Aesthetics are thought of as intrinsically pleasing. However, aesthetics are a way of communicating membership in a social group, as aesthetics tend to find their way in the spotlight, out front, and on display — especially by those who would like to think of themselves as a member of a group, or at least to be perceived as a member of a group. (Newbie, wannabe, See acculturation )

Styles of clothing (t-shirts and 'cut of style'), brands, and music communicate conformity or rebellion in many cases. T-shirts are often the mark of support (conformity) to (the will of) a cause. More often t-shirts are a mark of rebellious youth. If you want to make a million selling t-shirts to teenagers — all you have to do is understand what makes their parents tick. Because you know what the culture of the upcoming crop of consumers parents was like — you can plan for their arrival with cash in hand.

Interests in literature, intellectual topics, tastes in food, even how much a person likes certain speech patterns is a form of aesthetic conformity. See Also: culture, meme, social status.


Brands signify membership in some gangs much like a uniform signifies for which country a soldier fights. Brands also communicate social status among members of the same social group.


Nostalgia is a retroactive aesthetic conformity.

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