ICS 392, Figuring out Normcore



ponder the case for and against the existence of a cultural movement that relates to fashion and status.



Read the assigned readings for session #8 (July 6th):

1) “Youth Mode: A Report on Freedom,” Khole.net, 2013
2) “Normcore: Fashion for those who realize they’re one in 7 billion,” by Fiona Duncan, New York Magazine, February 26, 2014.
3) “Normcore: Fashion movement or massive in-joke?,” by Alex Williams, The New York Times, April 2, 2014.
4) “Beware of Normcore,” by Simon Doonan, Slate, April 7, 2014.

You might also read and consider:

1) “Why the "Normcore" Phenomenon Is a Fraud,” by Lauren Sherman, Elle, March 4, 2014, (http://tinyurl.com/nxqo6rx).
2) “Irony, sincerity, normcore: Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, David Foster Wallace and the end of rebellion,” by R. Jay Magill, Jr., Salon, May 18, 2014 (http://tinyurl.com/kk6nbhy).
3) “The end of the hipster: how flat caps and beards stopped being so cool,” by Morwenna Ferrier, The Guardian, June 21, 2014 (http://tinyurl.com/ydy3hvs2).

What exactly is Normcore? Is Normcore real? Yes or no? Is this what follows the successive status games of leisure -> social class -> coolness -> authenticity? Where do you see evidence to
support your position? There are lots (and LOTS) of essays written about these phenomena/this movement. No one can seem to agree if it is a thing or not. How could you use what you have read and
learned in this course to justify your position? There are ample opportunities to connect this topic to ideas, concepts and arguments previously encountered in this class. Content from sessions 1 –
6 is fair game. There are lots of ideas from prior sessions that could be used in your analysis. You should aim to make three or four meaningful connections to course content.

In a thousand words or less, explain what is happening here. Interpret what you read and what you see, using the readings and class notes to inform your thinking. Formulate an argument you wish to
make and integrate your thoughts into a cohesive and coherent essay. Make sure you explain the significance and the connection of any of the quotes of course content that you use. There is no
single right answer. Rather, there are several paths you could take in your analysis that could be supported by what we have covered thus far in the course.

Word count. At the bottom of the paper, list the number of words in the document, NOT INCLUDING YOUR SOURCES.