Sydney youth tribes- meet the SLASHIE


Just read an interesting article on Sydney youth tribes by Sascha Molitorisz where she profiled a handful of Sydney youth tribes. The most interesting part of the article was more the behavioural traits that are now crossing all elements of youth culture.

Last year I wrote abit about youth displaying CHAMELEON like behaviour whereby they dip in and out of different subcultures at any one given time and that they hate to be seen as one dimensional. They have splintered personas and their online identities are carefully constructed to reflect this. It was great to see my thoughts confirmed by Sasha who spoke about ‘shallow membership of many tribes replacing embedded membership of one tribe’. The emergence of social media platforms has meant that the opportunities for self expression have been magnified and kids these days are judged by how ‘interesting and diverse’ their Facebook pages are in terms of the experiences/photos/ events they are attending.

So as Sasha says, ‘tribalism is labyrinthine’, meaning it’s super complex and kids these days belong to many different groups, all at once. Kids today don’t just define themselves as an Emo or Gamer or Skater. This chameleon type behaviour is personified by the HIPSTERS who’s whole subculture is about picking different elements of other subcultures and mashing it together to form their own take on it. It’s all about the resistance to definition.

This has given rise to the SLASHIE – a term created by the boys at Pedestrian TV…a ‘slashie’ is a kid who sees himself as a complete hybrid..they’d call themselves a ‘DJ slash photographer slash skater slash entrepreneur’. Slashies are fluid beings, their self identity is being built around the fact that they lead multi-dimensional and quite spontaneous lives and over a weekend are more than capable of dipping in and out of different subcultural interest groups.

Sasha’s article is posted here and it goes into detail on the following tribes: The Emo’s , Supergeeks, Jock Dollys, Gangstas, Punk Lite, Glamazons, Techno Bohos and the mercurial Hipsters.  She’s hit the surface on urban tribes but if you dig deeper you’ll find alot more sub tribes for example there are many different types of ‘Gamer’ tribes who would form part of the Supergeeks as well as the fact that youth tribalism in Sydney and Melbourne is very much class and ethnic based, like in most big cities. But that’s a post for another day.

Youth Tribe #3: Skinny Indie

The SKinny Indie, a newer version of EMO

The SKinny Indie, a newer version of EMO

The Skinny Indie tribe is 2008/09 version of the alternate youth of the 90’s. They are just a little more mainstream. Think ‘The Veronica’s. These are the teens who run around in skinny stonewashed jeans, wearing white Converse Chucks, basically looking and dressing like Kate Moss’ ex Pete Doherty, sans expensive coke habit. These kids are big time into music, they are wannabe rockstars. You’re probably thinking, these are just EMO’s. Well, they are not, they aren’t as ’emotional’, dark or negative as EMO’s. They are dabbling in soft recreational drugs, but stear clear of the heavy stuff like ICE. These kids are far more introverted than the ‘Fluoro’s’ and ‘Extreme Livers’. These kids are rebelling against the status quo, but are not overly subversive. They just like to be seen as looking and acting different to preppy teens from private schools. By definition they are weight conscious and aren’t overly materialistic, they have a quieter side and the geeks of yesteryear often blend into this tribe.