N+1 is publishing a sociological investigation of hipsters. They argue there is no such thing. (Via Huffington Post)
Though I haven’t read it yet, the book is probably proof against itself. The argument that hipsters are dead is evidence that hipsters are alive and well. Since a hipster is a member of a set that believes it’s not a member of any set, s/he will obviously affirm that there is no such thing as a hipster. According to the formula, by definition, if you assert that there’s no such thing a hipster then you’re actually denying that there’s no such thing as a hipster–which means that there is such a thing as a hipster. By extension if you believe hipsters are dead then it’s actually true that hipsters are alive. Further, by extrapolation, the reason you believe that hipsters are dead is probably because you’re actually a member of the group. This is intuitive: only hipsters talk about hipsters. Only people who have disdain for group membership would make such a claim.
The only way to prove that hipsters are dead is to never think or talk about them. But this is very difficult given the concept’s powerful grasp in contemporary (elite) discourse.
As I argue in ‘Hipster defined’ the only way to negate the hipster-concept is to admit that you are a hipster. Then you achieve authenticity. So long as you fail to accept your hipster-fate along with the rest of us you’ll be going in skinny-jeaned circles, whether you’re wearing a pair or not.