(noun) A distinctive culture shared by a small group that is often based on location or within an organization.
Example: The microculture within a community center, restaurant, school, sports team, student organization or British horse-racing enthusiasts as studied by Kate Fox in The Racing Tribe (2002). Fox identified unique codes of conduct, customs, etiquette, hierarchies, language, and rituals.
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- Plural: microcultures
- Not to be confused with subculture, through the terms are similar and often used interchangeably. A microculture has a unique identity within and as part of the dominate culture, but a subculture is contrasted to the dominate culture and separated from it.
- Microcultures often have a specialized language called an argot.
- Variant forms:
- micro culture
- “Members of a microculture will usually share much of what they know with everyone in the greater society but will possess a special cultural knowledge that is unique to the subculture” (Spradley and McCurdy 2008:3).
- Wulff, Helena. 1988. Twenty Girls: Growing Up, Ethnicity and Excitement in a South London Microculture. Stockholm: University of Stockholm.
Spradley, James P., and David W. McCurdy. 2008. Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology. Boston: Pearson Education.