From a sociological perspective, the concept of a subculture can be considered as a distinct cultural framework within a larger and dominant culture. Subcultures are defined according to a specific set of rules, beliefs, and practices (Brym & Lie 2012 47). One of the examples presented below is related to the subculture of cosplay. Cosplay is a colloquial term that refers to a costume-based play, seen as both performance art and a subculture. Cosplayers are often involved in off-stage roles which are based on characters from anime, manga, and comics.
Cosplay is one of the most exciting and imaginative subcultures in the world today. It is simply a costume play. Participants must make costumes to imitate characters from video games, comics, or books. These kinds of activities are becoming increasingly well-known in Japan. Some cosplayers don the costumes not only at conventions or official gatherings but also every day.
There are numerous activities cosplayers can participate in. They include sewing events, photography sessions, and events, all the way to the art of modeling. There are numerous activities for those in the subculture of cosplay. Since I’m interested in photography, I took part in photo shoots. This meant that I had to design the setting by the plot.
The idea of the photoshoots was to have the images be reminiscent of comic book characters as if they had come to life. This activity requires cosplayers to work together: the ones who design costumes, decorations, models, and the authors of the scripts used for role-playing. It is a huge task to arrange these gatherings.
It could be considered a performance art because you have to perform your character and follow the storyline. Cosplay is a subculture since it includes a broad spectrum of customs that can be found in costumes. Cosplay also includes a set of values and norms. The feeling of community is evident within the group of participants. Furthermore, teamwork is valued, as well as focusing on the finer points. It takes time and energy to create the costumes.
Precision and accuracy are essential to make a costume look authentic. The rules of cosplay relate to the notion of uniformity of costumes made for celebrations. Making the costume and not remembering to put on the shoes might be considered taboo. Cosplayers share a connection that transcends differences in race, gender, and physical appearance. They appreciate each other for taking the time, and effort, and going to extreme lengths to recreate and retell an epic tale about a favorite person from the universe they have chosen.
Through the use of the theoretical approach of symbolic interactivity can be used to conduct further analysis of cosplay and its associated activities. From a sociological perspective, we can analyze the interaction on a micro-level, and also understand how people of a given subculture interpret certain things typical of the community’s activities.
Based on the practices of cosplay described above, we can see that cosplayer don’t just react to particular circumstances and create a situation that allows them to behave in a certain manner. Cosplayers create the world they live in, in terms of symbolic interactivity. To achieve this, collaboration and appreciation are vital.
The deep sense of community cosplayers feels is based on the created reality, which is comprised of diverse symbolic elements, as well as a method of identification. The community of cosplayers is ready to abandon reality and enter the artificially-constructed world of costume-based play. Costumes serve as symbols, as well as a base for establishing connections between characters within a given universe.
The symbolism of the world is depicted in the subculture of cosplay. Costume play is a fictional reality that makes utilization of a variety of symbolic devices to connect characters. Through the development of characters, they meet new people and get acquainted with others. Many admit that these activities can make people feel more secure and secure, which, in turn, results in new social relationships and rewarding relationships based upon common passions. The interaction with other members of the community influences the way one perceives oneself. Thus, interactive behavior is one of the fundamental elements of the theory of symbolic interaction and is a key aspect of cosplay.
Sociological imagination is a way to gain a better understanding of the subculture of costume as a subculture. According to Mills (1959), social imagination is a way to make connections between social structure and personal challenges one experiences. Every person in society is in the four levels of sociological structure. So, personal issues are entangled with societal issues at each level of interaction, including microstructures macrostructures, mesostructures, and global structures. Thus, the micro-level of interaction within a subculture pertains to the microstructures of the sociological imagination. Sociological awareness lets us see our role as a member of the community and also of specific subcultures.