tell a good amount about them and predict many things that they are not saying (Meyers-Briggs). However if you read a lot of ads looking for say someone who likes the outdoors, you may also find that they have similar personality types or hair lengths and styles or whatnot. Thus there is a distinct subset of people on craiglist who are outdoorsy. It is then tempting to apply the outdoorsy personality type on craigslist to ALL outdoorsy people. But this is a logical fallacy and there is a danger in doing so (though one would likely not be far off the mark.
This is troublesome for studying sub-cultures on their lonesome, because no matter haw far you subdivide, another trend will just overspill into it. How people coalesce into a sub-culture dynamic cannot,therefore, be studied independently from all other typographies its constituent members are in.
So although I think I have a handle on people and how to predict (within error) their behavior, people in groups where I do not know all members is still difficult.
Don’t Worry, I am not giving up…I just need a way to not have to understand all subgroups simultaneously. After that, ????, Profit!!