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An alternative lifestyle is a lifestyle perceived to be outside the cultural norm. The phrase "alternative lifestyle" is often used pejoratively.[1] Description of a related set of activities as an alternative lifestyle is a defining aspect of certain subcultures.[2]


Alternative lifestyles and subcultures originated in the 1920s with the "flapper" movement. It is during these times when women cut their hair and skirts short (as a symbol of freedom from oppression and the old way of living).[3][4][better source needed] Women in the flapper age were the first large group of females to practice pre-marital sex, dancing, cursing, and driving in modern America without scandal following them.[citation needed] The American press in the 1970s frequently used the term "alternative lifestyle" as a euphemism for homosexuality and for those perceived as hippies, both groups being seen as threatening to the social order.[1] A Stanford University cooperative house, Synergy, was founded in 1972 with the theme of "exploring alternative lifestyles."[5]


Housetruckers. Photo taken at the 1981 Nambassa 5 day festival
Housetruckers. Photo taken at the 1981 Nambassa 5 day festival
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Following is a non-exhaustive list of activities that have been described as alternative lifestyles:

See also


  1. ^ a b Ryan, Maureen E. (2018). Lifestyle Media in American Culture: Gender, Class, and the Politics of Ordinariness. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-315-46495-4.[page needed]
  2. ^ Ciment, James (2015). "Introduction". In Misiroglu, Gina (ed.). American Countercultures: An Encyclopedia of Nonconformists, Alternative Lifestyles, and Radical Ideas in U.S. History. Routledge. pp. xxxvi–xxxvii. ISBN 978-1-317-47729-7.
  3. ^ O’Rourke, Ryan (2020-11-17). "Rights group raises fears 'alternative lifestyle' women on garda watchlist". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  4. ^ Bland, Lucy (2013). Modern women on trial: Sexual transgression in the age of the flapper. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9781847798961.
  5. ^ "SYNERGY | Residential Education". Retrieved 2020-10-29.
  6. ^ Makai, Michael (September 2013). Domination & Submission: The BDSM Relationship Handbook. Createspace. ISBN 978-1492775973.