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Top 20 Urban Tribes (Features and Aesthetics)

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Since the 60s, several subcultures have appeared and conquered large cities: urban tribes. These are groups of people with common tastes and interests, differentiated from those of the majority culture.

Its members share an identity and display it proudly: style of dress, rules, same slang, musical tastes and, depending on which tribes, same ideology.

Here we are going to expose the 20 main urban tribes, talking about their tastes, their philosophy of life and their greatest references.

Top 20 Urban Tribes

Currently there are hundreds of different urban tribes and they have emerged from the union and decomposition of many others. Let's look at a few of them below.

1. Hippies

They appeared as a result of protests against the Vietnam War in the 60s.. Known for their pacifist ideals, being lovers of nature and free love. They are not averse to experimenting with psychedelic drugs.

Long hair, big sunglasses, dyed clothes of many colors and sandals. One of its most notable representatives is the psychologist Tim Leary.

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2. Gothic

What is dead cannot die, and the Goths are an example of this.. They adore everything that is related to the afterlife and the mystery that surrounds it.

They attract attention for not having anything colored, only black. Victorian clothes, black leather and eyeliner of the same color, as if they were in mourning. In addition, they accompany it with religious elements, such as crosses and other symbols.

The greatest gothic musical exponent is Siouxsie and the Banshees.


3. Rappers

Graffiti, clothes several sizes too big, caps with the visor turned back and, of course, rap music. They also usually wear large jewelry, gold chains, rings and watches, combined with large sneakers.

Rappers have been stereotypically associated with crime and drug trafficking, due to their marginal origins. Its history dates back to New York in the 80s, a breeding ground for social protest that crystallized in the style homonymous musical and, later, in an entire aesthetic trend and an authentic subculture that is present in many countries.


4. Hipsters

The followers of this urban tribe pretend not to follow conventional aesthetic interests. They enjoy vintage aesthetics and enjoy indie music. Glasses, scarves, hats, very thick beard and the occasional tattoo.

They frequent “little” known places. They like organic and like good foodies they can't stop trying new and exotic dishes. They tend to be pacifists and environmentalists.


5. Emo

This urban tribe is one of the best known, despite being almost extinct. Its name comes from “Emotional Hardcore Music” and Its members usually have a pessimistic view of life.

They dress in black, line their eyes and paint their nails the same color, have piercings in their eyebrows and lips and wear Converse sneakers.

At its peak it included young people between the ages of 14 and 20. One of the greatest musical exponents was My Chemical Romance.


6. Punks

Originally from ideals contrary to fascism, imperialism and capitalism. Sometimes they are quite violent and tend to recognize themselves as members of extreme left-wing groups and small groups.

His appearance is notable for having colorful crests, various piercings throughout his body and tattoos. Leather cannot be missing, as well as clothing with anarchist symbols.


7. Heavies

What happens when you combine rock aesthetics with hippie ideals? You have the heavies.

His appearance is characterized by wearing hair, jeans, wristbands, tight jeans. Famous for their love of moving their heads and making their long hair dance.

Great representatives of this aesthetic are Mägo de Oz.

heavy metal

8. Rastafarians

What was originally a religious movement gradually transformed into an urban tribe.. Rastafarians originally considered the last Ethiopian emperor, Haile Selassie I, to be the incarnation of God.

Dreadlocks, sandals, big, comfortable clothes, and some cannabis cigarettes. Their clothing cannot be missing red, yellow and green, in addition to the flag of Jamaica, where this entire subculture emerged. His philosophy is to live life as simply as possible, peacefully and happily.


9. Geeks (otakus, gamers and geeks)

It is one of the most recent tribes, and three subcultures can be included within it that share the fact that they all feel an obsessive fascination with something that separates them from society.

  • First of all we have the otakus. Consumers of anime and manga, and everything that comes from the Land of the Rising Sun. They usually go to conventions where they show their skills in making costumes or cosplays.

  • In second place we have the gamers, video game addicts. They are up to date with all the technology related to electronic entertainment: consoles, digital updates, specialized keyboards. Fortnite can't be missed.

  • And finally, among the geeks, we have the geeks. Very interested in new technologies, in a more general sense than gamers. Robotics and computer science are two areas that they master and can spend entire nights programming.


10. Skaters

This urban tribe is somewhat curious, because unlike most of the others, arose from a sport: skateboarding.

There are usually squares, ramps or any place where they can test their skateboarding skills. Their appearance is very varied, as are their musical tastes.


11. rockabillies

They are into classic rock, like Elvis. They usually wear leather jackets, classic jeans, tattoos and stand out for their highly combed and oiled hair, forming not at all discreet toupees.


12. Swaggers

Addicted to everything brand name. It is essential that the mobile phone be one of the latest that has been released on the market, to wear it out by using it for hours and hours on your social networks. They can't stop for a moment without publishing something.


13. Muppies

Perhaps its name is not so well known, but this urban tribe is very widespread. You may be one of them without knowing it.

Addicted to technology and healthy living. Muppies are very professionally prepared young adults who are not willing to work in something far from what they have studied.

They wear brand names but without following specific trends. Sports habits are essential, especially outdoors. Traveling cannot be missed.

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14. Pokemons

It is a very widespread tribe in Latin America. Its members choose a rejection of maturity, avoiding responsibilities and growing up..

The abuse of gel in their hair, lip piercings, a lot of eye makeup and colorful clothing is striking. It can be related to the Peter Pan Syndrome.


15. reggaetoneros

Very loose clothing for men and very tight clothing for women.. You can't miss the jewelry on the neck, rings and gold bracelets. They wear sunglasses even at night. Men's hair is short, wearing caps and branded clothing.

Although it is of South American origin, it has been spreading through the Latin diaspora in Spain and the United States.


16. Grunge

Followers of Kurt Cobain and other grunge singers. They reject the consumerist society and people without personality.

Nonconformist clothing but selected in a stylish way, trying to represent the anguish over life. Blouse, plaid shirts and jeans are very common items of clothing.


17. Skinheads

They listen to ska, rock and punk music. Football and beer fans.

As their name suggests, they have shaved heads. They usually wear jeans held up by suspenders, jackets and even plaid skirts. They are usually related to small groups on the extreme right or extreme left.


18. posh

Very well dressed. Slicked hair, sweater tied around the neck forming a cape, polo shirts and plain pants.

With the passage of time, this urban tribe has become more blurred, becoming camouflaged with others that are apparently opposite.

One of the most representative groups: the G Men.


19. Hip hop

They originally wore cheap street clothes, scarves and jeans.. With the passage of time, hip-hop music has become increasingly popular, several record labels have commercialized this aesthetic. Example of this: Tupac.

Hip hop

20. Chonis and canis

One of the most typically Spanish tribes where there are any. Their biggest concern is experiencing the party. They frequent clubs until they close, and move the party to the nearest parking lot to have a drink.

They wear bright colors: men's tracksuits and women's necklines. Gold jewelry is always there. Hair shaved or with crests in men and very long in women, to be able to make all kinds of buns.


Bibliographic references:

  • Berzano, L., Genova, C. (2015). Lifestyles and Subcultures. History and a New Perspective. New York: Routledge.

  • Fine, G. A., & Kleinman, S. (1979). Rethinking Subculture: An Interactionist Analysis. American Journal of Sociology, 85(1), 1-20.

  • Hall, Stuart, Tony Jefferson (1993). Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain.

  • Maffesoli, Michel (1996). The Time of the Tribes: The Decline of Individualism in Mass Society. London: Sage Publications.

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