UK's Top 10 Subcultures Revealed: new research





NATURISTS, PUNKS, GAMERS & MODERN-DAY WITCHES - the UK's subculture scene is thriving with 56% of the population involved in a subculture according to new research by leading research and planning agency The Nursery

Conducted online during lockdown, the research asked 1800 UK adults a series of questions designed to reveal the depth, variety and motivations of subcultures in the UK. Going beyond the mainstream, the study is a rare glimpse into an often secret and misunderstood world.

Gaming is the UK’s biggest and most popular subculture that has seen a massive surge during lockdown with women accounting for 50% of the new adopters. Already a £5.7bn market in the UK – one-in-eight identify as being part of a gaming subculture – and they’re in good company. Snoop Dogg, Lady Ga Ga, Jack Black and Daniel Craig are just a handful of A-lister’s who have revealed a penchant for gaming and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down. 18% of those surveyed saying that they have taken up gaming since lockdown began with two-thirds stating that they will keep it up.

Role-play gaming is also gaining momentum (10th most popular subculture in the UK) as is Cosplay – which attracts a younger female following.

Modern-day witchcraft (Wicca) is gaining momentum in the UK with 3% of those surveyed identifying as being part of the pagan subculture. Attracted to its embracing of feminism, spirituality, mindfulness and environmentalism - modern-day witchcraft is attracting a growing following of mainly younger women. As a sector, religion and spirituality (not including mainstream religions) account for almost one-fifth (18%) of all subcultures in the UK.

Straight Edge, Satanism and Non-monogamy are on the subculture fringes but are growing in numbers.

Born out of hardcore Punk in the early 80’s (7th on our list of top 10 UK subcultures) - Straight Edge was a radical response to the drug and alcohol use associated with Punk – with Straight Edge Punks choosing to abstain from booze, drugs and tobacco. Over the past four decades it’s morphed into different forms with today’s substance-free younger generation keeping it alive by ‘claiming edge’.

Satanism is a religious subculture that, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t believe in hell or heaven – but is rather a ‘church’ of atheists who are gaining numbers globally due to its non-judgemental, liberal stance. Non-monogamy is also a growing subculture (and part of the non-formative sexual practices umbrella group) that includes swingers, people in open relationships and those that are polyamorous.

As a sector, non-normative sexual practices account for 8% of all subcultures in the UK.

And the motivation for being part of a subculture? 'Belonging' is the main driver (44%) followed by 'the opportunity to be creative' (41%) and 'meeting new people' (40%).

Top 10 subcultures in the UK:

  • Gaming
  • Religious groups (not mainstream religions)
  • Hippy
  • Spirituality
  • Political movements
  • Restrictive diets (e.g. paleo, vegan etc)
  • Punk
  • Bikers
  • Goth
  • Role-play gaming

Top 5 ‘fringe’ UK subcultures:

  • Steampunk
  • Off-grid living
  • Straight Edge
  • Incel
  • Non-monogamy

Key findings:

  • 56% of the UK public describe themselves as involved in a subculture
  • 43% only connect with their subcultures online
  • 75% consider their subculture to be a key part of their identity
  • 44% identify ‘belonging’ as the primary motivator for joining a subculture
  • 20% spend at least £500 on their involvement with their subculture
  • 18% have taken up gaming since lockdown began
  • 11% are part of an alternative lifestyles subculture that includes: home-schooling; living off-grid and naturism
  • 12% belong to fantasy world subcultures
  • 3% of the UK public are part of body modification subcultures

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Tank Top PR, on Wednesday 22 July, 2020. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/


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UK's Top 10 Subcultures Revealed: new research