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 Interview #5 with Carla – citizen of Sydney, London & NYC

Meet Carla, a free spirited super intelligent 25 year old from Sydney. Like many 20 something Aussies Carla has spent the past 4 years travelling the world and interning at some of the best magazines in London and New York. During the past two years in London she worked for Harpers Bizarre and wrote a cool travel blog. Here’s her perspectives on youth culture.

How do you see yourself?

I see myself as a twentysomething wannabe journo who loves to travel and has a healthy obsession with all thing Pilates. Ever the optimist, at school I was highly competitive although at uni I became happy with a B-grade average (small fish, big pond). I’d always wanted to study in New York, but UTS (where I was completing a BA Communications / LLB Law degree) wasn’t affiliated with any universities in NYC… so I made my own path. New York led me to interning at Bridal Guide magazine, where I published my first articles, and working in a café in Soho where I met an enviable number of Hollywood’s A-list. After a year my boyfriend and I moved to London where I took a role at Harper’s Bazaar magazine. Back from London, I’m touching base with family and friends, writing on the side, and doing my best to settle back into the Sydney suburbs.

What do you want to be remembered for?

As much as I want to establish myself as reputable journalist and magazine editor, I hope most to be remembered by friends and family as the person who always kept in touch. Having lived in three cities, I’ve made friends with people from all over the globe and I try hard to maintain strong ties with them all. Mediums like Facebook and Skype certainly help, but every now and then I like to send each of them a “chunky” email.

What’s the best thing about being 25?

I haven’t quite figured that one out yet. I suppose I like the freedom that comes with being in your early twenties. No mortgage and no children means I’m able to travel whenever I want and ultimately be quite selfish with my time.

You’ve been living in Ne

Carla has spent the past 4 years working in NYC and London

Carla has spent the past 4 years working in NYC and London

w York and London the past 3 years, how would you compare youth culture in Sydney to those cities?

In New York kids are bombarded with brands: designer for the upper echelons (yes, Gossip Girl-ians do exist) and street wear-bling for everyone else. Music is key for young New Yorkers but I was surprised how young Londoners are also influenced by hip-hop music, following both US and UK artists. Sydney youth culture seems to relate far more to the outdoors. Sun and surf may be a generalisation, but it’s a valid one.

What do you think are the main issues facing young Australians today?

The current economic climate weighs heavily on all young Australians. With most just finishing university – and those, like myself, returning from overseas – it’s hard not to become despondent.

Who are your heroes?

Paula Joye, editor of Madison magazine, is certainly an inspiration. Not only is she an integral part of ACP Magazines – responsible for launching a number of their successful titles – she’s a working mother. I would love to be able to juggle those two roles as well as she does.  

What’s one-thing brands need to know about connecting with you?

I’m optimistic. Sell me an inspirational image, and I’ll buy into it.

Sydney Youth: Interview #1 with Sally

SallyTHis is my first of a series of mini interviews with cool kids in Sydney. They could come from anywhere, any background, any job, they just have to have their finger on the pulse.
Meet Sally, a 21yr old fashionista living in Sydney’s East and working as a grad in the communications industry. She is the centre of her collective and is always one step ahead. Here’s a few thoughts on what makes her tick

What do you stand for?

Sally is someone who lives for adventure, is bored of the now and wants to be a part of the future. I am out there, loud and live for those poignant moments in time that make you stop and appreciate just how great life is.

Where are you heading?

Hopefully for success! This means taking step by step up the ladder, in relation to my job in advertising, love and travel, whereby improving every aspect of my life until I reach the top of the ladder and know that I am fully fulfilled. Know that I have pushed myself beyond my own expectations, taken risks and taken that one final step beyond the ladder!

Who are you influenced by?

Friends… They are my ROCK and ROCK my social calendar, thoughts, feelings and moods. They lift me up and carry me through the bad and good times.

Describe your tribe?

My tribe is my second family. They are constantly around me, influence me and always have something to say about anything going on in my life (whether I want to hear it or not).

What’s big in Sydney youth culture right now?

iPhone. It is the must have. It is the new accessory. A device that has transformed human behaviour, as humans have really become cyborgs. It not only makes life easier by navigating where I move, but chooses restaurants for me and translates languages. It is my touch point to anyone in the world, through Facebook and twitter. Youth have become reliant on the iPhone and instead of Descartes “ I think and therefore I am”, we now exist because we“ link and therefore I am”.

Your most loved brand and why?

Apple. It really gets me! I want the next… the newest. Their devices are always changing and apple teases me constantly with edgy, quirky and fresh advertising that puts them on a silver platter. So, so close that I can taste it and just have to indulge in the newest product to the market!

One thing brands should know about you?

I want brands that create my avatar…the image that represents me, which can be seen and judged by the people around me!

Gen C Crave Constant Contact and Change

Gen C are the connected collective. They seek constant constact with their friends and the world. Meet four mates from Sydney’s Potts Point who shared their views on the best thing about being their age, friends, Facebook and change. Lesson for marketers..Surprise them, entertain them, stimulate their need for constant contact…and above all, give them something to talk about…