#NormCore – an emergent community of change

I’ve accidentally joined a trend: according to Wikipedia this week, ‘normcore‘ is “an emerging cultural trend focusing on ‘coolness that opts into sameness’“. As far as i can tell, if you don’t fall into hipster, cool subculture, you can claim to be #normcore. A club for those people who weren’t in the cool club.

If your eyes are glazing over at this point, I’d understand why: #normcore is a hashtag that’s been trending on Twitter as various celebs and stars post pictures of themselves in jeans and a T shirt as they stylishly rebel against whatever the previous style was that they were toting. How do i know this? Because i read it in a magazine in the Dentist’s waiting room.

If your eyes are still glazed, let me relate this cultural trend to our more usual topics of the Social Age and Social Leadership.


‘Normcore’ is an emergent social trend to define ‘coolness that opts into sameness’. It’s an anti-fashion trend and a Social Age community of change

#Normcore is about defining ‘self‘ through ‘sameness‘, not difference: it’s inherently about cohesion within a community, but a community defined by it’s very cohesion. It’s a trend that is anti trend, the convoluted irony of which i’ll leave you to work through. It’s about belonging, which is a very Social Age trait, and it’s a movement that’s grown through amplification, which we are very familiar with.

It’s an emergent community, which again is something we see as a core feature of the Social Age: communities united through technology, in this case a hashtag on Twitter, around a core set of values. And it has fluid meaning: the wikipedia entry is new and, chances are, by the time you click the link it’s meaning will have changed again.

It’s a movement that may not yet know what it’s about, but know that it wants to exist (i can prove it: it already has a community around it). In terms of effecting change, that’s a good start.

Normcorp is a term coined to reflect a trend, a trend against an established hierarchy (based on formal ‘fashion’ icons and gurus) and reclaimed by the community: sound familiar? The subverting of formal authority and expertise through socially moderated instances.

Maybe it’s just another trend, maybe it’s indicative of real change, but whatever it is, it reinforces for me the speed that communities form, the ways they interact around common values and vision and how the socially moderated ideas that it generates can gain great amplification fast.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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